Hue Jackson: Browns ownership lied to me about rebuilding process

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Former Browns coach Hue Jackson accused Browns owner Jimmy Haslam of lying to him about the nature of the rebuilding process in Cleveland.

Jackson said on ESPN 850 in Cleveland that the extent to which the decision-makers would use analytics wasn’t disclosed to him when he took the job.

“There’s no doubt I was lied to by ownership and leadership of the team,’’ Jackson said, via “They were going to be football plus analytics, but it was football vs. analytics.’’

Jackson said he plans to publish a book about his experience in Cleveland, a story he says hasn’t been accurately told.

“I think I became the fall guy because that was the narrative . . . the truth needs to come out . . . for other minority coaches. They need to know the pitfalls out there. My story has affected some of their futures,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he signed a contract extension in the middle of the 2017 season, when the Browns were 0-8 and had gone 1-15 the year before. But Haslam wouldn’t announce the deal.

“I got a contract extension at 1-23, midway through the season,’’ Jackson said. “I wanted to go public with it, but the Browns didn’t.’’

There’s little doubt that Haslam deserves a fair amount of the blame for the Browns’ lack of success since he bought the team. But the reality is, a lot of coaches have come and gone since Haslam bought the Browns, and none has had as bad a record as Jackson.

38 responses to “Hue Jackson: Browns ownership lied to me about rebuilding process

  1. Rebuilding or not, lied to or not, if you watched Hard Knocks you could see that Hue was in way over his head and had no respect from his staff.

  2. HueJackson is the coaching version of that one guy at the bar who won’t shut up about his wife leaving him a decade ago.

  3. In all fairness to Jackson his hands were tied by the analytics people.
    He did a better job at his previous stops.

  4. Whether you’re an analytic follower or not, the net win/loss results are the final determining factor in which professional football teams, players and coaches are judged. He was “lied to” and didn’t get a fair deal? I’m not sure I would agree.

  5. Hue Jackson was a huuuge problem in Cleveland.

    We went from
    “when you go 1-15, 0-16….people forget you know how to coach” – Hue Jackson


    “I need to be a better coach for this team.”-Kevin Stefanski (Coach of the Year and 11-5 record as a rookie head coach.)

    This shows you how much leadership were lacking and Stefanski made it better for all us Browns fans.

  6. Some coaches are just better at being a co ordinator. Hue Jackson is a great co ordinator (Did an amazing job with Jason Campbell with the Raiders) but his ego got the better of him and he wanted a Headcoaching role

    Same for Norv Turner, great co ordinator, not a coach

  7. Hue is one of those guys where nothing is ever his fault. And let us never forget he was the same guy who was trying to undermine his assistant coaches ON CAMERA during Hard Knocks.

  8. I’m sure the PFT peanut gallery will shoot me down, but Hue was a good coach. The work he did in oakland with Jason Campbell at QB was great, but then the ill-fated Carson Palmer team messed up their team chemistry.

    I don’t think he’s a bad coach. He might be a tough personality, but so are a lot of bosses.

    Overall, the proof is in the pudding that the Browns dysfunction is great than Hue or any one player/coach. The Browns kind of futility is legendary.

  9. Etiquette 101 in how to leave a job – you don’t bash your former employer, no matter the circumstances. Not that there was even a sliver of possibility of this guy getting another HC job – but if there had been, this would have killed it. Dude just doesn’t get it. When you go 0-16 in a league that is deliberately set up for you to win eight games, that’s not on ownership – that’s on you, man.

  10. Hue was a victim of bad timing. He did a great job with what he had in Oakland but was fired after one 8-8 season simply because Al Davis passed away and the new GM wanted to hire someone for the sake of pride. Then he goes to Cleveland and the front office goes full tank mode as soon as he gets there. The tanking did get them a lot of foundational players, but it’s not a great spot to be in if you’re the head coach taking the fall for the tankathon years.

  11. It was football vs analytics because Hue’s version of football was of the charts horrible.

  12. I think I would rather read a book about how he was able to remain a head coach for as long as he did.

    That would probably contain more useful information.

  13. Hue would never have had the job if ownership didn’t force him onto the front office. At that time, the front office wanted to hire Sean McDermott but ownership went with Hue even though the front office didn’t want him. That is always a recipe for disaster and it certainly was in Cleveland. It’s like when an owner forces a team to draft a specific QB when the coaching staff doesn’t want him. How many times has that happened? Anytime an owner thinks he knows more football than his front office or coaching staff, the franchise will suffer… how bout them Cowboys!!!

  14. What is your record again? i was a loyal fan even when they were 0-16. This guy just doesnt get it and if you need proof watch Hard Knocks.

  15. I think Mogogo says it best. It is extremely telling: Jackson never takes the blame for anything, AND, he is the same guy, who, on Hard Knocks always knocked his own coaching staff. There is a clear pattern. Jackson is just not HC material. The track record does not need to be mis interpreted

  16. This clown was 8-8 and tried to stage a coup in Oakland during a press conference. Then he did the worst head coaching job in NFL history in Cleveland. Maybe he needs to shut up?

  17. I’m sure he has some legitimate gripes about his time in Cleveland, but he did sign a contract extension at 1-23. He still didn’t know at that time what he had commited to? He took the money, and stayed quiet while gettting paid, took no ownership of anything that happened, and can’t stop talking about it.

  18. My favorite part of the Hard Knocks series with the Browns was when Tyrod Taylor told Hue that he NEEDS to call out players for not showing effort. Tyrod told Hue to show the film and call them out for it. Hue didn’t know how to hold any one accountable and couldn’t lead himself out of a wet paper bag. It’s amazing he lasted as long as he did.

  19. Hue goes 2-5-1 and gets fired. The same team finishes the season 5-3. Guess what the problem was.

  20. This guy makes Freddie Kitchens look like a good coach. Classic good times from Freddie, 4th down and 29 lets go for it and then get a break and still call timeout.

  21. So the analytics people are the ones who refused to play Mayfield? I guess it’s the analytics fault that Hur had a huge ego and had to pull the “I’m in charge” card. Terrible coach.

  22. so now the head coach is no longer responsible for the team? good grief… “I was the fall guy”

  23. Hue: I hope your version of the truth includes what a historically horrible head coach you were in Cleveland…that’s the story that needs to be told…!!!

  24. Forget Mayfield being on the bench in 2018……Chubb was sitting next to him…..great coach.

  25. Nothing you can say Hue about some of the worse calls ever made by a coach. You are lucky you lasted as long as you did.

  26. So maybe we all got it wrong? Maybe he is a SB potential coach. We just don’t know about the lack of support?! 🥱

  27. Hue.has a problem w accountability and it has follwed him around. Watch 09 Hard Knocks w Cincy. He gave 2 firsts plus some for a retired Carson Palmer in Oakland in a move that hurt them longterm and in Cleveland was willing to give a 2nd and a 3rd for (journeyman) AJ McCarron. He even blames the front office for blowing that trade by not turning in the paperwork on time lol instead using hindsight to recognize someone did him a favor. Come on Hue.

  28. Hue’s time in Cleveland was a disaster, and as is often the case, it’s not all about one person. Haslam is a terrible owner who interferes too much, and makes decisions like forcing them to draft Manziel.

    The whole “football vs. analytics” thing will always be a disaster. You can’t run a team based on statistics, and you can’t coach a team while ignoring what the analytics people are saying. They’re all supposed to be working together.

  29. “There’s little doubt that Haslam deserves a fair amount of the blame for the Browns’ lack of success since he bought the team. But the reality is, a lot of coaches have come and gone since Haslam bought the Browns, and none has had as bad a record as Jackson.”

    Well considering the team was tanking for draft picks under Sashi Brown that seems like the logical result, Jackson can’t be blamed for that. No one questioned Kyle Shanahan when he said pretty much the exact same thing for why he begged the Browns to let him out of his contract as OC in 2014 that the Browns ownership were sabotaging the head coach (and has since coached in Superbowls) but with Hue for some reason he gets the blame. There’s a reason coaches used to turn down offers to interview for Cleveland in that era. Unfortunately Jackson was desperate for a head coaching job and destroyed his career by attaching himself to a sinking ship whose owner put the holes in himself (for the second time).

    When they weren’t tanking the other coaches under Haslam included Rob Chudzinki that had 4 wins and Freddie Kitchens who had 6 wins with an all star team and both were one and done so the opinion over how bad Jackson was as a coach has always been exaggerated. The Browns knew it would be easy to throw him under the bus to take the heat off themselves and the responses here prove that they were correct in that assumption. Almost like the Browns ownership come from a family of politicians (spoiler alert they do).

  30. 1. If you pay me millions a year, with a long guaranteed contract, for a position I am unqualified for, then I won’t be mad if you fire me. I will quietly count my money.

    2. If he was a competent HC then how come no one wants him.

    3. Lets say the analytics pinched a little, the team still under performed with him as HC. All jobs have annoying part to them, suck it up.

  31. Let’s not forget that Hue Jackson refused to run the ball when the running game was the most successful part of their offense. Instead he wanted DeShone Kizer throwing the ball 40 times a game. Hue Jackson wanted to be praised for being an offensive genius instead of just running the ball which was working.

    Let’s not forget that Sashi Brown had to pretend that he didn’t know how to make a trade because Hue convinced Haslem that they needed to trade a second rounder for AJ McCarron.

    And let’s not forget that after every loss, Jackson blamed his players lack of talent while patting himself on the back for getting them to play hard.

    I get that Hue doesn’t want to look in the mirror but he was a bad head coach.

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