Browns coach Hue Jackson admits he didn’t want to see Joe Haden on the opposite sideline Sunday.
But he denied a report that he was “irate” over the decision to cut the longtime cornerback, who got a game ball from the Steelers yesterday.
A report from CBS Sports pointed to the decision to cut Haden as evidence of dysfunction between Jackson’s coaching staff and Sashi Brown’s front office, but Jackson denied that.
“That did not come from me,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I think you guys know me well enough that if I feel something, I am going to say it. I don’t run from that. Me and the executive team are working lockstep, hand-in-hand. I don’t know where that came from. I trust Sashi and I trust our executive team to make the right decisions for this football team.
“I stand behind that whole-heartedly. Never wanted to see Joe go, but at the same time, we made the decision as an organization. I totally stand behind it.”
The Browns saved $11 million with the move, which came in handy after they ate $16 million on the Brock Osweiler deal for a second-round pick. And in looking at yesterday’s game, it’s hard to argue they’re better off on the field.
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 182 yards in the 21-18 Steelers win.
“Our guys had chances to make plays, and we didn’t make them,” said Jackson. “If Joe would have been here, he might not have made them either. We don’t know, but I don’t think that had anything to do with that. We had chances to make plays, and we have to make them.”
And while the Haden decision might not have been unanimous, the Browns can leave yesterday’s loss with some degree of hope considering the overall play of their defense and the progress of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.