If you are a fan of the Cleveland Browns, by now you likely know Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has agreed to become the team’s 8th head coach since 1999, according to Adam Schefter. But what you may have missed during all of the celebrating and refreshing of your Twitter feeds was a report from Fox Sports NFL Insider, Mike Garafolo.
Browns and Hue Jackson have reached agreement, per sources. Press conference to introduce him later today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2016
In response to a question from one of his followers (see the entire tweet below) Garafolo stated, “You ask good questions. I was told Hue made it clear he’d want to move on from Johnny.” Alex Marvez of Fox Sports confirmed Garafolo’s report, but added to it by saying, “Like @MikeGarafolo reported, @JManziel2 days numbered with @Browns. Big ? is whether he gets released or team holds on hoping 2 swing trade.”
You ask good questions. I was told Hue made it clear he’d want to move on from Johnny. https://t.co/tkARNfBSyM
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 13, 2016
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 13, 2016
Depending on whether you are on “Team Johnny” or “Team I don’t care who the QB is I want a winner,” this report could either make you really happy or potentially ruin your celebration of Jackson agreeing to be the Browns head coach. For those of you on “Team Johnny,” please do not let this ruin your view on Jackson, as this hiring could finally be the one to help the Browns out of the cellar of the AFC North.
For starters, Jackson is quite familiar with the division and all of the foes his team will be playing 6 times every season. He spent 2004-2006 as the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach, 2008-2009 as the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach and then returned to the Bengals in 2012 as the team’s secondary/assistant special teams coach. He was promoted to running backs coach in 2013, before receiving another promotion in 2014 to the team’s offensive coordinator position.
During his two seasons as the Bengals offensive coordinator, Jackson’s offense has sported one of the most potent offensive attacks in the league. The team finished No. 15 in total yards, No. 15 in passing yards, No. 13 in rushing yards and No. 7 in points scored per game at 26.2. In 2014, the Bengals also finished at No. 15 in total yards, while boasting the No. 6 rushing attack in the league.
One of the important things about those numbers is that Jackson will provide a well-rounded offensive attack. If you do not believe me, let’s take a look back at the Oakland Raiders when he coached an offensive team devoid of playmakers to an 8-8 record in 2011.
That team finished No. 9 in the NFL in total yards, No. 9 in passing (splitting between Jason Campbell and a beat up Carson Palmer who was threatening retirement in Cincinnati), No. 7 in rushing with Michael Bush leading the way after Darren McFadden was lost to an injury and No. 16 in scoring at 22.4 points per game.
For those of you not very familiar with the 2011 Oakland Raiders, allow me to drop some names for you real quick. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, the previously mentioned Bush and Kevin Boss. Those were the Raiders leading receivers that season. The team also boasted a receiving corps made up of Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, Brandon Myers, Derek Hagan and the shell of T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Put simply, there was not much talent there.
When looking at Jackson as the future of this organization, you have to applaud him for already taking a no-nonsense approach when it comes to Manziel. Jackson is embarking on a major culture change within the Browns organization, and he has already identified a potential issue that needs to be removed from the building.
After ending the last two coaching searches with seemingly the worst candidate on the market in the eyes of many, this has to be considered a major win for the organization and for Browns fans. From his diverse coaching background on both sides of the ball to the respect he commands from former and current players, there is a lot to like about this hire. And dare I say, better days could be on the horizon for the Cleveland Browns.