First rift emerges between Hue Jackson, Browns sports science experts

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The Browns have cobbled together a potentially mismatched mashup of football personnel, and a strong emphasis on analytics and sports science possibly conflicts with coach Hue Jackson’s more old-school, qualitative-over-quantitative approach. The first sign of a schism already has emerged, over the issue of padded practices in training camp.

“Honestly, they got kind of mad at me,” Jackson told reporters on Tuesday regarding the sports science staff, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’ll be very honest with you. We had a very candid conversation where they said, ‘Hue, you might want to double-check your padded days schedule.’ I told them, ‘No.’ I know how to take care of a football team. I get a feel for when the guys, when we’re pushing them a little too far and we need to reel it in.”

It makes sense, because ultimately there’s only one way to prepare football players to play football well.

“We’re only going to build our football through playing football and good football teams play football, real football,” Jackson said. “They line up and they go after each other and they come out and they do it again the next day and somewhere in there, Coach Jackson’s got to be smart enough to say, ‘OK, that might be enough. We need to pull off.’ That’s part of being the head coach as well and it’s part of having a sports science team. I’m sure they’ll give me all the statistical data that you can to forewarn me, but I’m going to trust my instincts on that one and see if we can get our team to be the best that they can be.”

One definitely low-tech, non-scientific method for getting the team to be the best it can be will include the use of a siren.

“The siren is not for the health ward to come,” Jackson said. “It’s not for that. It’s just for, we’re going to put the ball down and it’s kind of everything goes. We go after it. You’ve got to teach your team how to play football. That being said, it’s also about being smart. We’ve got to be smart because we’re not trying to get any guys injured. . . . We’re not trying to do that, but I don’t know any other way to get better at playing football other than playing football the way you truly play football. I think I’ve broached that with our players. I think they understand it and I think they’re accepting of it because, again, at the same time, they understand it’s what it’s going to take to get us to where we need to be.”

Surely, there will be other differences of opinion between the sports science employees and Jackson. It’s a safe bet that Jackson will consistently be the rock to the sports science scissors.

28 responses to “First rift emerges between Hue Jackson, Browns sports science experts

  1. Smart coaches and GMs would take all analytics as input. Doesn’t mean you use it verbatim, but it should be considered as part of any decision. More information is good.

  2. This us nothing -Just wait until the very non pc Hugh starts using his little practice drill by its original name of Smeer the Qu*er then you’ll really see the rifts emerge.

  3. “It makes sense, because ultimately there’s only one way to prepare football players to play football well.”

    Actually there are multiple ways, it’s just that the Browns haven’t been able to find any of them for a while.

  4. Yeah, this’ll end well. When their horrible season is over, the analytic guys will say Hugh didn’t follow their advice and Hugh will say the analytic guys interfered too much.

    So why do you bring in analytic guys and hire a coach who’s against that? Did no one bother to ask coach if he’d actually listen to the analytic guys?

  5. This “schism” is the best thing that could happen to the Browns. This moneyball crap is ridiculous and is completely not applicable to football. Then again this is the Browns and they’ll probably boot Hue Jackson before the MOneyball guys …

  6. I have never seen a team that is so dysfunctional!
    They need a solid GM to start with, and the ownership needs to let him do his job, secondly they need to approach a true rebuilding job and realize there will be 2-3 losing years! Minnesota is a prime example of how it needs to be done today. Totally stripping a Coaching staff every other year isn’t going to do it.
    First thing I would do is try to pick Assistant Coaches from a winning team AND their Scouts.
    It is pitifully obvious the Browns current Scouts have no clue.
    I really feel for the Browns fans, remember the browns were Elvis favorite team….lol

  7. With a GM in place, Hue won’t be able to give away draft picks to the Bengals in exchange for a job (Carson Palmer trade).

    Maybe he can lose to them twice a year, instead.

  8. “…there’s only one way…”

    Right. There’s only one way to do anything, and that’s the way we have always done it. Progress is stupid, thinking is useless.

    See you at the top of the draft again next year, Browns fans.

  9. Pettine, Chud and Schurmer all ran soft camps and the results was a team that couldn’t tackle and wore out by the 3rd quarter.

  10. I’ll take analytics over gutalytics every day of the week.

    The antiquated mindset that leads to lines like “It makes sense, because ultimately there’s only one way to prepare football players to play football well” is what leads to people not trying to improve things.

    The day will come where the NFL never hits in practice. And coaches will have to adapt or they will get replaced.

  11. I was hoping this egomaniac wouldn’t take the HC position in Cleveland because I like the Browns.

    This is what he does, he creates trouble.

  12. Awesome! Can’t wait for the reports of DePo having linemen on a pitch count, er, play count. I can’t believe all the analytics defense. Sure it can be an “aid,” but it will not work anywhere near as effectively as it does in baseball in any other sport. Period.

  13. God forbid someone would listen to all information available and then make a calculated decision. you think BB, as much as I despise him, isn’t listening to every single shred of information to get an edge? oh and they are perennial winners, how about that. take a note Hugh (as well as most coaches in the NFL), you are not the all knowing Gods you think you are and might want to explore all avenues to help your team win, especially in cleveland.

  14. They BOTH have a point, and being that they have a forum to hear each other out, its a positive thing, whatever decision they come to.

    Hue might’ve have ‘won’ this issue, but I’m sure he heard the caution, and it will affect how he proceeds, for the better.

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