Browns fire Hue Jackson in his third year as coach

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was impatient for years when it came to his head coaches. When he needed to be impatient with Hue Jackson, he gave him more time.

That time ran out, as the Browns decided to fire Jackson during his third season as coach. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the firing on Monday morning.

The decision to stick with Jackson, first through a 1-15 season and then through a 0-16 season, might cost the Browns a chance to be in the playoff race. They blew many winnable games already this season, including one two weeks ago in overtime to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They fell to 2-5-1 with a loss on Sunday to the Steelers and while it sounds strange to say it about the Browns, they’re far better than their record. Coaching hasn’t helped, especially in those close games.

The Browns finally gave up on Jackson, probably a year or so too late. He had a ghastly 3-36-1 record as Browns coach.

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Jarvis Landry #80 and Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns look on during the National Anthem prior to the game against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after being hit during the first quarter agains the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: A Cleveland Browns fan looks on during the first quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during the second quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Cleveland Browns fans celebrate after a Browns touchdown during the third quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on September 20, 2018, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated New York 21-17. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) catches a pass for a two-point conversion during the third quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after making a catch on a two-point conversion attempt during the third quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after a 21-17 win over the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns runs off the field after a 21-17 win over the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Carlos Hyde #34 celebrates his touchdown with Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: A Cleveland Browns fan is near tears after the Browns scored ago take the lead during the fourth quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on September 20, 2018, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated New York 21-17. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: Cleveland Browns fans celebrate as the seconds tick off the clock during the fourth quarter of the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on September 20, 2018, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated New York 21-17. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Hue Jackson was intriguing hire, but did not work out

The Jackson hire looked good when the Browns made it. Jackson had some good seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator. After years of instability, the Browns were going to have a tough time finding any qualified coach, and Jackson was a relatively hot name when the Browns landed him.

Nothing went right, however. The first season produced only one win, in the second-to-last game. You might have been able to excuse that, due to Jackson inheriting a poor roster. It was harder to explain when the Browns were even worse in his second season, posting the second 0-16 record in NFL history.

What made Jackson coming back for a third season even stranger is that Cleveland cleaned house in the front office, firing general manager Sashi Brown but giving Jackson another year. When the Browns broke their famous losing streak earlier this season, it was in spite of Jackson’s stubbornness. Jackson wanted to start Tyrod Taylor over No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and repeatedly shot down any notion that the more talented Mayfield should get a shot. Taylor suffered a Week 3 concussion, forcing Jackson to play Mayfield for the first time. Mayfield led a thrilling comeback win that night. If it were up to Jackson, his talented rookie quarterback would have never been on the field.

That sums up Jackson’s time with the Browns pretty well.

Browns’ vacancy is interesting

The Browns have talented players, after plenty of high draft picks and a lot of money spent in free agency. Cleveland was expected to be better in 2018, but the results still haven’t been very pretty. Haslam also will have to pay the final year-and-a-half of Jackson’s contract, which runs through 2019 according to Schefter.

The Browns’ vacancy will be an interesting one to track. The recent horrendous history of the Browns won’t help. Neither will an ownership situation that is considered among the worst in the NFL. But candidates will look at the talent on the roster, especially with top overall pick Mayfield at quarterback, and see positives. Cleveland should get interest from attractive candidates.

And the biggest positive might be this: It won’t be hard for the Browns’ next coach to be an improvement over Jackson and his miserable run.

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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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