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Hue Jackson: Hiring Todd Haley ‘The Biggest Mistake I Ever Made’

Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who won a whopping three games during his two-and-a-half-season tenure with the team, stirred up some controversy with some remarks that he made about the organization on ESPN Radio recently, accusing them of lying to him and making him the fall guy, claiming that they decided to gut the team without informing him, and then tied it to minority coaches.

The interview was conducted at least in part to promote a book that he has written that will come out later this year about his time in Cleveland, which coincides with the end of his contract buyout period, during which former employees tend to keep their mouths shut.

He did make some less controversial statements, however, one of those being his expression of regret over hiring Todd Haley in 2018 to be his offensive coordinator, after having spent the previous two seasons—during which they went 1-31, mind you—as his own offensive coordinator.

“I think it was the biggest mistake I ever made”, he said during that radio interview, referring to it as a bad marriage. Haley had just completed a six-year stint as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator at the time he was hired. “I never should have done that”.

Although he routinely gets criticized by Steelers fans, the offense during Haley’s tenure was the most potent in team history, accounting for the majority of the team’s most high-scoring seasons, though of course he had the benefit of the best talent available with prime years from Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.

Jackson and Haley were both fired in the middle of the 2018 season with the Browns after starting 2-5-1 on the year. The team would finish 5-3 over the second half of the year, the best stretch of football that they had managed in some time.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was promoted to interim head coach to oversee that run, but credit was given the interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, who would earn the head coaching job a year later—and get canned the next season, justifiably.

As for Jackson, he would serve a role with the Cincinnati Bengals later during the 2018 season, during which stretch his former players would be less than diplomatic toward him, with one player, after intercepting a ball, going up to him on the sidelines and mockingly handing it to him.

Haley has not coached in the NFL since, though he did take up a job at Riverview high school as offensive coordinator. He also made a Twitter account, through which he has fully embraced his inner Yinzer.

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