BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson doesn’t believe he’s won anything following the firing of executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown Thursday.
At least that’s what he’s willing to say on record, in front of cameras, to reporters.
“I didn’t win a power [struggle],” Jackson said Thursday afternoon following practice.
In announcing Brown’s dismissal Thursday morning, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam also said that Jackson would return in 2018 as the team’s head coach.
“I’m not naive enough to understand that that could be me just as well,” Jackson said. “This is a performance based business, and I get it.”
The Browns are in the midst of failure and futility not known to the sport of professional football having won just 1 time in their last 28 games under Jackson with a roster of 53 players mostly assembled by Brown. Of the 64 players under the team’s control – which includes those on reserve lists – 52 were added in the last 2 years by Brown.
Jackson admitted the failure on the field with the youngest roster in the league didn’t just stop with Brown, or the front office.
“I’m just as big a part of it as Sashi is,” Jackson said. “Right now, we are a 1-27 football team. I take my responsibility in that, too. I have some things I have to work through and get better, as well. At the same time, I don’t think it all should go towards him. I think we all have to do our part and do it better.”
Jackson’s game management, handling of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, disagreements with Brown as well as the losing have defined his failures as a head coach since his arrival.
Regardless of his own shortcomings, Jackson maintains that he never feared for his job.
“I have always felt like I have had their support,” Jackson said. “My job is to coach this football team, try to get this team to where it needs to be and hold this group together and hold our coaching staff accountable to be the best we can be. It isn’t good enough right now.”
It was clear on Oct. 31 when Haslam backed Jackson’s desire to acquire quarterback AJ McCarron from Cincinnati against the wishes of Brown, that may or may not have led to the paperwork not being filed properly with the league office in time before the trade deadline expired, the marriage between Jackson and Brown was all but over.
“There are things that we all wish we could do better,” Jackson said. “I just want whoever that person is going to be to be somebody that understands the vision, exactly what we are trying to accomplish and what we want to accomplish here.”
Whoever is hired as the next general manager or top football executive will have to accept Jackson as their coach. And while Jackson does not want control of the 53-man roster, he wants input.
“I would like to know and be in concert with the person that will do those things,” Jackson said. “Whoever that person is is somebody that I would have to work very closely with and feel very comfortable with as we move forward.”
Since returning to the NFL in 1999 – and especially since the Haslams bought the team in 2012 – the Browns have perfected the art of losing, dysfunction and change.
Jackson was asked directly what it is going to take to finally end 2 decades of incompetence and pure madness that have engulfed the franchise.
“I think the most important part is the alignment,” Jackson said. “I know one thing that [Jimmy Haslam] really truly wants is collaboration, people working together – not that anybody wasn’t.
“We want people to want to be here and do it for a long time. At the same time – I’m going to say it again – this is a performance-based business. I get it. My performance, if you measure it by wins and losses, is not very good. At the same time, I am in charge with coaching this team and trying to do the best I can with what I have.”