Season 13 of HBO’s original show Hard Knocks premiered on Tuesday, and the show focuses on the Cleveland Browns this season. While plenty has changed this offseason, as the new front office has tried to get the sour taste of a winless season off the tongue of the city, some old faces around the Browns seem resistant to the ideas of change that the new guys are trying to instill.
When your head coach is 1-31 in two seasons as a head coach, you fully expect him to be open to change. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns, however. In the premiere of Hard Knocks, we see this firsthand.
New offensive coordinator Todd Haley comes in from Pittsburgh, where he saw great success leading one of the most explosive offenses in the league for six seasons.
Haley has plenty of weapons to work with this season in Cleveland, after new general manager John Dorsey overhauled the roster to bring in real talent. But he, along with running backs coach Freddie Kitchens, were not too keen on Hue Jackson sitting players out of fear of injury.
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After Hue said holding players out of training camp practices is “preventative,” Haley let his voice be heard.
"“I have an opinion on it,” Haley said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “We need to get so much done. … If we live in our fears, I mean, our team has to get mentally tougher and be able to fight through the [expletive] that we’ve got fight through. We’ve got to change this drastically and if we’ve got guys that haven’t done [expletive] sitting around doing nothing, I just don’t know how we’re going to do it.”"
Hue Jackson doesn’t evidently like taking advice from someone who has been successful before. While Todd Haley didn’t succeed as an NFL head coach (he went 19-26 in three seasons as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs), he has still seen more success than Hue may ever see as the head man of the coaching staff. Jackson even had the gall to say that “When it’s your team, do what the hell you want.” That’s the kind of attitude you don’t want to see from a 1-31 head coach.
Elsewhere, new wide receiver Jarvis Landry had a passionate speech during the wide receiver meeting, calling out his fellow wideouts for not practicing.
Landry said that everyone is hurt and tired, but by sitting out because of it, while not being injured, is “weak and contagious.” He also said that is why the past is the way it is, and it needs to stay in the past.
Unfortunately, his speech appeared to fall on deaf ears, much like Todd Haley’s did. The other wideouts appeared to take Landry’s heartfelt speech much like their head coach did Haley’s. If Cleveland really wants to change the culture and remove the stench of an 0-16 campaign, it’ll take the old faces around the organization buying in to some of the changes that John Dorsey sees.
If they don’t heed advice from the new leaders on the team, such and Jarvis Landry and Todd Haley, it’ll go south even quicker than before. Hue Jackson can’t afford for that to happen if he plans to succeed and survive in Cleveland.
The next episode of Hard Knocks will air Tuesday, August 14 on HBO.