Not everybody in Cleveland is winning like the Cavs and Tribe. After losing quarterback Cody Kessler because of a concussion, the Cleveland Browns fell to 0-7 on Sunday. And while the 31-17 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals did not look terribly egregious on the scoreboard, coach Hue Jackson took it hard. So hard that he removed his headset with about five minutes left in the game and the Browns down two touchdowns, leaving Pep Hamilton in charge of calling plays and communicating with the rookie quarterback who replaced Kessler.
Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Yeah, I took them off," he said. "I called the team out. Yeah, I was disappointed because I don't want anybody running the ball like that on us. We've got to get some things squared away, but I take responsibility for it all. It's not our players; we've got to fix some things and keep working on some things and we will."
By the time Jackson gave up on the headset — his means of communication with rookie replacement quarterback Kevin Hogan — the Browns were trailing by the final margin and had already given up most of their 559 yards, fourth-most in team history. It was also the most since they surrendered since 564 in 2008 against the Broncos.
"I don't like losing, and I can get just like anybody else," he said. "I can get disappointed and upset just like anybody else. Because I took them off, I knew exactly everything that was going on. I can hear. It wasn't like I wasn't involved in the game, but I did."
Jackson may have been a little bit extra salty since he was going up against his old team, but regardless, it was prudent of him to remove the technology when it became redundant, even a hindrance. Luke Skywalker didn't need a targeting computer to blow up the Death Star, and coach Hue didn't need to be calling plays for the Browns during the final five minutes of another doomed Sunday.
When will the Browns start winning? Perhaps next week, when they are scheduled to play the Jets. But they're on their sixth quarterback of the season with Hogan, and are almost certainly on their way to a 16th losing season since being resurrected in 1999. Jackson is their ninth coach in that time, which indicates a certain impatience, and certainly a lack of continuity with the organization.
At least Cleveland has the World Series, and the upcoming NBA season to distract itself.