This morning on ESPN, Brian Burke of their analytics division projected the firing probability for every head coach in the NFL. With the Browns currently being winless, is he the next most likely coach to get the axe after the Giants fired Ben McAdoo? Not quite — Chuck Pagano of the Colts takes that honor at 74%. Right behind him is Hue Jackson, with a firing probability of 69%:
Surprisingly, Jackson was not among the coaches considered most likely to be fired after a poor 2017 when we did this exercise in August. But that assumed a four-win season, rather than a winless or one-win campaign. Four wins would have represented progress in Cleveland, while 1-15 or 0-16 would not.
Jackson is well-respected. He inherited a dearth of talent. And he has been in the job for just two seasons. Plus, he has been supported by GM Sashi Brown, who chose him to take over the team in 2016. But common wisdom is that at some point, the stigma of losing so many games begins to stick with a coach, and the locker room might benefit from a fresh voice. With season-ticket holders in Cleveland growing more impatient with the Browns, the front office might need to find some new blood on the sideline.
The factors considered when coming up with the probabilities include win-loss record, degree of decline/improvement, playoff success, whether the current GM hired the coach, and tenure.
After Jackson are John Fox of the Bears (62%), Bruce Arians of the Cardinals (40%), Todd Bowles of the Jets (39%), Marvin Lewis of the Bengals (38%), Bill O'Brien of the Texans (35%), Vance Joseph of the Broncos (32%), Dirk Koetter of the Buccaneers (26%), Jay Gruden of the Redskins (19%), and Jason Garrett of the Cowboys (17%).
There’s also rumors circulating this week that Jackson could end up being the Bengals’ head coach in 2018.
.@JasonLaCanfora on @923TheFan re: possibility of #Browns Hue Jackson with #Bengals next season: "Wouldn't shock me at all. I've been hearing that since August. That would be one of the least surprising offseason machinations if that's how that turned out"— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) December 5, 2017