BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Giants, Raiders, Lions, Bears, Colts have already fired their head coach.
The Bengals, Cardinals and Texans could also make changes.
All of those teams won more games this season than Hue Jackson has in 2 years combined in Cleveland yet they have decided to make coaching changes. But to the astonishment of just about everyone, except owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, Jackson will keep his job.
“There are a lot of guys who have better records and all of that who are being let go,” Jackson said Monday morning. “I am very fortunate and blessed as I said earlier. I thank Dee and Jimmy for that because there very easily could be somebody else sitting up here. Obviously, they see something – I am very fortunate that they do – that I can lead this organization and this football team to where it needs to go. I thank them for that.”
The NFL’s dreaded ‘Black Monday’ has already claimed Jack Del Rio, Jim Caldwell, Chuck Pagano and John Fox with the list expected to grow, but Jackson will not be added despite a 1-31 record in 2 seasons with the Browns.
There are a couple of factors that may have led to Jackson keeping his job and none of them have to do with the job he’s done.
The Haslams have already fired 3 previous coaches – Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine – within the span of 5 seasons and their reputation for impatience and volatility could work against them should they replace him, the amount of changes league-wide creating competition, and, let’s be honest here: the Browns are now just a 1 of 32 job and that’s about it.
Over the final month of the season Jackson has referenced a lack of talent available to him on his roster as a primary cause of their inability to win stirring up criticism that Jackson isn’t willing to take his share of the blame for the franchises’ failures.
Monday morning Jackson did just that.
“I have never said I’m a victim,” Jackson said. “I said it the other day, I’m just as big of a part of this as anybody. I don’t know what it is you want me to say that would make you feel OK. I think at the end of the day, I am the leader of this, part of the leadership group of this.
“I have been very disappointed in all of it, but at the same time, we are going to fix it. Jimmy and Dee have given me the support needed in order to feel that we are moving in the right direction, and I think that is what we are going to do.”
Jackson also clarified comments made Sunday following a 28-24 loss in Pittsburgh to the Steelers that cemented their place in football lore that no other coach could’ve done the job he has over the last 2 years, again drawing criticism for arrogance and a lack of self awareness.
“When I said, ‘I don’t think any other coach would do that job,’ I am not trying to sound arrogant, flippant or anything like that,” Jackson said. “I just think these situations are hard when you don’t win. When you are doing everything you can to win and it does not happen that way, I think those situations are hard. I don’t think the average person could go through that. That is what I meant by that. I think that is a tough situation to be in.
“I am grateful and thankful that I do have enough strength, courage and fight and have enough support – I think that is the biggest thing to me, and I am being very honest with you, support from fans, support from the people in our building to get through this so we can get on the other side.”
Jackson was able to save his job this year but keeping it beyond 2018 – barring some miraculous turnaround – should be a whole different story.