Browns coach Hue Jackson insisted it was his decision to hire Todd Haley and relinquish play-calling duties to the new offensive coordinator.
“No, let me say this and let me go on record and you guys can write this: No one ever told me I needed to hire an offensive coordinator,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I could still be calling the plays for the Cleveland Browns. That is what I thought was best for us.
“I made a decision that I thought the best thing for me to do was to become the CEO of this organization in that way. No one forced me, no one asked me and no one told me I had to. This was my decision and what I thought was best for us moving forward. Did I lean on people to ask them advice? Yes, I did. Was John Dorsey one of those people? Yes, he was. Was Jimmy Haslam one of those people? Yes, he was. That is what you do. You use your resources, but nobody, no one, whether it is John or Jimmy, ever told me that this is what I needed to do. Nobody.”
Jackson called the plays the past two seasons.
The 0-16 Browns finished last in points this season. They were 24th in total offense.
“First of all, very thrilled to have Todd,” Jackson said. “I called Todd immediately after he was let go at Pittsburgh. Obviously I’ve said I was really going to take some time and contemplate putting the [offensive] coordinator on staff that I thought he had experience, had a winning pedigree, had a real desire to move an offense forward and somebody, honestly, that I thought could do the job at a high level. I talked to so many people going through this process, interviewed a lot of people.
“When somebody like Todd Haley becomes available, immediately your antennas go up. I called him right away, talked to him on the phone several times and set up a meeting for him to come to Berea and sit down and have a conversation, and I was even more impressed with the person and that we have similar beliefs on how to play offensive football. I’ve seen his work, coaching in the AFC North, competing against him when I was the head coach of the Raiders and he was the head coach of Kansas City.”