Hue Jackson has not even coached a single game for the Cleveland Browns, yet his impact is already highly noticeable.
When the Cleveland Browns take the field in 2016 they will likely struggle, but that will not be a completely accurate reflection of the coach Hue Jackson has done. Jackson has not coached a single game for the Cleveland Browns, yet his impact is already highly noticeable. The days of simply preaching about change appears to finally be coming to an end, and the days of actual change taking place are here.
Fans of the Browns have been filled with empty promise after empty promise as each new regime has rolled in. With the possible exception of the Mangini era, no regime has been able to show any progress that backed up the lofty promises they made to the Cleveland faithful. Everyone looking at the Browns kept echoing the same response, you have to give your coaches time, change does not happen over night. Changes in the win loss column may take time, but changes in the mentality and attitude of a team seems to take place a lot quicker with Hue Jackson at the helm.
When Cleveland hired Coach Jackson it was met with an overwhelmingly positive response around the league. Coach Jackson is a highly respected coach in the NFL and for the first time in a long time the Browns were able to get their guy on the first try. The amount of respect other coaches in the NFL have for Coach Jackson is evident by the staff he was able to surround himself with. The Browns coaching staff could easily be considered one of the deepest in the league today. It may not been the Cleveland Browns coaching tree from the mid nineties when Bill Belicheck was running the show, but the amount of experience that is now in Cleveland will be evident starting this season. The silly mental mistakes and being simply outcoached appear as if they will be a thing of distant memory soon.
A few weeks ago, the ESPN 30 for 30 Film “ Believeland” debuted at the annual Cleveland International Film Festival. Of course, this documentary would not have been complete without Marty Schottenheimer and the 1980s Cleveland Browns.
Schottenheimer served as a coach in Cleveland from 1980 to 1988. He started as a defensive coordinator under Sam Rutigliano until taking over as head coach in the middle of the 1984 season. Schottenheimer finished with a 44-27 record (.620 winning percentage) as head coach of the Browns.
He also served as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers. Overall, his career record in 21 years as an NFL head coach was 200-126-1 (.613); the tie came with the Chiefs against the Browns in 1989.
Browns fun facts: Coach Marty
1) Schottenheimer was drafted in both the NFL and AFL Drafts.
As a linebacker from the University of Pittsburgh, Schottenheimer was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the fourth round (49th overall) of the 1965 NFL Draft. On the same day (November 28, 1964), he was also drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round (56th overall) of the 1965 AFL Draft. He opted to play in the AFL.
He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with the Bills. After spending four years in Buffalo, Schottenheimer played two years with the Boston Patriots (now known as the New England Patriots). In 79 games, he recorded six interceptions—including one for a touchdown—and one fumble recovery.
Hall of fame players who were drafted ahead of Schottenheimer in both drafts were Joe Namath, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus and Fred Biletnikoff.
2) Schottenheimer was the only Browns coach other than Paul Brown to lead the team to four consecutive playoff appearances.
In the 1985 playoffs, the Browns lost a 21-3 lead and gave up 21 unanswered points to Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins.
In the 1986 and 1987 AFC Championship Games, John Elway and the Denver Broncos haunted the Browns with “The Drive” and “The Fumble”.
In the 1988 playoffs, Warren Moon and the Houston Oilers got the best of the Browns in a back-and-forth game. Mike Pagel started at quarterback in Schottenheimer’s last game as coach of the Browns as Bernie Kosar, Gary Danielson, Pagel and Don Strock all dealt with injuries throughout the season.
3) 12 future first-time NFL head coaches worked under Schottenheimer as an assistant coach.
The list includes: Lindy Infante, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Gunther Cunningham, Herm Edwards, Mike McCarthy, Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Hue Jackson, Bruce Arians, Marc Trestman and Rob Chudzinski.
Cowher, Dungy and McCarthy ended up winning Super Bowl championships as head coaches.
Wade Phillips ended up becoming a head coach for a third time (fifth time if including two stints as an interim head coach) after coaching under Schottenheimer with the Chargers.
Jackson has taken over the Browns in his second stint as a head coach, just three years after Chudzinski’s rookie head coaching campaign in Cleveland in 2013.
Who knows—there could be more assistant coaches from the Schottenheimer coaching tree who end up becoming NFL head coaches.
4) Notable quarterbacks who started under Schottenheimer included: Bernie Kosar, Steve DeBerg, Dave Krieg, Joe Montana, Rich Gannon, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers.
Ron Jaworski and Doug Flutie also had short stints as backup quarterbacks/spot starters for Schottenheimer.
5) Six running backs who played under Schottenheimer ran for a total of 11 1,000-yard rushing seasons: Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner, Christian Okoye (twice), Barry Word, Stephen Davis and LaDainian Tomlinson (five times).
In 2006—Schottenheimer’s last season in the NFL—Tomlinson set a single-season record with 28 rushing touchdowns. Upon retiring after the 2011 season, Tomlinson declared that he wants Schottenheimer to present him at the ceremony when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Other notable running backs who played under Schottenheimer included: Kimble Anders, Marcus Allen, Lorenzo Neal, Michael Turner and Darren Sproles.
6) Although the “Martyball” philosophy on offense was heavily criticized, Schottenheimer had six top five finishes in points scored per game and four other top ten finishes.
With Lindy Infante as Schottenheimer’s offensive coordinator in 1986 and 1987, the Browns actually averaged more points per game (24.4 and 26.0) than the 1980 Kardiac Kids under Sam Rutigliano and 1980 NFL MVP Brian Sipe (22.3).
7) In his 26 years as a defensive coordinator or head coach, Schottenheimer’s defenses ranked in the top ten 11 times and in the top half of the league 20 times.
He had two number one defenses: 1995 Chiefs (15.1 points allowed per game) and 1997 Chiefs (14.5).
His best Browns defense ranked second in the NFL in 1987 by allowing 15.9 points per game.
8) Schottenheimer won a championship as the head coach and general manager of the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL in 2011.
He was also named UFL Coach of the Year of the four-team league. His starting running back was Dominic Rhodes, who played under Tony Dungy with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
Sadly, Schottenheimer left the team before the 2012 season, suing UFL founder Bill Hambrecht for failing to pay him his 2011 salary. Similar lawsuits by other players and coaches reflected the insurmountable financial problems across the league. The UFL folded in 2013.