It’s spooky season with Halloween right around the corner. And perhaps no head coach should be as scared as Hue Jackson. Following a dreadful 26-23 overtime loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game where neither team seemed particularly interested in winning, the Cleveland Browns have fallen to 2-4-1. The early season hype that surrounded the team after getting their first win and glimpse at Baker Mayfield has slipped away. Now, they sorta feel like the same old Browns.
That’s led to multiple reports that Jackson’s time in Cleveland may finally be up.
This one from Ben Allbright.
Via text: "The ice under Hue [Jackson] is as thin as it can possibly get. Not sure he makes it to the bye."
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 21, 2018
And this veiled tweet from local radio host Daryl Ruiter.
Hearing rumblings this evening #Browns owner Jimmy Haslam & GM John Dorsey are less than pleased with the current state of affairs….. stay tuned.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 22, 2018
As Ruiter would go on to point out, the Browns have tied an NFL record with their 24th straight road loss. Pittsburgh can make that 25 this Sunday.
After the game, Jackson, in his attempt to act like a real head coach, suggested he may be involved more in the offense moving forward.
Calling offensive football his “specialty,” #Browns HC Hue Jackson says he needs “to be a little more involved” in team’s offense: “I’m not going to continue to watch something that I know how to do keep being that way.”
(Note: Jackson was Browns playcaller in 2016, 2017) pic.twitter.com/TUhB8A0pgD
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 21, 2018
I’m sure Todd Haley will be thrilled to hear that news.
There’s perhaps even more incentive to finally can Jackson than in a normal situation (though nothing about their historic losing is normal). There’s two ex-head coaches at coordinator. Haley and DC Gregg Williams, the latter who served as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach in the early 2000s. Firing Jackson wouldn’t mean putting the interim guy in a position he’s never been in before.
Getting fired after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t be anything new in Cleveland. As Tony Grossi reminded us of this morning, a whopping five coaches in the last ten years have gotten canned after a Steelers’ loss: Romeo Crennell in 2008, Eric Mangini in 2011, Pat Shurmur in 2012, Rob Chudzinski in 2013, and Mike Pettine in 2014.
Just a reminder the Steelers have had only three head coaches in the last 49 years.
While the Browns are playing better than their winless 2017 campaign, that’s created actual expectations for this team. And that may be the final element that ends Jackson’s depressing tenure in Cleveland.