Browns coach Hue Jackson had enough. Enough losing, enough frustration, enough of Cincinnati’s offense ramming the ball down Cleveland’s throat on Sunday.
And so Jackson eventually ditched his headset and delegated the task of calling offensive plays to offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Jackson did it so that he could give the team’s struggling defense a piece of his mind.
“I took them off,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I called the team out. Yeah, I was disappointed because I don’t want anybody running the ball like that on us. We’ve got to get some things squared away, but I take responsibility for it all. It’s not our players; we’ve got to fix some things and keep working on some things and we will.”
Meanwhile, Jackson will be subject to giving in to basic human emotions.
“I can get disappointed,” Jackson said. “I don’t like where we are as a football team, and this is my responsibility, so, at the end of the day in my mind, I have to find a way to fix it — and as fast as I can as best I can, so that’s what I have to do. . . . I keep telling you guys — I’m not discouraged. I’m disappointed in losing. I’ve never lost like this. But I’m going to find a way [to win], I promise you that. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I’m going to find a way and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
The Browns have nine more chances to get a win, with not many clear chances left on the schedule. The Jets, who come to town on Sunday, have the worst record of the team’s remaining foes, at 2-5. The remaining schedule also includes two games against Pittsburgh, another against Baltimore and Cincinnati, and contests against the Cowboys, Giants, Bills, and Chargers.
In other words, maybe Brian Billick shouldn’t have backed off.
But even if the Browns go 0-16, better times are coming. I promise you that. I just don’t know when and, for now, I don’t know how.