Hue Jackson has no need for something as pedestrian as touchdowns
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson apparently can’t be bothered to attempt to score those pesky things known as touchdowns.
The Cleveland Browns have been having a rough go of it through the first three months of the 2017 NFL season.
An 0-11 start, part of a 1-26 streak under head coach Hue Jackson, has the team looking for answers, especially on offense. Under Jackson’s leadership as offensive coordinator, the Browns are 24th in the NFL in yards per game, 29th in yards per play, 32nd in third-down conversions and dead last in points per game at 15.1.
The Browns are on pace to score just 242 points this season, which would be the lowest output since 2011.
That is why it would seem like a good idea for the Browns to do everything in their power to score touchdowns when the opportunity presents itself.
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But you would be wrong, Browns fan, as Jackson explained during his Monday afternoon media conference.
As the Browns neared halftime of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer moved the offense to a first-and-10 at the Bengals 11-yard line with 20 seconds to go. Trailing 16-3, the opportunity to get back into the game was there for the taking.
Kizer hit Corey Coleman with an eight-yard pass on first down and, with no timeouts, spiked the ball on second down. With six seconds remaining, there was certainly enough time for a shot in the end zone. Instead, Jackson sent out kicker Zane Gonzalez, who converted a 21-yard field goal.
It seems reasonable to expect an NFL team, even one as inexperienced as the Browns, to be able to run more than one play under those circumstances. But that is not the case, according to Jackson, who delivered one of the most stupefying answers imaginable when asked about the series during his Monday press meeting.
Apparently the Browns are “not equipped that way,” according to several media members, including Keith Britton of Cleveland radio station 92.3 The Fan:
So 11 games into the season, the Browns are not “equipped” to execute the most basic of plays? Seriously?
How Jackson can offer that explanation with a straight face, and how his apologists can continue to hold him blameless for the Browns being 1-26 under his watch, is baffling.
We understand that the end zone is unchartered waters for the Browns, but isn’t that what practice is for? You know, to run through different scenarios that may come up during a game, such as what to when you have the ball inside the opponent’s 10-yard line in the waning seconds of the half with no timeouts?
Next: DPD Podcast: Trying to stay positive at 0-11
We’ve seen and heard a lot from the 13 full-time head coaches the Browns have employed in our 40 years as a fan, but this one is definitely on the Top 10 list for head-scratching moments when it comes to this team and its head coaches.