Six Reasons Hue Jackson Gets Fired

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Hue JacksonThere are Six Reasons Why Hue Jackson Gets Fired

Hue Jackson gets fired this year for six reasons.

  1. Not enough winning.
  2. The 4-3 defense.
  3. The Brock Osweiler trade.
  4. Management is building for the future.
  5. The fan base will demand it.
  6. The quarterback position.

1. Not Enough Winning

Before we get too far, understand this, Hue Jackson is an extremely talented football coach. But so is Lovie Smith. Remember that Smith got fired after a 10-6 season.

Smith created the Tampa 2 defense that helped win a Super Bowl for Tampa Bay. He also improved the Saint Louis Rams defense from yielding a league-worst 29.4 points per game in 2000 to 17.1 points in 2001.

Meanwhile, Jackson was the Pro Football Writers of America’s assistant coach of the year in 2015. 2015 was his last year as an assistant. And Jackson took over as head coach of the Browns in 2016. 2016 is a season Browns fans can’t wait to forget. The Browns posted one, just one win, going 1-15.

But, Jackson has some staying power with Cleveland. He’s been coaching the Cleveland Browns since 2012 when he came on board as the special teams coach and assistant secondary coach.

Jackson has built up some good will, but Smith’s last three years with the Bears were 11-5 (made the NFC Championship game), 8-8, and 10-6.

How many wins in 2017 will Hue Jackson need to keep his job? The last winning season for the Browns was 10 years ago in 2007. Since then, the only time the Browns even sniffed the playoffs was in 2014 when they went 7-9.

Would Jackson keep his job with seven wins? Maybe, maybe not, but what is the likelihood Cleveland wins seven games? Cleveland has won seven or more games only twice in the last 14 years.

2. The 4-3 Defense

The 2016 Cleveland Brown defense ranked 31 out of 32. So, the Browns went out and got a known successful defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.

Greg Williams built his defense off of several defensive geniuses, but mainly, Buddy Ryan. “I took George Allen, I took Buddy Ryan, I took Dick LeBeau. I took Bud Carson. I put them all together and now it’s kind of a Gregg Williams way that we do things,”

So the Browns defense should get better. But there will be growing pains. First of all, the Browns were a 3-4 team, so there will have to be some personnel changes.

Secondly, there is going to be a learning curve. Williams’ 4-3 defense will require some homework on the part of the players. Williams’ 4-3 calls for the linebackers and safeties to call audibles on the field in response to the offensive formation. “According to Bowen, Browns defensive players had better be ready to take notes, because Williams’ defense is complex.”

The defense will take some time before it is running on all cylinders. But, will Hue Jackson’s welcome in Cleveland run out of gas first? It almost appears as if the Browns management is setting up success for their next head coach.

3. The Brock Osweiler Trade

Although the Brock Osweiler trade appears more sign and release of the NBA than Moneyball of MLB, it was shrewd nonetheless. The Cleveland Browns management is setting themselves up for future success.

But a second round draft choice in the spring doesn’t always pays dividends in the fall. For most NFL players there is a learning curve.

Including the second round draft choice the Browns pick up for taking on Osweiler’s contract, the Browns own 11 2017 draft picks, five of them in the first 65 picks.

Now, Myles Garrett is an immediate impact player. Many draft analysts would be shocked if Garrett doesn’t make an immediate impact on the 2017 season. But for the rest of the group, there most likely will be some growing pains.

If the Browns management wanted to help Jackson win this season, they would’ve spent the money on proven free agents that could’ve come in and made an immediate impact.

The question is, does Hue Jackson have enough time on the clock for the other 10 draft choices to develop?

4. Management is Building for the Future

With all these draft picks lined up it smells like the Browns are building for the future. And, the Osweiler trade stinks of building for the future. The problem with building for the future for a coach is that he might not be part of it.

Going back to a Moneyball expert, Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs allowed themselves some losing years at the beginning of Epstein’s reign while they rebuilt. This all happened under managers Dale Sveum and Rick Renteria.

The problem with this losing period is that the players eventually start to associate losing with that coach.

Epstein moved on from Sveum and Renteria, and the Cleveland Browns will have to move on from Hue Jackson.

5. The Fan Base Will Demand It

The Browns can lose only so much before the fan base gives up on them.

The Cleveland Browns will always have a fan base. But there are two teams in Cleveland showing promise and vying for the Cleveland sports fan’s attention and money.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won an NBA title in 2016. When’s the last time the Browns won a Super Bowl? Never.

The Cleveland Indians were in the World Series in 2016. When’s the last time the Browns played in a Super Bowl? Again, never. The last time the Cleveland Browns won an NFL Championship was in 1964.

6. The Quarterback Position

The Johnny Fiasco draft pick typifies the Cleveland Browns, and other dysfunctional pro franchises, in my opinion. The fans are beyond distraught, so the franchise goes out and gets the shiniest toy they can find. This bring immediate, although hollow, satisfaction and puts some fans in the stands. 

Most rational people saw the train wreck that was Johnny Fiasco. But so many Cleveland fans wanted to believe so badly that they believed that the guy who barely kept his head on straight in college would suddenly grown up when his bank account exploded with money. That isn’t pouring gas on a fire, that is putting a nuclear weapon in a particle accelerator.

The Browns have been searching for a quarterback since the franchise regenerated after the previous Browns left for Baltimore (only to win two Super Bowls since leaving).

Here is the list of Cleveland Browns first round draft choices that were quarterbacks.

  1. Tim Couch
  2. Brady Quinn
  3. Brandon Weedon
  4. Johnny Manziel

If you look at the full list, the only Cleveland first round draft choices to live up to their potential since 1998, was Joe Thomas and Braylon Edwards.

And the Browns are still looking for a quarterback. In 2016, they signed Robert Griffin III and drafted Cody Kessler in the third round. Just to add insult to injury I’ll remind every Cleveland fan that the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round.

And, there is talk of the Cleveland Browns drafting a quarterback in the first round again this year. Even though,  as “Cleveland’s luck would be that there is no sure-fire top prospect in this draft like in each of the past two draft classes.” Or, that talent that is on the horizon in the 2018 quarterback class.

Granted, there are some Cleveland fans hoping for sanity.

Watch for the Signs

If the Browns draft a quarterback with pick number 12, are they getting themselves another bust at quarterback? Is it a sign of desperation and the inability to wait until 2018 where there appears to be better talent?

Does Gregg Williams’ defense pay immediate dividends?

If the Browns get decent play out of their quarterback, whoever it is, and, the defense improves immensely from the 31st ranking, and the Browns win a few more games. Then, Hue Jackson might be able to stay in Cleveland another year. But even wins don’t guarantee stability. Lovie Smith got the Bears to the playoffs on a regular basis, but after a while, even a 10-6 season couldn’t save Lovie Smith’s job.

 

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