Todd Haley will call plays for the Cleveland Browns in 2018.
The team’s official release about Haley’s hiring makes that evident without saying so directly. Head coach Hue Jackson will give up the roles of coordinator and playcaller that he held in his first two seasons in Cleveland.
“If I was going to turn over the playcalling duties to someone else, it had to be to someone that was experienced and had a long history of success in this league,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team. “We were going to be patient about it because there is always a lot of movement in the early part of the offseason.
“When Todd became available, I jumped at the opportunity to meet with him. Once we sat down and talked, it became quickly evident that Todd would be a great fit.”
It was assumed Haley would call the plays when he was hired; it’s not likely a coordinator with his resume would take the job without those duties. But it’s important for the Browns because it will allow Jackson to take a bigger-picture view required of a head coach.
As for the offense, Haley will bring elements of what he did in Pittsburgh and he and Jackson will build it together. That will incorporate elements of Haley’s offense with what Jackson did in Cincinnati as a coordinator and with the Browns as a coach.
Both like to run the ball (evidence aside from Jackson’s last two years) and throw the ball down the field.
There will be change, which is one reason Jackson said he hired Freddie Kitchens as running backs/associate head coach. Kitchens was the tight ends coach when Haley was offensive coordinator of an Arizona Cardinals team that reached the Super Bowl.
“We’re going to be installing a lot of new concepts and elements to our offense,” Jackson said. “It’s important to have coaches on your staff that will know and understand the new system. Freddie has a history with Todd and that will make the process of installing the new elements of the offense much more efficient.”
Haley summed up his view on the offense this way: “We have to score points, protect the ball, protect the quarterback and develop players. It’s not too complicated, but at the same time, it is a great challenge.”