CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson is turning to a divisional rival for help in trying to finally turn around the doormat of the AFC North.
Todd Haley has been hired to run the Browns’ offense for Jackson, who enters 2018 on the hot seat after going 1-31 in his first two seasons, including 0-16 in 2017.
The Browns have yet to formally announce the hire.
The hiring of Haley should help Jackson, especially on game days where some of his game management has come into question, because it is expected that Haley will call plays.
Haley became available when his contract was not renewed by the Steelers following their 45-42 divisional round loss to Jacksonville.
Pittsburgh’s offense ranked third in 2017, seventh in 2016, third in 2015 and second in 2014 after being ranked 20th and 21st in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
Haley replaced Bruce Arians in 2012 as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh where the Steelers have averaged the third most yards per play since. In the last four seasons Pittsburgh ranked behind only the Patriots in scoring but Haley also had a pair of prolific weapons – receiver Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell along with a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, whom he reportedly clashed with.
Outside of Josh Gordon, who finally returned from an indefinite suspension that cost him 2 full seasons to play the final 5 games of the season, the Browns possess no such weapons as they embark this offseason on yet another quest to solve their revolving quarterback problem.
Jackson did not hire an offensive coordinator when he took the job in 2016, choosing to handle the play-calling duties himself, but after a winless season that has dropped the franchise to historically awful levels of futility and ineptitude, he’s had a change of heart.
The hire comes as the Browns kick their draft preparation into gear along with the rest of the NFL at the Senior Bowl in Alabama where quarterbacks Josh Allen of Wyoming and Baker Mayfield of USC will play for the North team.
Cleveland owns the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Jackson also interviewed Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan and former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the job.