Wednesday’s NFL: Browns’ Jackson confident he’ll return

Associated Press

Berea, Ohio — Hue Jackson doesn’t think the losing will include his job.

Cleveland’s beleaguered coach, who takes a 0-15 mark this season and 1-30 record over two years into Sunday’s finale at Pittsburgh, said Wednesday he has no doubt owner Jimmy Haslam will keep his word and keep him around in 2018.

When Haslam fired Sashi Brown, the team’s vice president of football operations, on Dec. 8 and replaced him with general manager John Dorsey, he also announced Jackson would return. However, despite Haslam’s support, there remains rampant speculation about Jackson’s future.

With just days left in another lost season, Jackson is confident he’ll be back.

“I unequivocally believe without question that what Jimmy Haslam said is what is going to happen here,” Jackson said as the historically bad Browns readied for the Steelers. “There is nothing that anybody has said to me to make me feel differently. It is tough. Being in this situation is hard. I’m sure it is hard for them, too, but hopefully, I have shown them through my work ethic, through our coaching staff’s work ethic and how the players have been and how they respond that I am the right guy to help get this organization to where it needs to be.”

Jackson’s second season has been a nightmare. The Browns have shown little progress and are one loss from joining the 2008 Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history. If that happens, some Cleveland fans will sarcastically celebrate one of the worst seasons in professional sports with a parade around the Browns’ downtown stadium.

Jackson understands and respects why there is some outcry about Haslam’s decision to keep him.

“I can’t go by what everybody else thinks or what everybody else wants,” he said. “I can only go by the people who employ me, who believe in what I’m trying to do here and what I believe they are trying to do here. That is all I can go by. I do get when you are a coach of a team that hasn’t won and things don’t go well — trust me, I have made my mistakes, too.”

Chiefs to start Mahomes

First-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes II will make his NFL debut at quarterback for the Chiefs when they play an otherwise meaningless game against the Broncos on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that the former Texas Tech star would start in Denver.

The Chiefs locked up the AFC West with a 29-13 victory over the Dolphins last weekend, and cannot improve their playoff positioning against the Broncos. So, it makes sense for starting quarterback Alex Smith and many of the other regulars to get a week off before the playoffs.

Personnel dept.

Quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald won’t play for the L.A. Rams in their season finale against San Francisco.

... A day after Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins referred to him as a cancer, cornerback Eli Apple was suspended by the N.Y. Giants for the season finale against Washington.

... Colts running back Frank Gore, 34, and kicker Adam Vinatieri, 44, said they’d like to play at least one more season, and neither has ruled out a return to Indianapolis.

... Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler will start in Sunday’s finale against the Bills and he said he hasn’t decided whether to play a 13th season in 2018.

... Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford could return to practice next week as he recovers from a knee injury from Week 1.