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Browns special teams were league’s worst in 2018, per PFF

Unit was a blight on the team from Week 1 all the way through season’s final game.

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Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns special teams were anything but during the 2018 NFL season.

Starting in Week 1 - when the Browns had a game-winning field goal blocked in overtime - and continuing through the season’s final game, it was a weekly lowlight show of penalties, missed assignments and general nonsense.

So it should come as no surprise that Pro Football Focus ranked the Browns special teams unit as the league’s worst in 2018.

The ranking also has Browns fans continuing to ponder just why special teams coordinator Amos Jones still has a job (and why he was hired in the first place).

Jones came to Cleveland after spending the previous five years as the special teams coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals, who decided not to renew his contract after the 2017 season. During his time in Arizona, the special teams units were near the bottom of the league’s rankings on an annual basis.

How bad was it? ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss detailed a few “highlights” near the end of last season:

(In 2017), they’re ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in eight special-teams categories: expected points added by special teams (31st), field goal percentage (29th), opponent field goal percentage (32nd), net yards per punt 28th), opponent net yards per punt (30th), opponent yards per kick return (28th), average starting field position on kickoff returns (30th) and opponent field goal blocks (30th).

They were ranked 30th in expected points added by special teams the past two seasons. They’ve were ranked 32nd in net yards per punt in 2016 and 2015, and 30th in 2014. They were in the bottom three in the NFL in opponent net yards per punt in three of the past five years, including this season.

Maybe former head coach Hue Jackson - who is statistically and unquestionably the worst head coach in the 99-year history of the NFL - believed that having Jones on staff would distract everyone from how bad Jackson is at his job.

With the Browns signaling their intent to be a playoff contender in 2019, it seems extremely unlikely that they can live with Jones on the coaching staff much longer.

On the bright side, who ever takes over has no where to go but up.