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The Rush to Define the 2018 Cleveland Browns: While We’re Waiting

After the Cleveland Browns ended Week 1 with the Steelers in a tie, the whole team felt like it was in suspended animation. While we like decisive outcomes in order to write the next chapter in our various narratives, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers failed to deliver the fuel we needed to fire up our engines. But some of you spun your wheels as fast as you could this week anyway. Rather than just try to enjoy a weird week for what it was, many of you decided you had to treat it either like a win or a loss.

The Hue Jackson haters rightfully pointed out all the sloppy play the Browns put on display this week, and I know it’s not an excuse, but I wonder what everyone saw this week. The future Hall of Famer opposite Tyrod Taylor threw 37 interceptions in a miserable rain all game long. His timing and chemistry with his all-world receiver, Antonio Brown, was that of a pre-season level. And yet, for many of you, Tyrod Taylor should be benched immediately because he didn’t mesh well with Josh Gordon, who missed the entirety of the preseason.

More on Hue Jackson, as he was dubbed an utter failure over maybe the dumbest storyline of all time, whether or not Josh Gordon should have started or not. And Hue Jackson is responsible for playing this whole thing up and talking about it in the media as well, but is this really what we’re spending our time on this week? Hue Jackson’s record is what it is, and he’s got to find a way to perform this year, but after a Week 1 tie where there was confusion over whether or not Josh Gordon was supposed to start, that’s the moment? That’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back and leads to this dude getting fired?

And the Browns didn’t find their answer for replacing Joe Thomas by Week 1. It’s an issue. It’s annoying. The Browns handled that situation poorly, but they’ve got a little bit of time to try a few things before we dub it the disaster I saw many pointing it out to be after Week 1.

I’m not actually excusing any of these issues. I notice them and they need to be discussed, but as I listen to sports talk radio and read all the takes on Twitter, it’s premature.

Most of all, I’m not going to say that Hue Jackson should be kept in the long run, but I don’t know why some of you won’t ever learn. Many of you are trying to say the Browns should fire Hue Jackson and put Todd Haley in the head coach’s spot during the season. For anyone who thinks that’s a good idea without some incredibly compelling circumstance that is yet unforeseen, I feel sorry for you. One of the biggest issues, aside from the roster the past two seasons, was Hue Jackson serving dual roles as head coach and offensive coordinator. So many opinions I read out there are in some big rush to get right back there because they have so little belief in Hue Jackson because of the last two years. Even if you’re right, how could it make sense to fire Hue Jackson in the middle of the season and handicap the team into the structure that failed so miserably the past two seasons and all the way back to when they let Pat Shurmur call his own plays?

The tie should have been a clue to just get ahold of yourselves and wait another week. The Browns were fortunate to be able to claw their way back via the defense and rather than look to blow the world up and treat it like a loss, it should have been a ticket to ride another week. For me, as I said in the open, it was like the Browns were in suspended animation and we were going to have to wait until this upcoming Sunday for any kind of conclusion.

Maybe I’m the only one.