In the second episode of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks,’ Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson again comes out looking unprepared and over his head
If you aren’t sold on Hue Jackson as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, don’t expect the most recent edition of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ to change your mind. In this latest episode, the producers try at times to make Jackson seem like he’s a demanding coach, but he falls short.
Jackson did get some fire in his speeches, but he also seems over his head. When dealing with a receiver struggling early on he deflects the blame. Corey Coleman asks why he’s not starting and Jackson won’t address the fact he’s been struggling, but instead wants offensive coordinator Todd Haley to handle it.
He then does the majority of the talking instead of letting Antonio Callaway own up to his mistake and tries to be tough to the rest of the team after a half-hearted apology from the wideout.
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While those complaints could be dismissed as nit picky, the worst part for Jackson was once again him walking around with no clue on how to get his team to respond. Upset with the pace of practice, Jackson has to be coached by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Connor Orr of Sports Illustrated perfectly recaps the uncomfortable conversation where the coach has to be coached by the student.
"“Hue Jackson spent the better part of this episode bewildered, like a man who was just told a wild, unfathomable government secret. Taylor, in an effort to combat the laziness at practice, suggested putting a rolling camera on players during practice and highlighting the lollygagging during a team-wide film session. Not bad, Tyrod!“ — Orr, Sports Illustrated"
While this is a sign of leadership and maturity from Taylor, it’s another black eye for Jackson. With a 1-31 record the past two seasons (and 9-39) for his career, it’s already puzzling to some that Jackson has been retained by the Browns.
Making that fact more confusing is the way he’s been coming off on the HBO series.
He’s been overshadowed as a motivator and leader by both coordinators as Gregg Williams, in addition to Haley, simply command more respect. Now he’s looking like a guy who needs his players in his ear to get things accomplished.
This season will make or break Jackson’s career with the Browns, and likely an NFL head coach. If the show is any indicator, it’s not off to a great start for him.