Hue Jackson gets positive early returns from players

AP

The offseason program is still fairly young in Cleveland, but players who were with the Browns before Hue Jackson was hired have seen and heard enough from him to already be impressed.

“Hue, he is one of the most consistently positive personalities that I have ever been around,” linebacker Paul Kruger told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s player, coach or whatever, you name it. He is a guy that you hear, ‘Light a fire within you,’ that fire is more like a bonfire for him and it is constantly burning. That in turn catches everybody else.

“He has been able to really motivate me this year, and I think he has done it for a lot of guys. There is a very strong sense in our meetings of how good we can be and the positive direction that we are going. I think that is where he is different. He is not only an extremely intelligent offensive mind and has done great things in that way, but he is just a motivating personality that is a constant. It is not right before a game. It is not once a month, once a week. It is literally every day. That is inspiring to me, for sure, as a leader.”

Linebacker Barkevious Mingo agrees, wholeheartedly.

“He has been a guy who is showing up to workouts, he is cheering guys on and he is watching guys work out. He has just been there. The players, we like that,” Mingo said. “[H]e sees the hard work that you are putting in. He appreciates it. It is just like when we go out in front of the fans at FirstEnergy Stadium. You have somebody pulling you along, you can get that extra set. You can run that extra sprint. You can do whatever. It’s the same thing.”

Defensive lineman Danny Shelton’s comments on his new coach came close to amounting to criticism of Jackson’s predecessor, before Shelton caught himself.

“Really it’s a different environment,” Shelton said. “It’s a positive environment, an environment where we can go and not be scared to learn something new. It’s really a comfortable place for us to work now. I’m not saying that it wasn’t before, but just having a new coaching staff, a new defensive program, a new workout program it could cause some people to steer away and do their own thing, but I don’t really see that this year.”

Ultimately, a team’s success is driven by the quality of its players. But if the Browns can begin to compile talent and Jackson can get the most out of it, maybe things finally will change for the Browns.

At some point, they have to. Don’t they?