Hue Jackson defends Sashi Brown, says they’re “joined at the hip”

AP

The Browns may not be focused on wins and losses, but they’re currently focused on talking about whether they’re focused on wins and losses.

In the aftermath of comments from Browns executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown that created a stir given the implication that the Browns aren’t actually trying to win as many games as they can this year, Browns coach Hue Jackson offered a defense of his colleague and/or supervisor.

I wouldn’t think that Sashi meant it that way, just me knowing him,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Sashi is as competitive as anybody I know, and we are all trying to win. I don’t know any other way to do this, me personally. That’s all we ever talk about. I’m always trying to win. I just don’t know any other way to do it. I don’t want our players to know any other way to do it. . . .

“I know him very well and he’s as competitive as anybody. I know this is honestly killing him and all of us, but at the same time, we understand what we’re trying to do, where we’re trying to go, but I don’t want anyone to have the message that we don’t want to win or that we’re not working to win or that we’re  not trying to win because that’s not the case at all.”

Jackson, responding to a report of tension in the organization, added that he’s joined at the hip with Brown. The coach may want to reconsider that one, given the reaction in some circles to Sashi Brown’s remarks.

Said an unnamed high-level NFL executive to Cabot, “I’ve never heard any competitive leader in any sport say that in my entire life.”

Another source told PFT, “How do you think the league office is reacting to that? And we are trying to figure out why fans are running away from the game.”

While Brown’s comments may be troubling to some, they’re practical and understandable. No one expected the Browns to make the playoffs this year. So why not treat all of 2016 as a pre-preseason to 2017? With a never-ending quest to find a franchise quarterback, drafting as high as possible will enhance the likelihood that they finally obtain someone who will spend more than a year or two (or, as the case may be, a game or two) at the position.

There’s a fine line between not focusing on wins and losses and tanking, and it would be foolish to assume NFL teams don’t tank. The 2014 Buccaneers apparently did in Week 17 against the Saints, which secured for Tampa Bay the first overall pick in the 2015 draft and, in turn, the rights to quarterback Jameis Winston.

If a team isn’t going to qualify for the postseason, why not finish as high as possible in the draft order? It’s a temptation that has been hiding in plain sight for years, and it should eventually prompt the NFL to implement a draft lottery.

For now, the better approach would be discretion. Regardless of whether the Browns are 10/16th of the way through a full-season tank, certain things shouldn’t be articulated.

14 responses to “Hue Jackson defends Sashi Brown, says they’re “joined at the hip”

  1. Why do the Browns get so much ink? For a team that has sucked for decades why do they get two three stories a day? The Broncos don’t get that kinda a print and they are defending SB champs….

  2. Oh, I see. Just like Pettine and Farmer were “singing in the same choir”. This crapfest of a franchise is beyond bad. They collectively are inept, incompetent, delusional, pathetic, and much more. Maybe the Browns need a new owner and a new city for things to change. As for me, I’ve been a Browns fan since 1964. There are no words to describe how this pile of dung denigrates and embarrasses what was once the best franchise in the NFL.

  3. Someone should really let these baseball people know that there are not 162 games in a season…..although if there were 0-162 would be very possible

  4. I understood what Sashi Brown was trying to say. Basically this year noone is holding their breath trying to make the playoffs. To keep the vision and have patience is going to be the most difficult thing ownership is going to do.

    Oakland had 3 miserable seasons and finally last year they were 7-9. Now they are doing OK, but Mark Davis had to make that tough decision to keep Reggie Mckenzie in place.

    For all the criticism Cincinnati gets they do have a structure and have been getting into the playoffs for years with Marvin Lewis holding down the fort.

    Jimmy Johnson went through a miserable 1-15 season for the Cowboys. Trust me everyone wanted him gone.

  5. Eh, people are just piling on, as they typically do with the Browns, Jags and other perennial losers. For what its worth, Sashi Brown wasn’t talking about tanking. What he meant was that the front office would not rely on the W/L record in 2016 to determine whether or not the 1st year of their “moneyball” rebuild was a success, and whether Hue Jackson is the right Head Coach. He was trying to say Hue is safe, though Haslam’s history says otherwise. Though it’s doubtful they’d admit it, its likely they expected to lose a lot of games this year. Their strategy was to rebuild from ground zero, with a team that is as young and cheap as possible in the hopes that the game reps would uncover a gem or 2 and the money/draft picks could be used to stock the roster for future years. Internally, its likely that they’ll judge 2016 based on player development. Ultimately it may not matter though, as Haslam could blow it up again and chase a “name” Head Coach this offseason.

  6. Wheres the baseball guy?? He sure has been quiet since his brilliant Wentz comments….. maybe he is on the other hip and the 3 will all do there time and then the cycle will all start over with whoever wins the Stanley Cup running the team…hockey is more like football…

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