CLEVELAND -- Hue Jackson’s tenure as coach of the Cleveland Browns has been marked by tumultuous times on the field and personnel decisions made by Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta that have not yielded positive results, but through it all, Jackson maintained ownership was in full support of him.
And despite the Browns falling to 0-8 for the second straight season with Sunday’s 33-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings (6-2) at Twickenham Stadium in London, Jackson still feels ownership is firmly behind him.
“I don’t know that it was articulated here, but I still feel that way,” Jackson said. “You guys would have to ask Jimmy that, but I totally have the support of Mr. and Mrs. Haslam. I don’t feel any change in that. I know everybody’s concerned about the losing, my job.
“There’s all kinds of questions out there. I get all that, but that’s never been what my thought process is. Mine is trying to get this team to be the best it can be, keep this coaching staff working hard, keep these players working hard, and that’s my charge. It’s nothing else. It can’t be anything else, but no, I totally feel like I still have their support.”
Over the last three years, the Browns have gone 4-36, and the record has not been much better since Dee and Jimmy Haslam officially purchased the team in October of 2012.
In five seasons under Haslam’s majority ownership, the Browns have posted an NFL-worst 15-57 record. Factoring in the remaining games of the 2012 season after the sale was approved at an NFL Owners Meeting in Chicago, the Browns have gone 19-62.
Despite that history, Jackson senses the locker room remains full of proud players willing to commit to turning around the fortunes of a franchise with only one playoff appearance and two winning seasons since their return to the NFL in 1999.
“This is the best thing I do know about this football team,” Jackson said. “They play hard. They don’t give up. They don’t quit. I think you guys all see that. This is not a group that turns its back, lays downs and says, ‘Okay, we’re done.’ That’s not what we’re going to do. I’ve never coached a team that’s ever done that, and this team will never do that.
“There’s too much pride in the locker room for that, so that I’m most proud of. We’ve got to find a way to win. That’s our charge as coaches, and that’s what we’re going to do. That’s what it’s all about, winning and losing, so we’ve got to get some things better and got to do some things better. We’ve got the second half of the season left, eight more games, and we’ve got to work at it.”
Following the return trip from London, the Browns enter the bye week fully focused on getting things on track over the second half of the season, which begins with a road game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, November 12.
“We know who we are now,” Jackson said. “We know the version we have to be, to play to have a chance, so we’ve just got to keep getting better at it.
“We didn’t make the plays when we had the chance, so again, we come up on the short end of the stick. We can’t finish one, so that’s just kind of where we are. I thought we had our chances, and we didn’t have a chance to make it happen.”
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