Early in camp, Browns coach Hue Jackson and Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley had an awkward exchange, which ended up being one of the key moments of the first episode of Hard Knocks. On Sunday, Jackson was asked about the debate regarding giving players days off from practice.
“I am glad that you brought that up,” Jackson said. “[W]hy have we not had any soft tissue injuries? . . . For the last two years, we have not had any soft tissue injuries. I think I said that day it was because our medical staff and myself, we put a plan together to make sure that the guys — we have very good data that says that if a guy is very close, and people do not get that two days from then they are going to pull and there is a good chance that they will pull.
“We have done this now for two years, and we have had really good success. I do not think that Todd meant anything by it. I just think that he meant from his feeling, he has been at different places and everybody has a different way of doing things. It is just how we do it here, and it works for us. The most important part is that we keep our players healthy. If we end up losing somebody, they will not be out here practicing. There was no animosity or anything like that. It was not a back and forth between Todd and myself. Todd gets it, trust me. That has never come up again. I want our guys to ask questions about those things. Once I explain them, then we move forward. That is just the way it works. It is a great thing.”
Here’s what’s not a great thing: The Browns are 1-31 during Jackson’s tenure. So how can he say that going easy on players in order to avoid soft-tissue injuries “works” when he doesn’t know how much better than 1-31 his team possibly would be if players were expected to practice more frequently and intensely, acknowledging that maybe some players would end up with injuries?
That’s the ultimate problem with Jackson’s argument. Nothing he has done in two years has worked. So maybe now is the time to make like George Costanza and do the opposite.