Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Monday morning that the Cleveland Browns have finally decided to part ways with head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson, who was in his third season as the head man in Cleveland, had one full season left on his contract, so the Browns will be paying him through the 2019-20 season.
The Browns were off to a 2-5-1 start to the campaign, but the team’s brass decided that now is the time to go in a different direction. The Browns’ 2 wins are actually the team’s most in a single season under Jackson’s watch. Cleveland went a combined 1-31 during his first 2 seasons, including a miserable 0-16 season last year. His final record as the coach of the Browns was 3-36-1.
Jackson becomes the first NFL head coach to be fired so far this season. He was listed at +1000 at a number of sportsbooks to be the first coach fired. Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills currently owns the “best” odds at +400.
Jackson’s dismissal comes on the heels of 3 consecutive losses at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns looked particularly dreadful on Sunday in Pittsburgh in what was ultimately a 33-18 loss. Remarkably, Jackson becomes the sixth consecutive Browns coach to be fired after the team’s second game of the season against the Steelers. The previous 5 were Mike Pettine, Rob Chudzinski, Pat Shurmur, Eric Mangini and Romeo Crennel.
Jackson’s overall coaching record of just 11-44-1 is one of the worst marks in NFL history. He has a winning percentage of .205, which is the second-worst mark in the history of the league among coaches to have been in charge for at least 40 games. Jackson previously spent the 2011 season as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, whom he led to a record of 8-8.
The timing isn’t all that surprising considering reports emerged over the weekend that indicated that Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were often at odds. Many wondered whether Jackson and Haley would ultimately be able to continue to work together, and now we know which side the Browns’ brass decided to take. Schefter says the team’s owner, Jimmy Haslam, had decided on Sunday night to stay the course. He ultimately decided to change his mind after speaking with general manager John Dorsey on Monday morning. Dorsey was adamant that the Jackson-Haley dynamic could not continue, so the team made a move.
There was speculation that Haley might ultimately replace Jackson at the top, but it was reported later Monday that Haley has also been fired. So, the Browns will have to find an interim head coach as well as an interim offensive coordinator. What a time to be a Browns fan.
Jackson presided over 7 different starting quarterbacks during his time in Cleveland. They were Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, Robert Griffin III, Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer, Josh McCown and Kevin Hogan. Taylor began this season as the team’s starter before Mayfield took over in Week 2 due to an injury to Taylor. Mayfield has not given the job back, though the Browns have gone 1-4 since he was installed as the starter.
The Browns lost all 20 road games they played during Jackson’s tenure. Cleveland will play their first game in the post-Jackson era this coming Sunday when the 7-1 Kansas City Chiefs come to town. The rest of the Browns’ schedule is fairly tough. The team will face the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals (twice), Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens before the end of the season.
Jackson becomes the second Cleveland-based head coach to be fired in the span of 3 days. The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers parted ways with head coach Tyronn Lue on Saturday after the team got off to a disastrous 0-6 start to the campaign.
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