BEREA, Ohio -- In the same release announcing the firing of Sashi Brown, the executive vice president of football operations, on Thursday, Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam confirmed coach Hue Jackson would be retained for at least the 2018 season.
Despite being retained while Brown was relieved of his duties, Jackson denied that a power struggle between himself and the front office led to the decision that was made Thursday.
“I don’t see a power struggle,” Jackson said. “I have a contract that was longer than two years. However you want to look at that, that is totally up to you, but I don’t look at it as a power struggle.
“I think where we are today is the organization made a decision to do something different. I stand behind that wholeheartedly, grateful for the opportunity to still be here and grateful for the opportunity to coach this team, and that is what I am going to do.”
PHOTOS: Cleveland Browns practice ahead of Sunday's game against Green Bay Packers
Over the final weeks of Brown’s tenure, reports citing sources from within the organization described a contentious atmosphere between the coaching staff and front office. Jackson denied being the one who leaked information to the media to gain an advantage over Brown.
“I don’t deal in leaks,” Jackson said. “I have been doing this for quite a while. I don’t know what you are referring to when you say ‘leaks out of here’. This has been a leaky place for years. This is not the first time you have ever heard leaks out of the Cleveland Browns.
“Hopefully, some of that stuff will go away in time, but it is not going to go away when you are losing, that is for sure. If anything, it is going to ratchet up even more. I think you get that yourselves. I appreciate ‘my agent,’ ‘my this,’ ‘my that,’ but we don’t deal in that way. I have never dealt in that way.”
With their 12th consecutive loss of the 2017 season at the Los Angeles Chargers last week, the Browns dropped to 1-27 since the front-office regime of Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta took control of the organization and hired Jackson as their coach in early January of 2016.
The Browns have not won on a Sunday afternoon since December 13, 2015. The 29 straight Sunday losses are an NFL record, and their 4-45 mark in the last 49 outings is the worst in the league in that four-year span.
Additionally, the Browns’ 1-27 mark is the worst in league history over a 28-game stretch, beating the previous mark of 2-26 set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1976-1977 seasons.
“My focus of coming here to the Cleveland Browns is to coach the football team and help get this organization turned around,” Jackson said.
“I haven’t been able to do that yet. That is something that I think we all want to do -- Jimmy and Dee, obviously. Hopefully, I am still a part of that, which I am, and hopefully, our players that are here, a year from now, hopefully, we can get this thing to where it needs to be.”