Cleveland sports fans bade farewell to a second head coach in two days on Monday, following the announcement that the Browns have relieved skipper Hue Jackson. NFL Network broke news of the firing less than 24 hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers let go of Tyronn Lue, who had gone winless since the NBA’s regular-season opener just a week and a half ago.
Many were surprised that Jackson was ever invited back, as the Browns went completely winless throughout his second campaign as head coach in 2017. This was even after the organization had brought in a fresh face with the hiring of John Dorsey as general manager last December. Under his tenure, Jackson was only able to mount a single victory in his debut season as the team’s coach, thereby giving the franchise a 1-31 record in the lead-up to their 2018-19 run in September.
Unfortunately for Jackson, Dorsey’s patience would eventually wear thin, thus leading to the decision to part ways after Cleveland fell to 2-5-1 with a 33-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend.
It was also confirmed by ESPN that first-year offensive coordinator Todd Haley has also been cut loose. Haley will be replaced by former running backs coach Freddie Kitchens. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will reportedly step in to take over head coaching duties the interim.
“We greatly appreciate Hue’s commitment to the Cleveland Browns organization over the last two and a half years. We understand how critical this time period is in the development of our football team, individually and collectively, and believed it was in the organization’s best interest to make the move at this time, in order to maximize our opportunities the rest of this season,” read a statement released by the Browns’ front office.
References to the team’s development and future in Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s statement likely allude to investments the organization has made to both the defense and the offense over the past couple of years. Those investments culminated with their selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield as the top pick of the 2018 NFL draft. Given the expectations attached to the lengthy re-build, it was only a matter of time before Jackson’s number was pulled.
Thanks to the eight wins he collected with the Oakland Raiders in his first year as head coach of an NFL team in 2011, Jackson’s career.205 winning percentage is just shy of making him the worst coach of all-time; the late Philadelphia Eagles owner Bert Bell holds that distinction after stepping in to accrue a.179 percentage between 1936 and 1941. But Jackson now holds the worst coaching record with a single team, courtesy of his Browns’ 3-36-1 total record placing him beneath any other coach’s tenure with a single team through a minimum of 40 games.