Hitting the Ground Running
At this point, everyone is well aware that Hue Jackson has been named the latest head coach of the Cleveland Browns. With his background primarily with offense (despite being the Bengals’ secondary assistant coach in 2012), many are figuring the Browns should be improved in many facets on that side of the ball. The fact that the NFL is more of an offensive league now than it ever has been should reinforce the importance of scoring points.
Red Zone Offense
It’s become obvious that in a league where points are king, teams must execute and secure seven instead of three tallies once they are past the opponent’s twenty yard line. The difference between Hue Jackson’s last team and his current one in this department is rather stark and that must change in order for success to occur in northeast Ohio.
Once getting to the redzone, the Cleveland Browns scored a touchdown just 38.3 percent of the time, which puts them at dead last in the NFL. Couple that with an atrocious defense and it becomes apparent
why the team finished with the second worst record in the league. Losing by just a touchdown is heartbreaking, especially knowing that a play here or there could have gotten you an additional four points with ease (and possibly a victory).
On the other hand, Jackson’s team in 2015 (the Cincinnati Bengals) converted touchdowns in the redzone sixty-five percent of the time, which was good enough for sixth in the league. While remarkable
enough, keep in mind that they were behind Tennessee, the New York Jets, and Detroit – who all were in the redzone on fewer occasions. Scoring any touchdowns was a chore for those franchises, thus one
would believe that if they reached the number of opportunities that the Bengals did – the touchdown percentage would decrease significantly.
It’s also no secret that the new guy in charge knows what it takes for quarterbacks to grow, develop, and play well in the league. He has gotten the most from Jason Campbell, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco (to
name a few). Hue’s faces a tremendous challenge as the guy under center in Cleveland never seems able to put together consistent solid performances (no matter who it is).
One thing is certain – the new coach is ready for a new start and wants to bring in “his guy” in 2016. Jackson recently made a statement about needing a quarterback – Josh McCown and Austin Davis
are decent backups but will never be the franchise quarterback. Meanwhile, the athlete from Texas A&M should be shipped out of here in a matter of months. It will come down to the draft and free agency
for the Browns to grab to man who will lead their offense. Obviously, they need to find the right one.
Conclusion: I’m still not jumping on the bandwagon for the new head coach, and that’s purely due to failed recent history (sorry, Hue). It would appear that the Browns have nowhere to go but up, and that
Jackson can improve a struggling offense however.