Hue Jackson vows to take bigger role in coaching of Browns' offense

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hue Jackson said he will become more involved with the Cleveland Browns' offense after it struggled at key times in Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I got to jump in headfirst, all hands, feet, everything, and go figure it out; it's just that simple," said Jackson, whose team is 2-4-1 heading into a game at Pittsburgh.

Jackson said he has no choice but to get more involved.

"I think I have to," he said. "And I want to. That's what I know. So I'm not going to continue to watch something that I know how to do keep being that way. That's just the truth.

"That's nothing against anybody in our building. I just think that's what I do. And I think I need to be a little bit more involved."

The Browns hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator in the offseason, and Jackson promised him independence in how he ran the offense and called plays. But the Browns scored just 14 points in a loss to the Chargers. Then in Tampa, they had just three first downs and no offensive points in the first half and two possessions and no first downs in overtime. Their eight total first-quarter points this season are an NFL low.

"I've been respectful," Jackson said. "That's why you bring guys in and you make them coordinator. Again, that's something we got to fix fast to get this thing back to where it needs to be."

Jackson has been an offensive coach his entire career. He spent two seasons as the Bengals' offensive coordinator before being hired by the Browns, then was his own offensive coordinator and playcaller in 2016 and '17.

When the possibility of butting heads with a strong-minded coordinator was raised to him, Jackson said "it's not going to be about butting heads. I'm the head coach of the football team. I will do what I feel I need to do to get this team where it needs to be."

Haley was not available to the media after the game. Jackson said Haley would continue to call plays.

"Trust me when I say, I'm not trying to create any issue here," Jackson said. "But I think if the offense is not playing well -- and we haven't over a period of time --- being a head coach and an offensive guy who has done this, I think I have every right as a head coach to jump in here and see if I can help and assist and get this thing to where I think it needs to be.

"Because we need to be better on offense, and if that's my specialty then I need to be involved more. And I will be."

As for Haley being a strong-minded coach, Jackson said: "I'm the head coach of the football team. Period. Period. There's nothing else that needs to be said. Nothing. It's the way it works."