Browns

Counterpoint: The time is now to let go of Hue Jackson

One win. 23 losses. Hue Jackson has coached 24 games for the Cleveland Browns and has only managed to win one of those games. In almost every organization in the NFL, that would be a fireable offense. The name of the game in the NFL is winning and Jackson has just not done that with the Browns. However, there are more specific points in regards to the Browns plans that lead me to say that there is not point to wait; Hue Jackson should be fired this week.

The Browns organization is in the second year of the new regime’s massive rebuild. Year No. 1 was a complete overhaul of the roster with most of the roster stripped to bare bones. The team was void of talent and winning was not something the team was really worried about. Jackson’s lack of success was glossed over due to the plan of the entire organization to use last season as a tear down. But, that was last season. This season needed to show improvement and development from the young players, and that has yet to be seen.

Over the offseason, the Browns upgraded the trenches with a huge upgrade on both offensive and defensive lines. The team thought to build from within as most successful teams do. Beyond that, the team added a slew of young talent through the draft. The roster saw an influx of talent that should be a stepping point for improvement. But so far this season, it has sometimes looked even worse than last season’s throwaway season. And I believe that is on Hue Jackson as the head coach.

My WFNY colleague Jake Burns already has pointed out the reasons for Jackson to be let go. The poor personnel decisions, the poor play calling, the inability to adapt and the lack of discipline on the team all are contributed to Jackson’s putrid resume as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. I agree with all these points. He has hurt the team more than helped. Even with the upgraded roster from last season, the Browns have shown no improvement on the field with some areas even showing regression. It is time to fire Hue Jackson and the time is of the essence.

Another of my WFNY colleagues, Craig Lyndall, did not deny that Jackson deserved a large amount of criticism for this season, but he did state it is not the right time to fire Hue Jackson now. I disagree and here is why.

My major worry is that Jackson is stunting the growth of the young players on the roster. Case and point with DeShone Kizer. Benched multiple times. Put into situations that don’t fit his skill set. Offense put entirely on his shoulders. These were just some of things that Jackson did to the young quarterback. And if you watched the game on Sunday and have heard the comments from Kizer, Jackson’s abuse has stunted the growth of the young signal caller. His confidence has been decimated through all of the siege that Jackson has forced onto him. Kizer is just the most obvious example of Jackson’s actions hurting the development of a young player. There are more. The way Jackson has used some of his players, putting them in less than ideal situations are hurting their ability to fully release their talents.

Not only how he is using players, but when he is using these players is also hurting the development of the young roster. The usage of Duke Johnson, David Njoku and Larry Ogunjobi has been down right criminal. Of the 517 offensive snaps, Duke Johnson has played 293 snaps or 56.6% of the snaps; David Njoku has played 239 snaps or 46.2% of the snaps; and Larry Ogunjobi has played 114 snaps or 22.0% of the snaps1(He did miss Week 8 with an injury). Three of the brightest young players on the roster are either just playing about half the snaps or under half the snaps of the offense. That is ridiculous.

Duke Johnson is the team’s best offensive playmaker. He is a dynamic player who can be one of the few game changers on the offense. But, he continues to have to share and come behind Isaiah Crowell, who has had a horrible season this year and is most likely not part of the future. David Njoku has shown in the limited snaps and touches he gets that he can also be a big time playmaker. But, he is still sharing time with the two other tight ends on the roster, whom are less talented than he is. And Larry Ogunjobi has been the second best rookie behind Myles Garrett. But, he can barely see the field as the likes of Jamie Meder and Trevon Coley playing more than the young rookie. Meder and Coley are both good defensive linemen, but Ogunjobi has outplayed both in his limited action. Jackson has the power to play these guys more, but he has not used his power to do that. Jackson is hurting their development by limiting their playing time.

The development of the young roster is my major concern, but Jackson’s other flaws add onto to his poor resume. His play calling is horrible. His pass-happy offense does not fit the unit. His game decision-making has caused the team to miss some opportunities to possibly win a game. The lack of improvement on penalties and turnovers is on Jackson for not pushing his players to be more disciplined. The list of worries goes on and on. All of these factors lead me to the basis that he should be fired. The stunting of the young roster leads me to the basis that he should be fired now. His presence will slow down the development of the players and hurt the future of the team for years to come.

Now some are arguing that the team should wait to fire Jackson after the season. Why? What is the point of that? If you are going to fire him following the season, why wait. What is possibly going to change? Is he miraculously going to be a good play caller, play his young talented players, makes smart game decisions or fix the discipline issues? No, he will not. He has shown over the 24 games that he is who he is and that we should not expect anything to change with his coaching.

He is hurting the possible development of the young squad. But, also with giving him eight weeks to coach for his career, he will do things that will try to aid his interests and could in turn hurt the overall team’s interests, especially the team’s future’s interests. What will one or two worthless wins down the stretch do for the next season when Jackson continues to not play Njoku, Johnson and Ogunjobi and continues to shatter the confidence and future of Kizer? Yes, a win or two would be nice, but is it worth it to win those two games while stunting the growth of the young players? It is not. It’s not working and we have fully seen who Hue Jackson is as the head coach of the Browns. The time is now to fire Hue Jackson.

  1. Snap stats from Pro Football Focus []

  • MartyDaVille

    Gotta disagree, Joe. There is no point in firing him now. It would accomplish nothing. There is no upside, only downside.

    Sashi has given him nothing to work with, and his tear-down has been an unnecessary self-inflicted disaster. The damn expansion Browns had a better roster than this.

    Besides, if they did fire him, Hasgrum would be roasted for again causing chaos with the quick trigger finger. The press, local and national, would savage him, and he doesn’t need that. Things are bad enough as they are. It’s hard to imagine this situation being any worse, but firing him now would make things worse.

  • RGB

    Another Fire Hue article that offers no acceptable replacements?
    C’mon, we’re supposed to be the best Cleveland Sports online community.

    So, I’ll offer up Chip Kelly. He seems like a Sashi man.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi JOE … i still disagree with how Hue handling Kizer is being portrayed … he’ s coaching , not coddling … they simply cannot turn over the ball , Hue’s pet-peeve … as the QB you cannot turn the ball over.

    Alex Smith is a prime example … remember his early years in SF ? … look at him now , he has ZERO interceptions this year … he learned how to take care of the football & what not turning the ball over does for your team’s chances. Kizer did not turn the ball over last game … trust me , he will be better for the benchings in the long run.

  • tigersbrowns2

    we haven’t been agreeing at all lately . but i agree with this post … the expansion Browns had plenty of veterans on it & they didn’t start “in the trenches” like the HBT did.

  • tigersbrowns2

    ewwwww , Chip Kelly ?

  • RGB

    I didn’t say I liked him.
    He seems like the Sashi type.

  • tigersbrowns2

    got it … sorry. i don’t think Chip will ever land a HC job in the NFL again.

  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    Even I can agree with this and I’m Team ScorchedEarth.

  • Sam Gold

    “He has hurt the team more than helped.”

    “What is possibly going to change? Is he miraculously going to be a good play caller, play his young talented players, makes smart game decisions or fix the discipline issues? No, he will not.”

    http://78.media.tumblr.com/42638fc7f1229d5be7dac0760c32481c/tumblr_mwzszinQc61rzik3go1_400.gif

  • RGB

    So, who should we hire?
    If we’re going to call for his head, we need to be prepared to provide a replacement.
    Or, should we just go ahead and fire him, and let Sashi call the plays on his X-Box?

  • Sam Gold

    “Sashi has given him nothing to work with…”

    Garrett, Njoku, Peppers, DeValve, Coleman, Coleman, Ogbah, Nassib, Schobert, Kindred, Drango, Ogunjobi & Brantley.

    Wow, it’s almost like there was a plan that involved repairing one part of a completely worthless team first.

  • Sam Gold

    GW, the guy whose side of the team is actually improving.

  • RGB

    GW…GW?
    Can I buy a vowel?

    EDIT: Please not who I think it is…

  • Sam Gold

    There are different ways to rebuild a team. The previous way you mentioned got us to 2-14 then 3-13. What’s better about that? This team has talent and one more draft of mostly O lead by a competent HC & OC and we’re the 2016/2017 Jaguars.

  • Sam Gold

    I’m going to allow you think to reflect on the current staff for a bit before I post an even snarkier response.

  • RGB

    Double Gs?
    Ugh, he’ll line Kizer up 20 yards deep, to protect against snaps over the top.

  • Sam Gold

    Now why would he be calling the offensive plays?

  • RGB

    Because Browns.

  • Skulb

    Re the use of the players; different personnel groups for different situations is apparently all the rage with NFL head coaches these days. You’d think playing your best players might occasionally be preferable to juggling personnel sets comprised of untalented oafs to amuse oneself, but it doesn’t seem to be. Jay Gruden and Marvin Lewis are the same way. Maybe there’s something wrong with Ohio…

  • tigersbrowns2

    i agree … but , i haven’t seen “the trenches” addressed to the extent the HBT has.
    and i have been saying all along that they have worked for 2 years to build-up the cap space & draft capital for next year … they should all be here next year & let the improvement begin.

  • Skulb

    Worse than 1-31 over two seasons? Hasn’t that ship already sailed with the Chargers win?

  • Skulb
  • Sam Gold

    Sorry but per the argument given in this article I just don’t see what miraculous turn of events is ahead for HJ’s entire coaching approach.

  • Skulb

    I am a despicable anarchist and detest all forms of “authority”, so I feel obliged to suggest a decentralized option where Browns fans vote for plays on the Browns website that then get directly transmitted into the helmet of the QB/ILB respectively. Save some money too.

    And quite frankly, how much worse can it get with direct democracy and elbowing out all the bloated middle men? And not just when it comes to the Browns I might add. This system would work wonderfully elsewhere in society too. All the politicians and bureaucrats would have to get real jobs of course, and we might not need millions of lawyers, economists and accountants. What a shame. If there is a political equivalent to 0-16, Washington reached it long ago. Oh and the Browns will soon. Revolution baby!

  • RGB

    But, seriously, this is the conversation we should be having.
    Not Fire Hue because of xyz.
    But, Fire Hue and replace him with xyz.
    We’ve beaten the whys into the ground. Our threads of full of whys. We need to start discussing the whos.

  • tigersbrowns2

    ALL coaches make mistakes … in Cleveland they are magnified … especially when you’re 1-23. the criticisms of Hue are warranted.

    Put a solid team around him so there are no questions or excuses … then we can make a good judgement.

  • RGB

    I don’t want Kelly, but I’ll take him over Fisher.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • RGB

    You need to watch last weeks episode of The Orville.

  • Sam Gold

    Based on Williams’ embrace of the “analytics” approach (pretty much the thing every team does, by the by) and his ability to actually instill discipline, I’d name him interim HC if he’s willing. Al Saunders can be the OC (prior experience). That would get us through the end of the season while Haslam & Brown seek out their replacements or conclude they like what they have. This next draft will be when they choose their QBOTF and I have seen nothing through 24 games that leads me to believe he will benefit under Hue’s guidance.

  • Chris

    George Washington. If anyone can lead a bunch of ragtag Americans to scratch and claw their way to victory, it’s him.

  • RGB

    Much better. One of our benevolent dictators here needs to compile some suspects and write that article.
    Any specific college or pro guys you got your eyes on?
    I threw out Chip Kelly just because he’s a new-school nerd right up Sashi’s alley.
    I think David Shaw might be worth a look.
    Is it time to give Josh McDaniels another shot?

  • Skulb

    Of course he’s dead. Might not be the worst thing in the world though. I say we give it a try.

  • Chris

    Explaining analytics to him could be difficult

  • Steve

    “He has shown over the 24 games that he is who he is and that we should not expect anything to change with his coaching.”

    Once again, this is a currently a learning system, not a “try to win” situation. I fully expect things to change if/when we build a decent roster. Maybe he won’t be a good coach then, but right now is not a measure of what the Browns intend to do in a couple years.

  • Sam Gold

    Not a fan of college guys making the leap to NFL. No NFL names leap to mind. I’ll leave that to the “experts.”

  • Skulb

    But he’s so experienced!

  • Skulb

    I seem to remember reading a Terry Pratchett novel once where a society held elections where only dead people could run. Can’t remember what it was for though.