The Cleveland Browns were pretty dysfunctional in Hue Jackson’s final days as head coach. That shouldn’t come as breaking news by now. Even the most casual NFL fans know Jackson didn’t cover himself in glory during his tenure as Browns coach.
But thanks to CBS broadcaster Ian Eagle, fans have a little more insight into what the Browns were dealing with days before Jackson was fired. Eagle appeared on the Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday. During his appearance, Eagle shared a story that shed some light on the internal power struggle within the Browns during Jackson’s final days as the team’s head coach.
Wait until you hear @CBSSports Ian Eagle tell us what Hue Jackson told Dan Fouts when asked about tailoring the #Browns offense more towards what @bakermayfield ran at #Oklahoma: pic.twitter.com/TawtiuQMqQ
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) November 28, 2018
Eagle and former quarterback Dan Fouts were the broadcast team for what turned out to be Jackson’s final game with the Browns. During the television production meeting, Fouts asked Jackson why the Browns hadn’t incorporated some of Oklahoma’s offensive strategies to make Baker Mayfield more comfortable. Jackson responded by saying, “Yeah. Good question. I agree.” When pressed by Fouts for an answer, Jackson just said, “I agree.”
Eisen later highlighted why “I agree” was such a troubling statement from Jackson. By saying that, Jackson suggested he was at odds with offensive coordinator Todd Haley over how the offense was being run. Not only that, but Jackson’s comments also made it sound like, despite being the head coach, he was somehow losing that battle.
Eagle agreed with that assessment, and pointed out that Jackson’s comments came shortly after Jackson criticized Haley and the team’s offense.
The television crew ran into a similar issue when Mayfield was asked questions about the offense, Haley and Jackson. Eagle said there was something “amiss” about Mayfield’s answers to those questions.
Because of that, no one on the CBS television crew was surprised when Jackson was fired shortly after the game.
The Browns have gone 2-1 under interim coach Gregg Williams after parting ways with Jackson. Despite getting fired, things haven’t gone poorly for Jackson. He joined the Cincinnati Bengals as a special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis.
While that decision led to Jackson being ripped by Mayfield, it could work out for Jackson in the end. There’s already been some speculation that Jackson could take over for Lewis as the Bengals’ next coach.
If that happens, Jackson will have at least two opportunities per season to prove to the Browns they made the wrong choice.
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