Hue Jackson plans to call plays, not hire an offensive coordinator

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Browns coach Hue Jackson made his reputation in coaching as an offensive play caller, and he doesn’t want to give that up.

Jackson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he doesn’t plan to hire an offensive coordinator and will call the Browns’ plays.

“Right now in my mind, I don’t really plan on having an offensive coordinator, because I want to reserve that right to call plays,” Jackson said, via “That’s something that’s gotten me this job, so it’s something that you’re an expert at. You want to continue to work at that and keep that in your pocket so you can use it to help your team.”

Jackson spent five years as an offensive coordinator in two spots at the college level, and has spent a total of five years as an offensive coordinator for four different NFL teams. So he’s surely up to the task of calling the Browns’ offensive plays.

Still, it’s surprising that Jackson isn’t going to give an assistant the offensive coordinator title. In 2011, when Jackson was head coach of the Raiders, he made Al Saunders his offensive coordinator. Most teams give an assistant the coordinator title even if the head coach is going to call the plays. On a Browns team that is radically changing the structure of its front office this offseason, Jackson is also changing the structure of the coaching staff.

94 responses to “Hue Jackson plans to call plays, not hire an offensive coordinator

  1. ….and this is why you may be in over your head as a head coach… There is more than play calling for a offensive coordinator….. Hue, if you’re preparing the game each week as an offensive coordinator, who is acting as head coach??
    Glad the Niners did not win his services..

  2. and we saw how good ole mischue Jackson was at calling the plays against the 31st ranked secondary in the nfl last Saturday night against the steelers. Only 2 first downs the whole 1st half. Embarrassing! Another bad hire by the stains.

  3. He’ll hire one. Very soon he’ll realize there’s too much nonsense to fix on that team and time to develop a game plan will be scarce.

  4. Between playing offensive coordinator, calling plays and getting his toe nails done, not going to be much time for head coaching….

    Epic failure incoming.

  5. First play to call is to send Johnny Headcase packing.. What a waste of a pick, person etc… He’ll be a analyst for the Saturday football league. Get out of here. I booed the pick when they made it and I guess I was right.

  6. lingsun54 says:
    Jan 16, 2016 7:24 AM
    Holmgren used to call the plays in Green Bay. Sherm Lewis was the Offensive Coordinator It can work.


    It’s not the head coach calling the plays that’s unusual, it’s the fact that he’s not going to name someone as OC in title only.

  7. In other words, he’s going to have nothing to do with defense and special teams since he won’t have the time, and he’s not actually going to be a real head coach.

  8. Sure I guess it could work. But there are many HCs who tried to be OCs or DCs at the same time, and were ineffective. The HC needs to be the overall coordinator of the team, which is often impossible if they’re concentrating on being a DC or OC too. Both roles take too much from just one person.

  9. This lines up with the recent report about hiring Kirby Wilson to be the “Running Game Coordinator.” Presumably, there would also be a “Passing Game Coordinator.” So, essentially, there wouldn’t be one offensive coordinator, there would be two, with Jackson taking the input of each and calling the plays himself.

  10. Do any of the remaining 8 playoff teams have a head coach that calls the plays on either side of the ball? not sure but I don’t think so (thumbs down if i am wrong please)

  11. This doesn’t sound like the same guy complaining on Mike & Mike that minority coaches don’t get enough opportunities at the top level jobs. Put your money where your mouth is, Hubris Jackson. Not always as cut and try as you think is it? Hmmmm.

  12. Jarred Goff. The Browns would be dumb to pass him. His efficiency against the pass rush, and his accuracy on deep balls, is excellent. Hue has done great with all the QB’s he has coached.

  13. I like him, I hope he’s successful.. But this is a new job with more responsibility .. HC have called plays on offense and defense but they’ve had coordinators.. i don’t like reading he’s not going to hire an OC.. Seems like a poor decision

  14. What a you do is get a great running game coordinator/O Line coach like Mike Bloomgren from Stanford to call your running plays and give him the Offensive Coordinator title.

  15. Yea but can he formulate the game plans each week and call plays as well ? I don’t think he realizes how much is on a head coach . This seems like a recipe for trouble . I totally get him wanting to have his hands on the play calling but not hiring an OC is a mistake .

  16. That’s what got him his job, because he is a really good offensive play caller. I don’t think any fans should be nervous about that because he already has head coaching experience so he understands time management

  17. If he wants to be OC, he should be OC. It’s a full time job by itself. Head Coach however has lots of other responsibilities, and in Cleveland’s case that task is even larger right now. This sounds like more of an ego thing, and not what the Browns need.

  18. With such a dysfunctional franchise, it’s easy to say ‘same old Browns’ with this somewhat radical approach but, if this works, they will go down as innovators and being way ahead of the curve. It’s the perfect storm for this type of new business model. Really, what do they have to lose?

    There are enough parts on this team to become competitive and there is finally a guy in the coaching seat who won’t be submissive to people who don’t know what they’re doing because he’s in fear of losing his job. You can bet that when Hue Jackson says he needs a big receiver and a QB that can launch the ball downfield he’s going to get it. Exciting times may lie ahead for Cleveland, a city that deserves a winning football team.

  19. If Jackson gets rid of Johnny Manziel…big mistake.
    If Manziel goes to Dallas as a large amount of so-called Browns fans want, he will beat out Tony Romo as the starting QB…why more talent.

  20. This just makes sense to me. I never understood why coordinators that got their HC jobs based on their performance in their prior job would either give up or be significantly less involved in what made them successful in the first place.

  21. indymarc says:
    Jan 16, 2016 7:25 AM

    And the QB receiving these plays will be???
    Screwed, since they have no RB or WR’s.

  22. And the QB receiving these plays will be???

    The Browns should “retire” the #2 jersey for completely different reasons than the traditional. Cut him. Close the book. Move on.

  23. This is one of the few things i agree with that he has said and done as HC so far

    He’s been there 3 days…lighten up.

  24. I thought this organization was going to start using analytics to determine the best way of doing things. Now we’re already back to “new head coach comes in and does everything the same way he’s been doing it for the past 20 years.” Oh well, it’s nice to see that the coach and the analytics team were on the same page for, oh, about two minutes.

  25. You can still hire an OC to help with other things. At very least an extra pair of eyes upstairs on game day. No OC sounds dumb to me.

  26. I dont see why him calling plays would preclude him from hiring an OC. If Im the HC of the Browns I want all the help I can get.

  27. Giant mistake.

    If he’s the OC and the HC, who runs the offensive meeting on Thursday when he’s meeting with the defense to go over their game plan? Or are they dismissed? Lifting weights? Or when they lose a game 45-38, does he tell the press “Well, I run the offense and FILL IN THE BLANK runs the defense, so you’ll need to ask him what happened.”

    He needs someone as a coordinator level to run the room when he’s not there.

  28. Everyone needs to relax. He’s been on the job for 3 days. Let’s see how his coaching staff actually shakes out BEFORE you know-it-alls condemn the guy. ANYTHING is better than Pettine.

  29. Just marking his territory for now. Just like every new president comes in and says I’m going to do this and that but once in the Oval Office they come back with I didn’t know just how dysfunctional it was.
    So he makes bold statements now and cuts back as needed. Time will reveal all.

  30. At first blush, this decision seems in step with the megalomaniac he seemed to be in Oak. Hope he learned something from that experience, but this seems to say he didn’t. Both roles are full time-and-a-half positions. How one person can fill it effectively doesn’t seem realistic.

  31. This is exactly why he was fired in Oakland! Power goes to this guy’s head and he is not good enough for it

  32. Taking offensive play-calling duties might not be a bad thing – I’ll concede that Jackson is good at that. But Browns fans should worry about the over-priced FAs he’ll bring in and the draft picks he’ll trade away for questionable compensation when Jackson goes on his inevitable “I’m the GM” power-trip. However the ridiculous crap that Hue spews out at his press conferences will rival Rex Ryan’s.


    Raider fan who’s seen this

  33. I think he’ll need to hire someone for the role, however, because there’s a lot of admin work for the head coach. It can work but his time will be stretched thin.

  34. I love all the people talking like they’ve been an NFL head coach before, you know, like Jackson has been in one of the more dysfunctional situations in Oakland on top of it. Pretty sure he knows what time management he’s going to have to put into it. Seeing that 3 of the new coaches backstabbed their HC and got promoted, I’d call my own plays too if I was really good at it like he is. The guy was an OC for like 4 different teams in the NFL and only got to call plays for 2, one because Al Davis pulled rank in that situation. So I think he knows that most coaches out here can’t be trusted unless they’re really close friends of yours, and I’m thinking most of his really close friends that happpen to be good coaches are otherwise contractually obligated in Cincinnati and Minnesota. Lovie Smith and Tom Coughlin (and possibly Ken Whisenhunt too) watching their OCs take their jobs when they were on the staffs just proved why most of these guys stick to the people they personally know.

  35. Was he fired in Oakland because he had the best w-l in years, before and after him? Delegation? Some folks don’t know much about this.

  36. Hue is showing his power hungry/ control freak tendancies again. Some of that caused him trouble in Oakland. If he wants to oversee the offensive gameplanning, that’s fine. But HC has more responcibilities than that. Overseeing the WHOLE team. The Devil is in the details Hue!

  37. zampft says:
    Jan 16, 2016 8:18 AM

    Do any of the remaining 8 playoff teams have a head coach that calls the plays on either side of the ball? not sure but I don’t think so (thumbs down if i am wrong please)
    Ah, yeah, McCarthy calls the offensive plays in Green Bay.

  38. “That’s something that’s gotten me this job, so it’s something that you’re an expert at. You want to continue to work at that and keep that in your pocket so you can use it to help your team.”

    Already talking about himself in the 3rd person. This does not bode well.

  39. Hey Browns! McCarron is available for a couple top picks. Hue will be a Bengals assistant in 2017.

  40. The Browns gotta stick with Hue for a few years. Let the growing pains happen. I don’t know if he’s a great coach or not (always seems to be some buzz around the guy), but they need some continuity, somewhere.

    If it’s another year-and-a-half-and-out-the-door coaching hire, gotta suspect owner Jimmy Haslam is still a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

  41. Well if this doesn’t work out next year he can go to the Bills and give Rex a foot……..errr I mean a hand.

  42. Not smart but not surprising. I’m a bengals fan but these pundits are way off base calling Hue a genius and this a great hire. He’s a very good coach with a huge ego and bigger mouth that makes a lot of very questionable play calls.

  43. Foolish. Another big ego guy that will fail I’m afraid. Hey in todays game with red flags, replays, clock management and communications crap going on, the head coach needs to be the center of it all not distracted by play calling and game strategy. Hire someone who can do that and do it well and manage the dam game. aka Mike McCarthyism.

    Play calling and doing it all is way above his mental abilities.

  44. This guy loves to stroke his own ego. It reminds me of that bizarre press conference in Oakland when he made that gigantic power play. He better have a hell of a Defensive coordinator if he plans to handle the offensive responsibilities by himself. He would have been better off hiring a guy like Philbin to handle the coordination stuff during the week and then still call the plays himself on game day.

  45. I always gave an upper hand to the coach with the defensive mind set not offensive. They spend too much time on only one side the ball and blow off defense. Ya they are scoring points and giving up a lot of points too.

    Zimmer understands you build that solid defensive team, bring in an offensive mind to run the offense and then you manage the game between the two of you. The Vikes were one kick from playing today. Maybe a couple of kicks from being in a super bowl.

    Notice his side the ball did a good job on the Sea Hawks but he was quick to fire the O coach. He knew which side lost the game.

  46. The Browns needed a decent QB to compete. They weren’t there yet but certainly Manzile was not the promissed child. They failed to get a QB and everything else just went to hell.
    Look at the teams in the playoffs today. Every one of them has a quality QB. Can’t get to this point without one.

    The team failed the fans in not shoring this up before the season. It ain’t like they didn’t have early draft picks.

  47. Yep, “control hungry” to call your own plays. Guess Bruce Arians and that genius backstabber Dirk Koetter are “power hungry” too since Arians does and Koetter will. Now, I’ve herd it all from Raider fans to keep spinning this when your subsequent coaches still haven’t hit his 8-8 watermark with the mediocre roster he had at the time. Maybe, just maybe you’re a little nervous that your management team that let an MVP candidate in Palmer and Jackson, who now has a team that was leading the AFC North pretty deep into last year before the Manziel circus started, go will continue proving you have buffoons running your team. I think that’s a pretty safe assumption to make.

  48. Whew, glad the Giants passed on him. It won’t work!


    He never made it to NY, but thanks for playing.

  49. clownsfan says:

    Everyone needs to relax. He’s been on the job for 3 days. Let’s see how his coaching staff actually shakes out BEFORE you know-it-alls condemn the guy.

    See how his staff shakes out? We already know he’s going to be his own OC, there’s nothing else to see.

  50. Oh, and btw, Pep Hamilton has apparently been offered to be the assistant head coach for him but just wouldn’t be calling the plays. Sounds pretty much like what Arians does and what Chip Kelly the dummy did in Philly with no one saying a word about it. But keep telling us how he’s going to fail Raider fans when he was by far your best coach in a looooong time, lol.

  51. Raider fans still posting negative comments about Hue. Facts are The Raiders were 8-8 when he was fired . Since Big doofus Reg fired him the Raiders have played some of the worst football in the NFL ever and still havent reached 8-8 since Hue Jackson left..

  52. Any plays he designs for Johnny FB should be named after drinks. That way he would study his playbook.

  53. Raiders fans – he did give up a lot for Palmer, but look what CP’s doing now. Not such a bad deal in retrospect.

    I was going to pull for whatever team he went to, but then he went to Cleveland. Good luck Hue, we’ll save a spot for you when Haslam gets his undies bunched for you not winning 12 games.

  54. And it begins Browns fans….

    I thought Hue might have changed since he’s been with the Raiders but his egos bigger than ever.

    6-10 and not Hues fault. Sadly, Browns fans will see that as a good season.

  55. “Power goes to his head and he’s not good enough for it.”

    Raiders haven’t been at .500 since there is something that isn’t good but it isn’t Hue.

  56. Not to rain on the parade in Cleveland but the assertion by some Browns fans that Hue Jackson was the “best Raider HC in a long time” or the “the only Raider HC to go 8-8 since 2002” is simply NOT true. Tom Cable also went 8-8 as Raiders HC the year before Jackson was elevated to HC. It should also be noted that Jackson lost 4 of his last 5 games as Raiders HC but instead of taking any personal accountability, he tried to pass blame on the players and assume total GM control…which may have been reasons for getting rid of him (aside from wrecking the roster with his trades). Just sayin’ .

  57. Do any of the remaining 8 playoff teams have a head coach that calls the plays on either side of the ball? not sure but I don’t think so (thumbs down if i am wrong please)
    By my count, the following current playoff teams gave coaches who call plays:
    -mike mccarthy
    -gary kubiak
    -bruce arians
    There may be others (Carroll? ), but this is enough evidence to demonstrate that Hue is making a solid decision.

  58. Hue just needs to hire a good QB coach and a good offensive line coach. Then the coaching staff will be set. That all means nothing of they blow it and don’t draft the right QB. There are three good ones coming out. One might end up being a HOFer. So at this point, I’d say his most important hire is going to be his personnel director.

  59. The Browns haven’t even played a down yet and some are
    anointing him the next great thing or bad hire based on his actions with the Raiders.

    At least give the guy a chance, sheesh.

    It’ll take more than a week on the job before free agency
    and the draft to “right that ship” in Cleveland and anyone
    with more than 2 marbles rollin’ around in their head knows
    that. That’s a 3-4 year job at a minimum and that’s if Haslam has the patience, (which he hasn’t had). :/

    87-185 since 1999.

  60. Hue will be solid. He will eventually hire an assistant but will still call the plays. He has no reason to provide any clues at his time so he’s playing mumm. Dont trip

  61. Todays coaches are control freaks who’ve neutered QB’s to the point that they can’t even form a huddle without input from the sideline. QB’s don’t THINK the way they used to. They’re just performing as an extension of the coaches. Perhaps this is a factor in why coaching jobs only last an average of 3 years today.

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