The Browns have absorbed plenty of criticism over the past week for letting four key players leave via free agency — and for not replacing them with key players from other teams. Through it all, the Browns have largely been quiet.
On Friday, Browns coach Hue Jackson defended the team’s approach in an interview with NFL Network conducted at the University of California Pro Day workout.
‘There’s a been a lot of things going on within our organization,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’m very proud of the direction and the things that we’re doing. You know, there’s a process and a plan to everything you do and sometimes people don’t understand but I’m OK with that because I know exactly where we’re headed and what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
His comments conflict with buzz from the players, who as one source recently told PFT were under the impression things would be different than they’d been in the recent past. The franchise has developed a bad habit of letting important contributors walk away. Before receiver Travis Benjamin, safety Tashaun Gipson, center Alex Mack, and tackle Mitchell Schwartz left, the Browns opted not to keep players like safety T.J. Ward, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, and defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard and Ahtyba Rubin.
Still, what else is Jackson going to say? He has to project confidence as the Browns apparently embark on a full-blown rebuild, and he has to hope that owner Jimmy Haslam will show more patience in the near future than he has in four years of owning the team.