Buyout period over, Hue Jackson opts for candor

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Monday’s blunt, candid comments from former Browns coach Hue Jackson caused many to say, “Why now? Why, more than two and a half years after being fired by the Browns, now?”

The answer is simple. Jackson’s buyout ended with the 2020 season. If he’d said before the completion of the most recently completed season the things he said on ESPN 850, the Browns quite possibly would have stopped paying him, citing a violation of the terms of his contract.

It’s not an uncommon approach. Coaches and executives while still being paid by a former employer will say nothing derogatory about the team, on or even off the record. Once the buyout ends, the tune can change.

Rarely does the coach or executive do that, however, for two reasons. First, the passage of time usually makes the coach or executive less salty about what transpired. Second, the coach or executive realizes that saying bad things about a former NFL employer will make a prospective NFL employer less likely to become that person’s next former NFL employer.

Jackson, free and clear to speak without losing money from the Browns, remains both salty and unconcerned about the potential damage his words may do to his employment prospects — possibly because he has no employment prospects. Also, Jackson has written a book, and he’s quite possibly trying to find someone to pay him to publish it.

His performance as a coach could make that a hard sell. Thus, he needs to try to sell the notion that the unprecedented struggles of the Browns weren’t his fault.

The toughest part of Jackson’s case comes from the fact that, after going 3-36-1 in his 2.5-year tenure with the team, the Browns have gone 22-18. Even Freddie Kitchens, who clearly and obviously was unfit for the job, won twice as many games as Jackson despite having only one season as head coach.

Thus, it’s too late for Jackson to shift blame for the team’s failures on his watch. And it’s too hard to draw a bright line between the end of his disastrous tenure and the new era that dawned the moment the curtain fell on 3-36-1.

29 responses to “Buyout period over, Hue Jackson opts for candor

  1. Alternate headline, “Hue Jackson bets on book deal to net him pay that he will never again see as a HC.”

  2. Well said Mr. Florio. Hue Jackson, although he had a team bereft of talent, is a boob of a head coach. He needs to go ‘Drive the Bus’ someplace.

  3. I’m sorry but Hue deserves his fair share of the blame regardless of what he says did or didnt get promised by management. He and Todd Hailey’s relationship was laid bare for all to see the dysfunction in a relationship that should’ve been leading the teams offense and game plan. And that was just one instance of things not running smoothly under his watch. And it happened over and over. He has a big enough sample size id be surprised if he is ever an HC again in the League. Some guys aren’t good at the big chair he’s one in my opinion

  4. Hue Jackson and Mike McCarthy are two of the biggest BS artists out there. Jackson was an awful coach, everything is always everyone else’s fault. At least McCarthy is a mediocre coach masquerading as a good one.

  5. Hue failed as a coach in Cleveland. Tough circumstances not doubt, but you failed Hue.Life goes on, deal with it. No one wants to hear you whine, point fingers, and make excuses. Grow up, move on , and learn the lesson contained within that experience. Your whining makes you look worse and reduces the good feelings Cleveland fans ever had for you. Move on Hue…and good luck.

  6. He’s in quicksand. The more he fights to displace the blame from himself, the more he seems to sink. I have been over-promoted at work before. It’s a huge bruise to the ego to publicly fail. But, it’s even more harmful to your career to attempt to avoid accountability. Nobody is suggesting Cleveland wasn’t a total disaster during that time period. But the more Hue talks, ironically, the more blame he gets and more grace we give everyone else.

  7. Haslam is an awful owner who can’t put the right people at the top, leave them alone, and stay focused on what he’s good at (bilking trucking companies) and let others do what they’re good at.

    However, Hue Jackson might be the worst head coach in the history of bad coaches.

  8. Before I buy Hues book on Cleveland, I want to buy Kyle Shanahans 30 slide PowerPoint presentation he gave to Jimmy Haslem explaining how poor the organization was. This ultimately led to Haslem releasing Kyle from a 3 year contract with no penalty.

    Can’t wait for the 2012-2020 documentary on the Browns. It should be named 0 for 30.

  9. Jackson’s record needs to speak for itself to some degree, but the Browns organization is hardly a model of efficiency or success. For 20 years we’ve been saddled with bad, wishy-washy ownership. I can’t imagine coaching in that environment is easy, and it sure feels like the football people get hamstrung by all of Haslam’s other interfering nonsense. They did, after all, draft Manziel on his mandate.

    So why is Stefanski seeing success? Maybe someone finally has gotten Haslam to step back and let the football people do their thing? Plus, they’ve had good success with recent draft picks – including Mayfield, who a lot of people don’t like, but last year he showed he could get the INTs under control, which was fantastic.

  10. Do yourself a favor and Drop it man…. don’t do this to your family or yourself. The money train is over now get back to finding a coordinator role or a collage team…

    You were not a good head coach no matter what you feel may have been done against you.. we all saw the Hard Knocks show…. your players didn’t trust you or want to play for you…enough said get on with your life.

  11. 3-36-1 Hue! No one man should take the entire blame for that abomination of a record but the head coach has to be first and foremost in the cross hairs. Just re-watch any of those games during the 3-36-1 run and you will consistently see a team totally unprepared and questionable game management decisions time and time again. Angry, blaming, 3-36-1 coach just doesn’t play well!! Good luck with the book sales Hue.

  12. He’s a bum who won’t accept culpability. The world is full of them. Good luck to any team that hires this angry clown.

  13. “after going 3-36-1 in his 2.5-year tenure with the team, the Browns have gone 22-13. Even Freddie Kitchens, who clearly and obviously was unfit for the job, won twice as many games as Jackson despite having only one season as head coach.” -That’s really all that needs to be said. Jackson is just reminding us how bad his tenure in Cleveland was.

  14. Lied to or not, Hue didn’t get to work with Baker handing the ball to Chubb and Hunt. I’m not saying he wasn’t in over his head, but he certainly didn’t have the same talent level that the coaches after him did.

  15. Yes, the roster was bad. But I’d argue that the 2010 Browns were just as bad if not worse. Yet Eric Mangini found a way to beat the 14-2 Patriots and the 11-5 Saints. If you are at least a semi-competent coach, you find ways to win a few games even if you don’t have the greatest talent. Jackson proved incapable of outcoaching anyone.

  16. Hue has plenty of F you money. If he now wants to embark on an F You Tour, then he should have at it. PFT will give him his venue. And plenty of others as well. Besides, It’s not like he’s burning his legacy or anything.

  17. The worst part about this is how many non Browns fans are making completely untrue statements about this situation based on their one half season of following the team now that they’ve made the playoffs.

    Nothing Jackson said was A. untrue and B. not known to anyone who actually followed the team.

    The team that went 1-31 had 0 talent on it. I could have made that team and started and I’m almost 40 and haven’t played competitive sports in 20 years. Hugh was expected to win games with QB’s like Deshon Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. If you’ve never heard of those people, Yeah, that’s the point. They had more receivers on the suspension list than the active roster and their defense was non existant. Not to mention this is the GM that “forgot” to turn in the trade paperwork to get an ok QB and Hugh was calling plays himself because ownership ran Pep Hamilton off.

    Then when he actually got a good team the Browns convinced the media of the lie that the team got better when Hue was fired even though A. they had an easy schedule after that point and B. their offensive stats overall were better under Hue. People forget that Baker Mayfield was a fumble machine his rookie year and Nick Chubb couldn’t block to save his life. But hey, Freddie Kitchens is an offensive genius right? I mean he almost got a touchdown vs the Browns backups calling plays for the Giants last season.

  18. Hue Jackson should have the candor to admit he failed in the job with Cleveland. Yes Ownership was terrible and others meddled within the organization, but he failed.

    He could have made different decisions involving players and coaches that would have made a difference. Just watch the Cleveland Hard Knocks and it shows a lot of the issues.

  19. Jackson has to accept the fact that he was never qualified to be an NFL head coach. He lacked the necessary leadership skills first and foremost. His hiring is one of the organizational failures Jackson could add to the list. That said, Jackson was given little help by the Browns’ owner and front office. Haslam has been a terrible owner, but he seems to have finally gotten out of the way.

  20. Of course he had to wait until he was no longer getting paid. His chances of becoming a coach again are about the same as David Shula. He’s now the WR coach at Dartmouth (his alma mater). Hue may have a similar coaching future. Maybe he can find a Pop Warner team who needs someone to coach the someone how to hold a clipboard.

  21. “The worst part about this is how many non Browns fans are making completely untrue statements….” Maybe, but you’re not being completely factual either. A. Hue’s teams did have some talent (Thomas, Bitonio, Greco, Crowell, Haden, Taylor, Collins, Kirksey, Ogbah….) B. Pep Hamilton wasn’t calling plays before he was run off, Hue was C. Mayfield had more fumbles last year than in either his rookie or 2nd seasons D. Some schedules may not be as difficult as others, but there are no easy NFL schedules E. Better offensive stats don’t matter; the only meaningful stat is wins (Chubb sliding down on the 1yd line is called knowing the difference, which is a function of leadership).

    Did Hue get a raw deal? Sure, but 13-3 teams with franchise QBs don’t replace their HCs… 3-13 teams do. He walked into a rebuild, and knew it. As such, my issue had less to do with Hue’s record than his conduct. Saying “the buck stops here” at the podium while leaking “the buck stops anywhere but here” stories to the press, Hue always seemed much more concerned with saving his own image by subterfuge, than in doing what was best for the team. Leaking the Deshaun Watson draft day phone call is one of many examples. I think Dorsey saw how Jackson was undermining the front office, wanted him gone, and brought in Haley because he knew those two egos couldn’t survive each other… and kaboom, he was right. Creative destruction at its finest.

    As for Hue’s book, if you buy it, word to the wise, do not scratch, and do not sniff.

  22. Here’s the thing many commenters seem to miss: it is possible for the Browns to be a clown car of an organization AND for Hue to be an incompetent coach.

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