Hue Jackson oddly confident about keeping his job past 2017

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson could be on thin ice with new general manager John Dorsey, although Jackson doesn’t see it that way.

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam got an early jump on his biennial firings last week when he relieved executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown of his duties.

Most reasonable fans expected that as soon as Haslam finished approving the press releasing on Brown’s firing he would start drafting one for head coach Hue Jackson. After all, if Brown was to blame for the team’s woes, then certainly Jackson, the record holder for the worst start by a head coach in NFL history, would be just as culpable.

But Haslam inexplicably threw everyone a curve by not only keeping Jackson and his (now) 1-28 record with the Browns, but also declaring that Jackson would still be his head coach in 2018.

That pledge may be put to the test, however, according to a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who opined on Monday that there is a “persistent sense” around the NFL that new general manager John Dorsey is ready to bring in his own man for the head coach position.

When asked about the possibility of not being in Cleveland past this season, Jackson sounded oddly confident for a head coach with a career winning percentage of .200 and said he would put his faith in Haslam, according to

"“I just think you have to trust in what he said. I know I do. I don’t see it any other way, personally, myself. I think what he said is what he meant. That is what I believe and that is what I know.”"

Haslam may truly have meant it last week when he said he was comfortable keeping Jackson beyond this year. Of course, Haslam has said a lot of questionable things since buying the Browns in 2012, including repeated promises that he has learned his lesson about rebooting the franchise every couple of years.

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But his mood could easily take a turn for the worse before the end of the month, especially if the Browns close out the season with three more losses to become the first team since the 2008 Detroit Lions to go 0-16.

That seems more and more likely as the weeks roll along, especially given the nature of the Browns final three games.

Even under the best of circumstances the Browns struggle to beat the Baltimore Ravens, this week’s opponent, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, waiting in the season finale. That leaves just the Chicago Bears on Christmas Eve as a potential winnable game.

But the Browns have not won a road game since Oct. 11, 2015, and while Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is on par with Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer, the Bears have a decent defense, which is always a hurdle for the Browns offense.

Jackson remains confident, for now, that he will return next season. A couple of wins in the season’s final three games, especially given a roster that is as allegedly void of talent as the Browns, would certainly help his case.

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But with Haslam still calling the shots, and Jackson running out of scapegoats, his confidence may yet prove to be unfounded.