NFL 2018: Will OC Todd Haley be the Cleveland Browns Best Off-Season Acquisition?

Head coach Hue Jackson, of the Cleveland Browns, was adamant that no one called for him to hire an offensive coordinator.  But after Jackson’s offense finishing last in the league in scoring last season, it was time to move on from him calling offensive plays.

In 2016, the Browns’ offense ranked 30th in total offense.  They were 28th in passing offense and 19th in rushing offense.  In 2017, the Browns went 0-16, their offense ranked 32nd in points, 24th in yards, 22nd in passing yards and went up one to 18th in rushing yards.

Granted Sashi Brown is gone so maybe we can place a little blame on the acquisition of talent?  But Jackson helped evaluate talent and he came to the Browns as an offensive guru.  The offense has faltered, while the defense has made gains. The defense not only drafted Myles Garrett first in the 2017, but Garrett led the Browns with seven sacks.  The entire defense ranked 14th in total defense and seventh in rushing defense in 2017.  That is up from ranking 31st in total defense in 2016.  The defense had their best finish in rushing defense since 1992, holding opponents to 3.35 rushing average.

Now back to the 16th full time head coach in Browns’ history, Hue Jackson:

Jackson went 1-15 his first season and 0-16 last year.  The defensive gains did little to help the wins.  So what do you do if you are hanging with the head coach?  You hang those around you?  Gone is run game coordinator and running backs coach Kirby Wilson (although the run game was the only offense that wasn’t in the bottom); gone is special teams coordinator Chris Tabor; and gone is quarterbacks coach David Lee.  The offensive play caller, head coach Jackson remains, and he has added :

Fired Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, will now be the Browns’ quarterback coach.

Enter to the sweet sounds of Hallelujah, is ‘mutual uncoupled’ Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.  Haley will have the same position on the Browns, along with play calling duties.

So the question still stands, will Haley be the Browns best off-season acquisition?  Last season the Browns acquired their first draft offensive acquisition with the 29th pick.  The Browns picked tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick.  Njoku led the Browns with four receiving touchdowns.  However, running back Duke Johnson Jr. led the team in receptions and receiving yards.  He also had seven touchdowns.

Now Haley comes in to turn it all around.

Haley has spent the last six seasons in Pittsburgh.  In five of those six seasons the Steelers finished in the top five.  Last season the Steelers’ offense ranked third in yards and eighth in scoring.  That’s the good news.  Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are still with the Steelers, that’s the bad news, for the Browns.

Josh Brown, Corey Coleman and Duke Johnson Jr. are the good news.  But they are all ready on the team.  So who will the Browns pick that has a better chance of getting them at least two wins?  It’s a low bar, but the Browns have the means to do it.

The Browns have $118 million in cap space to splurge in free agency.  They also have 12 draft picks, five of the 12 are in the first two rounds.

The Browns are set up for success.  It wouldn’t be the first time, but it is possible for Jackson it is the last.  Haley the Browns best off-season acquisition?


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