Days after he was fired after two and a half seasons as the Browns’ head coach, Hue Jackson said today that the team could already be successful if only they’d done things his way from the beginning, when he was first hired in 2016.
“Had we been doing in year one what I was able to get us to do in year three, there’s no question we would already be a winning football team. You can’t go 1-15 or 0-16 and have people like you unless you come out and explain to everyone that you’re going to lose. And you can’t say that publicly,” Jackson told Cleveland.com.
“We passed on three franchise QBs the first two years in Wentz, Watson and Mahomes,” Jackson said. “We played with a QB room with zero wins in the league. We played with street free agents and practice squad players in WRs. Yet our offense was the same or better than what we were doing this year. There is no way that should happen.”
Of course, it’s easy for Jackson to say that now, with the 20/20 hindsight of knowing that Wentz, Watson and Mahomes have all developed into franchise quarterbacks. But Jackson says he’s believed from the beginning that the Browns shouldn’t have waited until Year Three to find that franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield.
“You can’t pass on quarterbacks,” Jackson said. “You never pass on a potential franchise quarterback because you don’t know who’s going to be there in the future. I think Baker Mayfield is going to be a sensational player if they surround him with the right people, but they’ve got to give him help and run a scheme suited to his skill set.”
If Mayfield ever does become a sensational player, it will be under some other head coach.