I’ve always thought to myself, “For all the drama that has happened with the Cleveland Browns over the past 20+ years, you’d think that someone would write a book about it who used to be on the staff or front office.” Next January, we might see that come to fruition, as former Browns head coach Hue Jackson told ESPN Cleveland in a radio interview today that “You’re going to have to wait and see this one. … you’re going to enjoy this,” in reference to a book he is writing.
We’ve seen Jackson and his friend Mike Silver of the NFL Network throw other players, coaches, and front office members under the bus — a lot of excuses, and not enough accountability. I wouldn’t be surprised for this book to be heavily-slanted in defense of Jackson’s time in Cleveland. Nonetheless, that will make for some fun content when it comes out.
To his credit, Jackson still believes in quarterback Baker Mayfield, despite the apparent dislike he had for his former coach, and wishes the best for Cleveland’s fans:
Hue Jackson on Baker Mayfield: "I still think this guy is going to be a really good player. … The player, I’ve never had a problem with the player.” @ESPNCleveland— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 5, 2020
When asked if there was one thing that he wishes he would have done differently in Cleveland, Jackson said that he wishes he never would have given up playcalling [to offensive coordinator Todd Haley]. That is tough to say, even in hindsight. The whole idea behind Jackson giving up playcalling was that the team had performed so badly in his first two years, that in order for him to stick around for a third year, the organization wanted him to focus on being the “head coach” in general. If it was Haley he didn’t click with, then perhaps what Jackson really should say is that he wishes he found a coordinator who clicked better with him.
I wish I had a chance to listen back to the interview myself, but it’s behind a subscription now on ESPN Cleveland. However, Dawg Pound Daily did catch the topic of quarterback Colin Kaepernick being brought up, and Jackson says that he wanted to sign him back in 2017 in Cleveland:
“I wanted him,” Jackson said of Kaepernick. “I don’t know how close it was, but it wasn’t nixed from the beginning.”
Kaepernick had a private workout set up last November that Jackson was supposed to help run, but Jackson backed out at the last minute after changes and disarray from both sides of the camp (the NFL and Kaepernick).