Browns owners are behind their head coach


Coach has support of owners despite

1-31 record in two seasons with Browns

Associated Press

BEREA

Two miserable seasons. One measly win.

Still, Cleveland coach Hue Jackson continues to have the “unwavering” support of owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who believe his third year will bring out the best in him — and the Browns.

“I think we will see the real Hue Jackson,” Jimmy Haslam said Saturday before practice.

Jackson has lost 31 of 32 games since taking over a Cleveland franchise that has undergone numerous coaching changes and front-office upheaval since the team’s NFL expansion return in 1999. However, the Haslams feel the worst is over, and thanks to a roster overhaul directed by general manager John Dorsey, Jackson has the pieces to win.

“He has good quarterbacks, he has some skill players, he has a veteran offensive lineman — now, we have to figure out left tackle — and three really good (running) backs and a good defense.”

Jackson has also been helped by not also handling offensive coordinator duties. With some urging and the blessing of the Haslams, he turned his offense over to Todd Haley, who was fired after six seasons with Pittsburgh.

“You have to give Hue credit for bringing in Todd Haley, which I think will allow Hue to be the head coach,” Haslam said. “I think this will be the first opportunity Hue will have to do what we know he can do as head coach as a leader. Even though Todd will be calling all of the shots on offense, I think Hue will obviously have some impact there like he will defense. We are excited to see it.”

The Browns went 0-16 last season, matching the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to lose all 16 games. But while there were many Cleveland fans calling for Jackson’s firing, his players remained united behind him and the Haslams decided to bring him back for another year.

That doesn’t mean Jackson’s job is permanently safe, but Haslam refused to say there was a mandate on wins this season.

“No, we’re excited about Hue Jackson,” Haslam said. “I think our commitment to him has been unwavering and still is.”

As the 2017 season unraveled, the Haslams chose to fire head of football operations Sashi Brown, whose analytics-heavy approach yielded mixed results and not enough wins. Dorsey, who guided Kansas City’s turnaround from 2013 to 2016, replaced Brown and spent this past offseason acquiring talent.

Haslam felt it was fair to assess Jackson’s upcoming third season as his first.

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