When Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was begging people to trust him after firing the last set of coaches and personnel men, he made sure to point out that his team had the second pick in the draft with which to find a quarterback.
But after not using that pick, and waiting until the third round to take Southern Cal’s Cody Kessler, Haslam’s signing a different tune, saying he trusts new coach Hue Jackson to make it work.
“His track record’s been pretty good,” Haslam said of Jackson, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “You all understand as well as we do the importance of that position. You just look at the teams that are really good in the NFL and for the most part they’re really good at that position.
“I think we have a head coach who understands talent at that position but equally as important how to coach them. You’re all at practice, and he’s coaching the quarterbacks hard every day, and I think that’ll make a difference over a period of time.”
Jackson has a good reputation for his work with quarterbacks, but this would be his most impressive bit of alchemy yet.
With Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown and Kessler, the Browns aren’t overburdened with talent — the kind of talent other teams were eager to trade up to acquire. Despite previously using that second pick as a sign of hope for a franchise that needs some, the Browns owner endorsed the pair of trade-downs that netted his team more picks but none until the 15th overall choice (which was used on Baylor wideout Corey Coleman).
“No, we had been talking about various opportunities since the end of the season and I think the guys did a really nice job of working through it and thinking things through,” Haslam said. “You all know the math as well as I do and when you trade out of the No. 2 pick, you get value and I think we turned the No. 2 pick into the No. 8 and then quickly the No. 15 pick into tremendous value and now the key thing is to use that value. . . .
“We got a lot of players,” he said. “When you count the defensive back [Jamar Taylor] we got from Miami, we got 15 players and I think what’s equally important is that we positioned ourselves well for the next two drafts, so we’re excited.”
They might not be good soon, but they have multiple picks in the first and second round next year and the second round in 2018, after all their trades.
So if nothing else, Haslam has more hope to sell in the future.