Cleveland Browns: 5 long-term steps to AFC North contention

jgoehring
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Corey Coleman (Baylor) is selected by the Cleveland Browns as the number fifteen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Corey Coleman (Baylor) is selected by the Cleveland Browns as the number fifteen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, right, talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown during pre-game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, right, talks with executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown during pre-game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Jimmy Haslam and the Browns have changed their minds too many times. First they wanted to build from the quarterback position down, then they wanted to follow Seattle’s model, and now they’re into analytics and placing emphasis on the offensive side of the ball. This entire decade has driven Cleveland fans out of their minds.

The second step to winning the AFC North in 2019 is making sure this deadline is not delayed. To do this, the Browns have to pick a regime and stick with it. As of now, it must be assumed that Haslam will go with Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson long-term. Refraining from shaking everything up again is one important element to the rebuilding process.

Of course, fans are very much caught up on finding a coach for the long-term and a “franchise quarterback.” While a coach who has begun his tenure with ten straight losses may not strike fans as the coach of the future, the Browns must treat Jackson like he is. After all, Jackson provides Cleveland with exactly what they wanted when they finally made up their mind; an offensive-minded head coach with the experience to turn a roster around.

Jackson’s 8-8 record in Oakland in his first season as a head coach is very revealing as to what he is capable of accomplishing. Unlike past Cleveland head coaches, Jackson has some experience winning in the National Football League.

Some of his decisions may be questionable, no doubt. But even just for the sake of some continuity, Haslam cannot relieve Jackson of his coaching duties after two seasons this time.

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