The Browns have lost 10 games in a row, and they’re staring at a winless season. Apparently, coach Hue Jackson will be back for 2017, even if the Browns join the Lions as the only teams in league history to go 0-16.
“We want a team of people that are going to be here for a long time,” executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown told a small group of reporters on Monday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The quote appears after a characterization from Cabot that Brown said Jackson is safe. But there’s no quote from Brown that Jackson is safe, even if the Browns lose their next six games.
Even if Brown said it, would it matter? If the Browns go 0-16, only two people will decide whether significant changes are made: Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Surely, they prefer not to make decisions about hypotheticals that may never come to pass, especially since they hope just as surely that 0-16 will never come to pass.
Only if/when it does will the question of Jackson’s job security become relevant. At that time, everyone who doesn’t own the team will be spending a day or two worrying about whether fan and media reaction to one of the most humiliating seasons in league history — and definitely the low-water mark for the Factory of Sadness — will compel the Haslams to once again retreat to square one.
Which means that no one will be safe, at least not until ownership decides after 0-16 happens that the Browns will stay the course.