It’s starting to feel more like football season again as reports of infighting in Berea have surfaced following Hue Jackson’s bewildering comments following the Cleveland Browns’ latest overtime loss.
While reports of the Haslam family being discouraged following yet another winnable game surfaced following the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reports on Sunday morning have a bizarre twist: It could be Todd Haley who is shown the door despite getting just seven weeks with the team.
From NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport:
As the losses mount in Cleveland, so does the frustration. Three defeats in their last four games, coupled with a curious public debate surrounding the offense, has put the Browns in a similar and maddening position.
If it’s not resolved, change will come with hopes of fixing the dysfunction that has mostly manifested itself on offense, sources say.
For several weeks, it’s been clear that coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have not been on the same page. Several people in the organization have battled to help them work together, but it has not improved.
If this continues, and the disconnect is not reconciled, a move will likely be made.
The Browns are 3-35-1 under Jackson, but he has somehow made himself appear to be the victim in a situation that, to use his words, starts at the top.
Adding fuel to the fire is CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
Jackson’s remarks flabbergasted and confounded those he works with and confused many in the locker room after rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield had just rallied the team from a 16-2 halftime deficit to send the game into overtime. It was Jackson’s own inability to develop a quarterback or kickstart the offense that led to the hiring of former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley as offensive coordinator in the offseason, and the Browns are averaging a touchdown more per game than they did a year ago.
Jackson has defied the odds by remaining with the Browns despite a 1-31 record in his first two seasons and has enjoyed unprecedented support and loyalty from Jimmy and Dee Haslam as owners. However, there is open discussion within that organization below the ownership level about whether or not Jackson is fit for the job, and whether or not the future of Mayfield should be entrusted to him. […]
Jackson has displayed a propensity to obsess over the comments of other coaches and staff to the media, sources said, parsing out words to determine whether or not he is being given sufficient credit for the team’s progress. Sunday’s outburst won’t be quickly forgotten and deepens his fight for respect with those he works with, the sources said.
A three-win coach obsessing over the media is very Browns. According to Rapoport, there is concern over Haley’s “listening” to Jackson, something that was evident during the first episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in Jackson’s infamous “I’m in this chair” dressing down of his coordinators.
According to La Canfora, general manager John Dorsey was warned about keeping Jackson aboard as the team looked to build a team in the wake of Sashi Brown’s firing. Winning tends to mask most issues, but with the Cleveland Browns, you rarely get enough of the former to make up for the latter.