Twenty years ago, the old Browns fired a coach who in his second try would become one of the best coaches of all time. Now, the new Browns hope that the second try given to former Raiders coach Hue Jackson will bear only a fraction of the fruit that the Patriots have harvested with Bill Belichick on board.
Although the talent remains young, suspect, and/or unproven, there’s reason to believe the Browns are on the right track under Jackson. Apart from an infectious enthusiasm and relentless drive, Jackson possesses a rare blend of the two most important qualities any NFL coach can have.
As one veteran Browns player told me during training camp, Jackson has a high level of X-and-O football knowledge and keen people skills. “Few coaches possess both,” said the source.
And so this rare combination will now join forces with a franchise that rarely has been successful since Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 and it returned as an expansion operation in 1999. This year, it will be a tall order to compete with the likes of the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals. By 2017, the Browns could be in the process of shaking up the AFC North — if ownership is willing to give Jackson time to let his vision for the team unfold.
It could start as soon as today. With some thinking the Browns won’t win a game this year, MDS and I agree that the Browns will steal one from the Eagles, to begin the season 1-0.