The graveyard of failed head coaching tenures is littered with headstones of coaches who climbed into the coffin clutching their play sheet like it was the key to life itself. Many more gave up their play-calling duties, but realized their need to transfer the responsibility after it was already too late.
And then there are the litany of head coaches who succeed just fine calling plays.
There are two ways to do it; plenty of coaches have succeeded while calling plays and failed when handing that duty over to someone else, and vice versa. For every coordinator-turned-first time head coach it’s one of the most difficult yet important decisions on his docket, oftentimes the final vestige of “coaching” he holds onto while transitioning into a CEO with a headset.
Cleveland Browns new head coach Hue Jackson has made his decision, and it’s straight out of the Darrell Royal “dance with who brung ya” playbook:
“I have made the decision to call plays,” Jackson said. “I think I have to start that way for our team. When you take these jobs you get them for a reason. You have to be aware of what you’ve been successful at and what got you this opportunity. You want to make sure the team is really good at what got you here, first and foremost.”
One could counter that Jackson got the job because of his perceived ability to lead the entire franchise to victory, but one can certainly see where his logic comes from. And even if one did disagree with his logic, it’s still his decision to make. He’s the head coach, after all.