Jackson will call his own plays with Browns
BEREA (AP) — Out with the old, in with … nobody.
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo won’t be brought back after his lone season with the Browns, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram. He reportedly was told Saturday.
Instead of hiring a replacement, new coach Hue Jackson plans to be his own coordinator. He gushed Wednesday at the introductory news conference about his love of calling plays.
“Right now in my mind, I don’t really plan on having an offensive coordinator ’cause I want to reserve that right to call plays,” he told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday. “I think that’s something that’s gotten me this job. So if it’s something that you’re an expert at, I think you want to continue to work at that and keep that in your pocket so you can use it to help your team.
“Now if I get somebody I really trust who has that (expertise), then obviously I’m very willing to kind of give that away as we go, but it’s got to be somebody I really trust and admire.”
Obviously that wasn’t DeFilippo, who impressed some in his first season as an NFL coordinator. He elicited strong years from quarterbacks Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel, as the Browns threw for 4,155 yards, fourth in team history.
The Browns ranked 25th in total offense (331.9 yards per game) and 30th in scoring (17.4 points). They were 21st in passing (236.4), 22nd in rushing (95.6).
DeFilippo interviewed with the 49ers for the head coaching job that went to Chip Kelly. He also interviewed for the coordinator job with the Rams.
Jackson should stop the revolving door at coordinator for Cleveland. He’ll be the seventh in seven seasons.
He has been a coordinator with four NFL teams, including the last two years with the Bengals, and called plays in his season as head coach, when the Raiders went 8-8 in 2011. The 2011 Raiders ranked ninth in yards (379.5) and 16th in scoring (22.4), and the 2015 Bengals were seventh in scoring (26.2) and 15th in yards (358.0).
Jackson appears to have hit a hurdle as he tries to fill out his staff. He wanted Vikings running backs coach Kirby Wilson to be the running game coordinator, but ESPN reported the Vikings denied the request.
Jackson interviewed former Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton on Friday and ESPN reported he’s considering the position of assistant head coach/offense. Hamilton was fired by Indianapolis in November after a 3-5 start in which it was shut out in the first half three times. When he was fired the Colts ranked 16th in yardage and 20th in points.
Jackson could know soon if he has a defensive coordinator to replace Jim O’Neil.
Ray Horton is reportedly a leading candidate. He interviewed for the Titans head coaching job Saturday, but they chose to retain interim coach Mike Mularkey. Horton could decide to stay in Tennessee for a third season or return to Cleveland, where he held the same job in 2013 under coach Rob Chudzinski.
Jackson also talked to former Colts offensive line coach Hal Hunter, according to reports. The Colts announced Thursday they wouldn’t retain him after three seasons.
His late father, Hal, was offensive line coach for the Browns from 1989-92.