Is Jackson really in control?
So Hue Jackson doesn’t like the way his defensive coordinator handled a ticklish situation with regard to what happened in the exhibition victory over Philadelphia last week.
Gregg Williams, who loves to verbally flex his testosterone muscles, openly criticized rookie cornerback Denzel Ward on his tackling technique, one that short-circuited his participation in that victory to just a few plays.
Labeling Ward’s technique “stupid” to the media, Williams made it quite clear the former Ohio State star would have to change his manner of tackling to avoid the kind of back injury he suffered against the Eagles.
Williams’ candor caught the attention of his head coach, whose unhappiness was evident. “Gregg does not get to do just what he wants to do,” Jackson told beat writers.
“Our players, there’s a certain way we want them to tackle because of size, structure and all of that. We don’t want a guy to get hurt or anything like that. I’m sure Gregg does advise. We don’t need to do all of that stuff in the media.”
If that is the case, then, it would have never happened that way if the head coach had instructed his coaches that if there is a problem, it needs to be solved, or at least addressed, in house first.
That way, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. Jackson, who’s got enough worries to begin with, doesn’t need to publicly apply bandages to small wounds that crop up.
If he doesn’t know now that his two main coordinators are the Alpha-est of males whose mercurial personalities can be launched quickly, then shame on him. He is the head coach and as such, everything should be funneled to the media through him. His job is not putting out fires his coordinators start.
The best way to handle the latest Williams eruption would be to strongly suggest to the media that the matter has either been handled in house or will be. Then make it perfectly clear to the coordinators that further such incidents will not be tolerated.
Being a head coach is more than deciding to accept or decline penalties, challenging the on-field ruling of an official, deciding whether to go for it on fourth down or managing the clock.
If he cannot control his coordinators, what does that say to the players? How confident can they be that their head coach has everything under control?
Without really knowing for certain, Jackson almost certainly has to be on the shortest leash of any National Football League head coach this season. How can he not be with a 1-31 record in Cleveland, the worst two-season mark in the history of the NFL, on his résumé?
It will be interesting to see how he handles the next uproar caused by Williams or Haley, whose volatile personalities just might turn out to be too much for Jackson to handle.