The Cleveland Browns are without a proper Head Coach, just as they have been for two and a half seasons. I was once of the opinion that Hue Jackson deserved a chance, as many were, because of his brief stint turning the Raiders into a decent unit. Since he was just the interim coach in Oakland, perhaps Jackson was limited in his duties with others picking up his slack. Perhaps Hue was simply the OC with a little bit more power. Because that would explain why he wasn't the worst head coach of all time while briefly holding that position in Oakland.
I have no qualms saying this at all. In the modern era, Hue Jackson is the worst Head Coach of all time. Naturally he was Head Coach of one of the worst organizations of all time. The Browns are heading in the right direction, truly, for once.
Ken John Dorsey had a plan and he's been executing on it, even if cutting Josh Gordon loose after all this time made no sense to me. Whatever. It's not as if Gordon's been lighting the world on fire. Yet.
We can all give Hue Jackson a bit of a mea culpa for his first season in Cleveland. The roster was gutted as the team went full moneyball. They went a bit too far moneyball though because they forgot to leave vets on the team who could teach the newly minted millionaire young men how to do things like eat right and not Manziel it up every night. So, let's forget about the first season. It was the NFL's first true tanking season.
How about the second season of Hue's tenure? Well, let us begin with a date: August 30th. That's the date that the bottom dropped out on the season and all hope was lost because the team released CB Joe Haden, allowing him to sign with divisionmates the Steelers. Haden isn't a stud any longer, but he's a veteran starting CB in a passing league. Sure, let's release him. Perhaps it was hubris on the part of the Moneyball team because Haden didn't play much that preseason and, well, sh*t, the Browns were 3-0 at that point in the preseason. They released Haden and won their final preseason game. Things were looking up.
Week 1 involved the Browns losing in Pittsburgh by merely 3 points. That's better than one could've expected! I wonder how things would've fared if Haden hadn't been on the Steelers. He only managed four tackles, a sack and a pass defensed. Heck, Kizer even looked pretty good for a rookie completing 67% of his passes. Perhaps this was the year the Browns improved! Then Baltimore happened. Kizer threw three picks and Hue put in backup QB Kevin Hogan who was only marginally better. The following week the Browns made a furious comeback against the (terrible) Colts' prevent D. Kizer looked good and played the whole game! Progress! Then Hue returned back to his old ways and benched Kizer for parts of the next two games before flushing Kizer's entire career down the toilet (yes, even moreso than the simple act of being a QB drafted by the Browns) by allowing Hogan to start in Week 6.
A typical start to a rookie QB's season is an underwhelming vet begins the year, allowing the noob time to adjust, and then the rookie comes in once the season is already lost or the vet shows he's still the same sack of sh*t he always was. All the pressure if off the rook, even if he's bad it's still a learning experience and that's what saves the season. The one thing you don't do is try and replicate Ken Whisenhunt's experiment with switching back and forth between Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart.
Here we are in week 6 and Kevin Hogan pulls his best Kizer impersonation, leading the Brownies to their 6th loss of the season. Naturally Kizer begins the next week and plays for the rest of the season, but the damage was already done. Joe Thomas tears a tricep and is put on IR in Week 7. Week 13 we see GM Sashi Brown fired. How Hue won that power struggle is beyond me considering his actions with Kizer. Not to mention Hue hand chose Cody Kessler in the 3rd round the year prior and that too worked out well.
Let's wrap up this 2017 reminiscing with one more reminder of the ineptitude of Hue Jackson. In Week 17 of the 2017 season the Browns traveled to Pittsburgh with one last shot to avoid a winless season. Pittsburgh rested some of their starters. The Browns lost. To QB Landry Jones and RB Stevan Ridley. Josh Gordon had over 100 yards receiving. The Browns' offense ended their season on a Rodgers-esque play from Kizer. On fourth down, Kizer escaped pressure to throw a dart to wide open Corey Coleman on the sideline. Coleman reached up with both hands. The ball slips through Coleman's hands and hits him on the face. Game over Browns.
The Browns 1st string offense couldn't keep pace with the backup QB, RB and WRs of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And their last chance ended on a gimmee catch that was whiffed. That's Hue Jacksons' legacy. He was, and is, the perfect coach for the Browns. He leaves behind a legacy like none other.
And with that, let us never speak of him again.
Hey, lookee here, Demayrius Thomas is now catching passes in Houston. The Broncos get back a 4th rounder, which is pretty damn good for a fading vet.
Golden Tate just joined the Eagles for a 3rd rounder.
All of this is thanks to Hue Jackson.