That’s the quote from Browns coach Hue Jackson on Sunday regarding the completion of an 0-16 season — and the worst two-year stretch in NFL history, at 1-31. On Monday, Jackson elaborated on a remark that some viewed as a sign of defiance and delusion.
“When I said, ‘I don’t think any other coach would do that job,’ I am not trying to sound arrogant, flippant or anything like that,” Jackson told reporters. “I just think these situations are hard when you don’t win. When you are doing everything you can to win and it does not happen that way, I think those situations are hard. I don’t think the average person could go through that. That is what I meant by that. I think that is a tough situation to be in.”
Thank you for your service, Hue.
All due respect, what has Hue Jackson done that the “average person” couldn’t do? Hell, the “average person” with no coaching experience whatsoever would have been, at worst, only one game behind Jackson over the past two years.
Hue has survived a mess largely of his own making. Friends in the media have defended him blindly. An inept front office made it easier for Hue to win a power struggle with ownership. And ownership that is apparently still reeling from the criticism that comes from firing people too quickly has decided to finally keep a coach longer than it should.
Jackson has kept his job in large part because ownership believes that the losses aren’t his fault. Which means that ownership agrees with Hue’s subjective assessment that the talent isn’t there. Which made for one of the more interesting exchanges during Jackson’s Monday press conference, sparked by a question regarding defensive back Jason McCourty‘s belief that the roster has far more talent than 0-16 would suggest.
“I respect what Jason says,” Jackson said. “He is a player on the team who works extremely hard and has been in the National Football League. That is his opinion. I think you guys asked that right after the game. That is how he feels so I have to respect what he feels.”
So how does Hue feel?
“I do not want to get into the roster and if we are talented enough,” Jackson said. “We are 0-16 so I think to make it more than that and say the roster is or is not doesn’t do anything.”
More specifically, that topic doesn’t help Hue perpetuate the privately-pushed perception that the team stinks because the players stink, and not because the coach stinks.
Sorry, Hue. But in today’s NFL any team with a record of 0-16 over one year and 1-31 over two stinks in every way possible, coaching included.