Hue Jackson discusses firing by Browns, says he knows he ‘would’ve turned offense around’

Hue Jackson is confident he could have improved the Browns offense.

Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired by Cleveland earlier this week after the team opened the season with a 2-5-1 record. Jackson discussed the Browns’ decision during an in-depth interview Thursday with The Plain Dealer.

“That’s a hard pill to swallow when you’ve given it your all, and you’ve worked extremely hard and you do everything you can to try to put the place in the best position to move forward,” Jackson said. “But again, it’s their decision. I have to respect it and move on.”

Jackson and Haley had reportedly disagreed about the direction of Cleveland’s offense with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield under center. Jackson said he was planning to become more involved in the game plan and take over the play-calling duties.

“I knew that I would’ve taken our same system and turned the offense around,” Jackson said. “It was not what I wanted to do, it’s what I had to do. If I couldn’t turn it around, then so be it and we move on.

“So, I was surprised that I was not given the opportunity to display what I could do as a play-caller with a much more talented offensive roster.”

Jackson finished with a 3-36-1 record during his two-plus seasons as Cleveland’s head coach. But, he said he doesn’t regret taking the job in January 2016.

“Cleveland is currently the Mount Everest of the NFL,” Jackson said. “It’s extremely difficult. Not for everybody. But if you can conquer it, your legacy becomes cemented. Like I said, many good coaches have taken a crack at it before me.

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“It is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, a history of losing has a tremendous impact on an organization. But I took my shot at it. If there’s any regret I have, it’s not really being able to build an offense the way I envisioned from day one.”

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is serving as the Browns interim head coach.

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