https://youtu.be/X3mhODSb0PMCLEVELAND – Former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam extended his contract in the midst of a winless 2017 season and that he was lied to from the start about the team’s rebuilding plans.
In a lengthy radio interview Monday on ESPN 850, Jackson said the Browns’ efforts to improve while he was with them were flawed because of philosophical differences.
Jackson said neither Haslam nor then-general manager Sashi Brown ever told him the Browns were on the roster, or he wouldn’t have taken the job. He was Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator before being hired at Cleveland, where he went 0-16 in his second season and 3-36-1 for two more seasons before being fired.
I have no doubt that the owners and management lied to me, said Jackson, who added that there is a disconnect between the coaching staff and management.
It should have been football plus analysis, but they intentionally made it football versus analysis, he said. They wanted to spend two years trying to find a way to use us as an experiment to make sure they get the data they need to improve – at someone’s expense – and that’s wrong.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
A team spokesman said the Browns would not comment on Jackson’s statements.
Jackson said he signed a contract extension midway through the 2017 season – he was 1-23 during his time with Cleveland – and wanted to make it public, but the team refused.
I think we can all understand and reflect on why it hasn’t been made public, he said. Because it would set the pace for what exactly is going on there.
Jackson, 55, said he will write a book about his time with the Browns. The team was 1-15 in his first season, went winless in his second – the 2008 Detroit Lions are the only team to go 0-16 – and he was fired after a 2-5-1 start in 2018.
But as far as he’s concerned, there’s a lot of blame to go around.
I want to make sure everyone knows and understands exactly what happened in Cleveland, Jackson said. The truth must come out. I’m tired of being the center of jokes, memes, and things people say when they don’t know it.
Jackson, no longer in the NFL, said his chances in Cleveland were hurt by relying too much on statistics and the team’s disastrous lineup. He added that the team also lied to make it look like I was against the analysis.
People need to go back and look at these lineups and see where these players are now, he said. This should tell you everything you need to know. You’re not on this team. There was none. Some of them aren’t even in the league, but we were expected to win.
You can’t win like this.
Jackson is aware that the team’s win-loss record is next to his name in the record books. But he blames others, including Paul DePodest, the Browns’ director of strategy, and also current GM Andrew Berry, who once worked for the club as a footballer.
I take responsibility for my role in this, but why doesn’t everyone take responsibility? – he said. There are people running an organization in Cleveland today who have been in it as long as I have. And these people get paid for it. So clearly they were paid to lose. Is that what this is about?
I get blamed for the loss. It’s a joke to me.
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