I don't know whether to offer Hue Jackson congratulations or condolences.
Jackson has been named the head coach of an NFL team, something that he has earned throughout his near 30-year coaching career, but it's with the Cleveland Browns.
Yes, those Browns.
The Browns, who have had only three winning seasons since 1990 with the last one coming in 2007. The Browns, who are now on their eighth head coach since 1999, their fifth since 2009. Being in charge of the Cleveland Browns is the worst head coaching job in the NFL, but at least Jackson gets another chance.
It's like Marvin Lewis when he went to Cincinnati and Lovie Smith in Tampa Bay. Oh well, it's a coaching job. I am just hoping that this job doesn't end up like Jackson's last coaching stint, his one year stay in Oakland where he finished 8-8 with the lowly Oakland Raiders in 2011, and he still got fired.
Jackson is a good coach and maybe the Browns got it right this time. More importantly, I am hoping they hire Jackson some good front office people who will get him players. The Browns have struck out with general managers just as they have with head coaches, which is why I am not sure Jackson will succeed in Cleveland.
Jackson has everything he needs to win. He has discipline, passion and a strong rapport with his players. He knows the AFC North well, having worked under Lewis and with the Ravens. Jackson was the Ravens quarterback coach in 2008-09 when Joe Flacco became the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games in league history. He helped raise quarterback Andy Dalton's game to a near-MVP level this season and did a nice job getting backup quarterback AJ McCarron ready for his playoff start last Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During the past season as offensive coordinator with the Bengals, Jackson was creative and innovative running everything from the Wildcat offense to the the unbalanced line to the Pistol offense.
But in Cincinnati, Jackson had talent and a big league quarterback. In Cleveland, he has virtually nothing on the offensive side of the ball except an immature QB in Johnny Manziel. I hope the Browns give Jackson ample time. If not, his career as a head coach might be forever buried with the others who have gone before him.
The time to rebuild a franchise has shrunk from five or six years to three or four years and now it's just one or two. Just ask Tennessee's Ken Whisenhunt and San Francisco's Jim Tomsula.
Jackson already got punched in the gut while in Oakland, so it's safe to assume he found a way to work around the problems in a troubled organization like the Browns. Let's hope so. If not, he has very little chance to succeed.