Hue Jackson: I came here to win a championship
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is clear on what he wants to accomplish, and he may just be able to pull it off given time.
Hue Jackson may not have fully known what he was getting himself into when he accepted the position as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
But he quickly learned this past Sunday.
The Browns looked bad for much of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in what would ultimately be their 12th consecutive opening day loss – an NFL record. They also lost their starting quarterback to a Week 1 injury for the second consecutive year.
“My point is eventually they will love me because we are going to win, and we are going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns.” – head coach Hue Jackson
While that may not be an NFL record, the fact that the Browns will start at least two different quarterbacks in the same season for the 15th consecutive year is the longest streak since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, according to ESPN.
When Josh McCown takes his first offensive snap on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns will break a tie with the New England Patriots, who used two starters for 14 consecutive seasons from 1980 to 1993.
Jackson brushed off the past on Wednesday, and in the process showed that he may have what it takes to succeed where so many before him have failed.
“I can’t worry about what everybody has been through here. I don’t worry about what everybody else has done, been through, what people should not say, what they should say,” Jackson said. “I am going to do the best job that I can do. The fans might not like me for a while, but they are going to love me here pretty soon. I promise you that because I do plan on winning here.
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“I know with every loss there is another dagger that just drags you down another few feet deeper. That is OK. I’ve been there before. I am a fighter so we are going to get back up and we are going to keep swinging. We are going to be fine.”
Jackson wasn’t finished, though, as he closed out his press conference with a statement that should keep Browns fans feeling placated during the latest rebuilding project.
“I didn’t come here to be average. I didn’t come here just to win a few games and go on about my business. I came here to help this organization win a championship,” he said. “How fast that is going to happen, I don’t know. I don’t know if there is going to be a ton of struggle before there are a ton of great times, but I’m not worried about people not being happy right now. I am going to do the best job that I can with our staff and these players, and we are going to keep working at it.
“My point is eventually they will love me because we are going to win, and we are going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns.”
It is easy to express bravado after just one game into your coaching tenure and it is no guarantee of success. But Jackson’s continued enthusiasm and resolve to see it through (if given the chance) is refreshing.
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The more that Jackson talks the more it seems that not only is he the head coach that the Browns need, but he is also one that the team and its fans want.