Baker Mayfield doesn’t seem at all worried that Hue Jackson can practically give Cleveland’s playbook to the Cincinnati Bengals.
To be fair, Hue Jackson isn’t exactly a football coach that strikes fear into opposing teams. He’s not Bill Belichick or Nick Saban. There’s a reason why the Cleveland Browns went 3-36-1 in two and a half seasons with Jackson as their head coach; he just wasn’t very good at the job.
With that being said, that doesn’t mean that Jackson is completely clueless about the kind of football the Browns play. It was his team for over two years and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was brought into the league through Jackson’s system.
For that reason alone, Mayfield should be at least a little bit concerned that Jackson will now be on the opposing sideline when the Browns play their in-state and AFC North rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, on Sunday.
Mayfield was asked whether Jackson’s presence in the Cincinnati locker room, given his knowledge of the Browns, gives the Bengals an advantage. He answered it like it was the most pointless question of all time.
"“No… just no,” Mayfield said, via Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan."
Jackson might have been a colossal failure as a head coach. It’s a rare and somewhat shameful feat to have coached a team to an 0-16 season (it’s only happened twice in the history of the league).
But for the time being, the Browns are still Jackson’s team. He’s only been gone for a few short weeks. He knows how they play, because he’s the one who coached them to play that way.
We’ve already seen coaches defeat their former teams twice this season; Mike Vrabel of Tennessee and Matt Patricia of Detroit have both beaten Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots — where they each either played or coached previously — because they’ve been inside that locker room and they know how things are done.
Josh McDaniels did the same thing to Belichick’s Patriots back in 2009 as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Coaches who previously worked in a certain system know all about it, and they retain that information.
That’s what makes them dangerous when they later are coaching against that system.
It doesn’t matter how bad Jackson was in Cleveland. He still knows this Browns team, and any information he can give the Bengals will give them an advantage.
Mayfield shouldn’t just shrug that fact off as if it’s nothing.