Did Hue Jackson imply he doesn’t care for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield as a person?
During his tenure as the Cleveland Browns head coach, Hue Jackson was a polarizing figure. He came in with a lot of hype after a successful stint as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator. There was also a belief that he did a good job going 8-8 with the Oakland Raiders during his lone season as a head coach prior to 2016.
There were also those who disliked Jackson from the start due to his propensity to throw people under the bus as he constantly wanted to make sure he was never blamed for the 1-31 start to his coaching career with Cleveland — he did something similar that cost him his job with Oakland.
Eventually, his welcome was worn out and Jackson was fired during a drama-filled 2-5-1 start to the 2018 season.
Central to the drama that year was his dealings with No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. Jackson and Mayfield never seemed to see eye to eye as the coach wouldn’t allow the rookie to compete with Tyrod Taylor for the starting job and even kept him from practicing with the first team. Eventually, Jackson had to turn to the rookie when Taylor was injured and Mayfield never surrendered the job.
Things didn’t get smoothed over there as Mayfield took some shots at Jackson when the coach returned to Cincinnati and they even had their awkward exchange at midfield when they did meet again. As for Jackson, he has refused to get personal with Mayfield but he might have finally done so this week.
While speaking with ESPN Cleveland, Jackson said that he still believes in Mayfield and says he will have success in the NFL. Then, he said he does like Mayfield but made sure to emphasize “the player” is who he likes.
This is telling that Jackson, more than once, said “the player” when discussing his like for Mayfield. And in all honesty, it’s not shocking.
Justified or not, Mayfield calling Jackson out in the media surely didn’t sit well with the former head coach. Jackson believes he was dealt a bad hand in Cleveland as he was told the team would be torn down to the studs, which it was. And he took the hit for the record.
Then, the general manager who he had this plan with was let go, and in came John Dorsey. Cleveland’s new GM didn’t hire Jackson but was instead told he had to work with him. That also led to some tension and in the end, no one survived for long as Dorsey was gone after the following season.
For Jackson, it was frustrating. He said more than once how much he liked living in Cleveland and he really wanted to see the rebuild through. And we might all be able to learn even more about those feelings from Jackson, and more.
While speaking with ESPN Cleveland, Jackson also said he’s working on a book, which will surely spill some of the secrets of what goes on behind the scenes in Berea.
Browns fans everywhere should be interested in this book, whether they like Jackosn or not. It’s sure to have some entertaining tidbits we can all enjoy.