Browns coach Hue Jackson didn’t have an offensive coordinator in 2017. He now has one, and it’s hardly the kind of right-hand man that many offensive-minded head coaches often hire.
Instead, Haley will call the plays. That’s a major concession for Jackson, one that the circumstances suggest may not have been voluntary.
Jackson, who was both coach and de facto offensive coordinator last year, essentially has given up one of his jobs. It’s fair to ask whether it was his idea, or whether the idea was impressed upon him.
At one point, a report surfaced that new G.M. John Dorsey would be hiring the offensive coordinator. Jackson naturally bristled, but who’s to say this ultimately wasn’t Dorsey’s call?
If it wasn’t his call, it would be hard for him to push back. With Jackson serving in both capacities, the Browns didn’t win a single game. Now, he has a proven and successful coordinator, who also took the Chiefs to the playoffs in his time as a head coach.
The arrangement definitely will help the Browns. (And it definitely can’t hurt.) But it will be important for Jackson and Haley to get along, and for both to have a consistent, reasoned, and thorough approach to the development of a quarterback, whoever it may be. Jackson can’t be saying one thing while Haley says another, and neither can be saying negative things about the other, ever.
Much has been said about the respective abilities of Jackson and Haley to get along with others in the past. This could be in many respects their biggest test yet. To pass it, they need to realize that if they fail, they’ll fail together — and get fired together.