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Haslam: 'We'll see the real Hue Jackson' in 2018

By MARY KAY CABOT • Jul 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM

CLEVELAND — Jimmy and Dee Haslam pledged their support to coach Hue Jackson by firing Sashi Brown after 1-15 and 0-16 seasons, but have continued to watch their coach take heat for the mess of the past two seasons.

This year, they think fans will see there was a method to their madness.

"I think we'll see the real Hue Jackson,'' Jimmy said Saturday as the owners gave their annual training camp address. "He's got good quarterbacks, he's got some skill players, he's got a veteran offensive line - now we gotta figure out left tackle, three really good backs and good defense.

"You've heard me say this a few times, gotta give Hue credit for bringing in Todd Haley, which will allow Hue to be the head coach, so I think this will be the first opportunity Hue's had to do what we know he can do as a head coach, as a leader. Even though Todd's calling all the shots on offense, I think Hue obviously will have some impact there like he will on defense, so we're excited to see it."

Jackson appreciated the vote of confidence.

"First of all, I want to thank Dee and Jimmy for saying that,'' he said after practice. "Again, as I said all last year, I felt like I had their full support. They were always in communication with me, and I thank them for that. I'm glad they feel that way. My job is to go out and coach this football team and get them better and we've got to do it better than we've ever done it since I've been here.''

He acknowledged that he feels better about the upgrade talent, including Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Damrious Randall, Mychal Kendricks and more.

"We have some players that I think are going to help make the difference, but at the same time, it's just all talk right now,'' he said. "We have to go do it. So we've just got to keep working, but I do thank them for that."

Dee refused to quantify success, but believes fans will be happy this season with the product on the field.

"I think you can realistically expect progress,'' she said. "That's what we feel like. We've already made a lot of progress and we realistically feel like we're going to have progress this year."

As for being specific, she said "that's hard to define. Right now progress is...I think we're going to see a lot of progress among our players, I really do."

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Jimmy acknowledged that he's excited to see what the real Jackson can accomplish now that he's working in lockstep with GM John Dorsey.

"Our commitment to him has been unwavering and still is,'' he said.

Jimmy was asked if it's more like Jackson's first year this year than his third, given the fresh start.

"In some ways that's a fair question,'' he said. "In some ways you could say because of the talent he's had, particularly at quarterback, particularly last year, it could view it as his first year but we don't look at that. I know everybody's saying Hue has to win this many games or he has to win that many games. We don't look at it [like that.] We're really excited about the relationship that Hue and John [Dorsey] have, and not just that they have but their staffs have, how the building is working together.

"I mean we're in here at 7 this morning talking about who else we might need to add to the roster, so we feel good about the chemistry, we feel good about the work ethic but at the same time we all understand we've got to win games."

Jimmy acknowledged that they have a tremendous responsibility to loyal Browns fans.

"We're not going to do anything that's going to be a one-year flash in the pan,'' he said. "But at the same time, we feel pressure to win. We feel the responsibility that we haven't won before. We feel the fans' pain, too. We feel your pain. Our fans deserve better and hopefully starting this year they're going to get it."

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