CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – On the same day people flocked to the nearest lottery terminal for their shot at $1.4 billion, Browns employees flocked to the lobby in Berea.
The Browns just hit their own jackpot.
Hue Jackson agreed to take over in Cleveland as the Browns next head coach Wednesday afternoon.
Led by co-owner Dee Haslam, Browns staffers waited in the lobby and then greeted Jackson with thunderous applause as he walked in the front door with Jimmy Haslam minutes after touching down in Cleveland.
Jackson, who stopped to thank them, expressed his excitement to take over the Browns and his desire to quickly get to work in a brief address.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jackson told them. “We’re going to chase greatness here, that’s for sure. That’s what we’re interested in doing. The AFC North, we want to win the division championship. We want to go to the Super Bowl and win that too. That’s what it’s all about.”
For once the Browns got the guy they wanted and avoided having to go to plans B, C or D as evidenced by the last 2 hires of Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine.
The former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator brings much-needed leadership and experience to a franchise that has been drifting along at sea for far too long.
Jackson, 50, comes to Cleveland with an impeccable resume.
The Jackson File:
NFL experience: 15 years
2016-present: Cleveland Browns (head coach)
2014-2015: Cincinnati Bengals (offensive coordinator)
2013: Cincinnati Bengals (running backs coach)
2012: Cincinnati Bengals (secondary/assistant special teams coach)
2011: Oakland Raiders (head coach)
2010: Oakland Raiders (offensive coordinator)
2008-09: Baltimore Ravens (quarterbacks coach)
2007: Atlanta Falcons (offensive coordinator)
2004-06: Cincinnati Bengals (wide receivers coach)
2003: Washington Redskins (offensive coordinator)
2001-02: Washington Redskins (running backs coach)
1997-2000: University of Southern California (offensive coordinator)
1996: University of California-Berkeley (offensive coordinator)
1995: Arizona State (quarterbacks coach)
1992-94: Arizona State (running backs coach)
1990-91: Cal-State Fullerton (running backs/special teams coach)
1989: University of Pacific (running backs/special teams coach)
1988: University of Pacific (wide receivers/special teams coach)
1987: University of Pacific (graduate assistant)
He has worked his way up the ranks starting in 1987 as a graduate assistant at Pacific and stayed in the college ranks for 13 years before the Washington Redskins hired him in 2001 as a running backs coach.
Jackson has been an offensive coordinator with 6 different teams – 4 in the NFL – Cincinnati (2014-15), Atlanta (2007), Washington (2003), Oakland (2010) as well as at USC (1997-2000) and Cal-Berkeley (1996).
Jackson has experienced success and failure professionally.
Jackson was promoted to head coach of the Raiders in 2011 before being fired and taking an assistant job back in Cincinnati where he worked his way back up the coaching ranks again replacing Jay Gruden in 2014 as the team’s offensive coordinator.
He was instrumental in the Bengals turnaround as an assistant in Cincinnati where he worked with Chad Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. They became the first duel 1,000-yard receivers in a single season in franchise history. He worked with quarterbacks Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Carson Palmer in Oakland, Andy Dalton in Cincinnati helping all 3 reach their potential.
Jackson has been promoted and demoted. He’s dealt with building, losing, dysfunction and winning.
Those that ask, “Why on earth would Jackson take this job,” he knows exactly what he is walking into. That alone makes him the most qualified and most equipped to attempt to lift the Browns out of the basement where they’ve sat for nearly 2 decades.
Jackson and the Browns have a long way to go to ascend the divisional standings but being able to lure him away from a division rival and intrastate foe is one gigantic step in the right direction.