Hue Jackson will be taking on a CEO-style approach this season and shed light on why he thought Todd Haley‘s experience was sufficient to unseat him as Browns play-caller. Jackson confirmed Thursday that Haley will call plays, just as he did in Pittsburgh.
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of transitioning into,” Jackson said (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com) of an arrangement where he will oversee the offense while an OC calls plays. “For the first two years I didn’t think there was somebody out there that could do it better than myself. I’ve said that from Day 1, I just don’t think that’s fair.
“… We’re in a different phase of this process here in Cleveland and we’re well set up to move forward on offense where I can feel comfortable saying, ‘Hue, you need to be more of the CEO head coach. Let your role really on game day be about the football team, not just the team on offense.”’
Jackson, who called Browns plays the past two seasons and did so without an offensive coordinator, said Haley became his top OC choice once the Steelers did not renew his contract. While the third-year head coach said Haley will run the show come game day, with Jackson’s recommendations, he will be hands-on with the quarterback the Browns select in the draft. They are widely expected to pick a quarterback at No. 1 overall
“I probably will. That part of me isn’t going to change,” Jackson said of working with a rookie quarterback. “I’m just not the primary play-caller and not the driver of the offensive football team. My expertise is on the offensive side, but again, I just hired one of the best of the best in the league.”
Here’s the latest from AFC staffs.
- Brian Callahan‘s received interest from the Titans and Jets since he and the Lions parted ways, with the former scheduling an OC interview that took place Wednesday. However, the Raiders are in the mix for Callahan now too. Callahan will interview for Oakland’s quarterbacks coach position, Jason Wolf of The Tennesseean reports. The Jets view him as a fit for their QBs job as well and are interviewing him for that role. So, the former Broncos and Lions assistant has options.
- As Jackson transitions away from play-calling responsibilities in Cleveland, Andy Reid will pivot back to them in Kansas City. The sixth-year Chiefs HC will call plays in 2018, he said Thursday (via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star). This could be expected since Reid lost Matt Nagy, who called plays for the Chiefs late in the season, to Chicago. New OC Eric Bieniemy has never called NFL plays before, and Reid maintained play-calling duties during the start of Nagy and Doug Pederson‘s tenures before ceding those reins toward the end of their respective runs. Reid revealed he called plays in Week 17, which was Patrick Mahomes‘ NFL debut, despite a run of success for Nagy late in the season. That interruption could be notable since Mahomes could well be K.C.’s starter in 2018.
- Josh McDaniels‘ second interview with the Colts will take place on Friday, sources tell Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). McDaniels, who will take over as the Colts’ head coach after the Super Bowl, will sit down with owner Jim Irsay and GM Chris Ballard to make plans for the offseason. Per league rules, McDaniels cannot formally be named as Indianapolis’ new HC until after the Patriots’ season is over, so the “second interview” is the only way the two parties can meet in person.
Zach Links contributed to this report.