We have asked before if there’s friction between Todd Haley and Hue Jackson, but now their lack of unity is just becoming comical for the Cleveland Browns
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley couldn’t be more different than head coach Hue Jackson if he tried. This has been made evident more than once during this first season of the two working together with the Cleveland Browns. And we’re just three weeks into the season.
The first hint that the two weren’t on the same wavelength came when Haley was frustrated by players sitting out of practice and Jackson shot him down with his ‘I am the boss, do as I say’ spiel that made the cut for ‘Hard Knocks.’
Next was the issue where Jackson proclaimed time and again that Josh Gordon wouldn’t start on Week 1, only to see Haley call a play where Gordon was on the field the very first play.
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While that’s pretty lame because starting doesn’t matter to positions like wide receiver as much as snap counts do, it showed the two men weren’t using the same book, let alone being on the same page.
Heading into Week 4, we have the third incident where the two aren’t together, but this time it just shows the difference in the pride the two men have. When asked about the two-point conversion where Baker Mayfield caught a pass in a play that looked a lot like the Philly Special that the Philadelphia Eagles ran in the Super Bowl.
When asked about the fact they looked similar, Jackson went on the defensive and said there’s no way they stole it and that he has had that play in his pocket for a while. He even said Todd Haley has done it before. So naturally Haley was asked and he said there’s no doubt he stole it and wasn’t afraid to let the world know. Mike Renner from PFF shared the two answers side by side in their comical glory on Twitter.
Now, is this a big issue? Absolutely not. But it does highlight the differences between the two men who are working in the coaching staff.
Jackson is the most prideful losing coach ever. Despite having an atrocious 2-32-1 record with the Browns (and destroying the Raiders for years in his lone 8-8 season by mortgaging their future for Carson Palmer), Hue believes he is the man. He thinks he knows best and everyone should fall in line.
Rather than earn that with his actions, he barks out orders and demands that people respect him. Then he looks foolish when he isn’t right — which leads to more barking out of him.
Then there’s Haley. The best image of him was on ‘Hard Knocks’ where he was walking through the office in cargo shorts and flip-flops. He’s won and lost as a coordinator and head coach — even took a Matt Cassel-led team to the playoffs as a head coach. Yet he understands that it’s not about barking and demanding respect. He also doesn’t care how much credit he gets.
What makes the dynamic interesting is Haley took away the play calling from Jackson and he’s also the most likely to fill in for him should Jackson get fired — which many think could be on the horizon if the team doesn’t keep winning as they did in Week 3.
As Renner said in his following Tweet, “If Only Hard Knocks lasted all season long.”
These two are great together, and they don’t even try.