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  • A mid-season coaching change is never good for an NFL team, but is it better than the current coaching tug-of-war waging in Cleveland?
By Conor Orr
October 22, 2018

It was not Hue Jackson’s fault when his running back didn’t play well last year, and it wasn’t Hue Jackson’s fault when the Browns won one of their first 33 games with him as head coach. It wasn’t his fault when the starting quarterback who, according to the quarterbacks coach, was not ready to start and ended up not playing well.

Google Jackson’s name and throwing+under+the+bus, and a barrel full of results come back. As head coach of the Raiders, Jackson once said: “I’m pissed at my team. At some point, as a group of men, you can go into the game and, you can say whatever you want to about coaches, you win the game.”

On Sunday, after the Browns lost in overtime to the Buccaneers, Jackson said of his offense: “I’m not gonna continue to watch something I know how to do keep being that way. That’s just the truth. That’s nothing against anybody in our building, that’s just what I do and I need to be a little bit more involved.”

He added: “Being a head coach and an offensive guy who has done this, I feel like I have every right to jump in there and see if I can help. And assist. And see if I can get this thing where it needs to be. We need to be better on offense, and if that’s my specialty, I need to be involved more and I will be.”

This was, apparently, without irony. Here’s his record as an offensive specialist.

Perhaps he is lacking a moment of clarity with Will Hunting’s therapist. Maybe he truly has been incredibly unlucky throughout his career. Maybe we’re not giving him enough credit for the times he has come out and said that Cleveland’s woes are his own doing. Or, his past of earnestly taking responsibility is creeping up on him.

Late on Sunday a report emerged suggesting that Cleveland’s ownership was not happy with “the current state of affairs.” While that is ominous enough, it’s interesting to wonder how general manager John Dorsey views the hands that his very talented and very young roster is in. Tossing Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and the rest of their nucleolus through a mid-season coaching change would be catastrophic. But would it be any more damaging than subjecting a No. 1 draft pick to an offensive tug-of-war between two established play-callers who are both confident in their expertise?

Dorsey’s pragmatism is well known, and the Browns have gone to great lengths to establish themselves as a functional organization this offseason through free agency, the draft and Hard Knocks. That being said, the elongated hiring window worked wonders for Jeffrey Lurie, who was able to learn a lot about his players and the talent pool before hiring Doug Pederson.

If nothing else, it would give the Browns a substantial amount of time to figure out whose fault everything really was.

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PRESS COVERAGE

1. Justin Tucker was taking questions at the podium after a missed extra point that cost Baltimore the game.

2. Speaking of kickers, it all came down to the cat man, Chandler Catanzaro, who drilled a kick just one yard inside his career high to defeat the Browns. It was Cleveland’s 200th overtime game this season.

3. We are almost halfway through the season, and the Rams of Los Angeles are still perfect.

4. Strange situation in Miami, where DeVante Parker’s agent is taking a swing at head coach Adam Gase.

5. The Detroit Lions….and their running game?....are bolstering a team that looked ruined a month ago.

6. Hue Jackson dips his toes into the “let’s piss off my offensive staff” waters.

7. Inside the wild Panthers win over Philly


THE KICKER

You thought today in the NFL was nuts? How about the 2016 Tetris world championships?

• Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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