CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - When the Browns fired Hue Jackson on October 29th most Browns fans rejoiced. Finally, the guy who called the shots for a 1-31 run was out of Cleveland. Many also laughed when he rejoined his former employer downstate, the Cincinnati Bengals. “I wish him the best. It was hard a couple of weeks ago," said Browns General Manager John Dorsey on Wednesday. "I wish him the best. I wish him the best.” As long as they are not playing the Browns one would assume, which they do two times over the course of the rest of the year.
Jackson has joined the Bengals as a Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Cincinnati fired their defensive coordinator on Monday and Marvin Lewis, their head coach, announced he would be running the defense for the rest of the season. In his first practice on Wednesday Lewis spent considerably more time with the defense than he has in the past, and maybe that is where Jackson’s presence makes sense for the Bengals- he can do some of the overseeing that Lewis previously did. Should that concern Browns fans? No. The only thing that should concern them a little bit is that Jackson knows the inner workings of the Browns offense and defense.
Certainly by the time they play the Bengals on November 25th the Browns will have changed their audibles and anything else that would be a dead giveaway for Jackson, but they can’t change everything. He knows the plays. He also knows tendencies and the ways that players and coaches think. That could be problematic. Is it an advantage for the Bengals? Yes, but it does not mean they will know exactly what the Browns will be doing every play. Here’s the other thing, the Bengals will still have to execute, something they have not done, especially on defense, all year. Can Lewis taking over the defense fix that? Sure, but it rarely makes a huge impact, especially right away.
Jackson signing up with the Bengals probably would have happened anyway, but it is a bonus for them that they have two games to play against the Browns and are fighting for a playoff spot. Every game counts. The Browns know this, and they have not raised the white flag on their season either. “I can’t stress to you all enough that we have a lot of football left. We have six games to be played here in the 2018 season,” said Dorsey. “I think it is important for this organization to focus on those six games. We have to continually win.”
The Browns would like nothing more than to help defuse the Bengals, and Jackson’s, playoff hopes while simultaneously keeping their slim chances alive.