Jimmy Haslam said he hasn’t given up on the Browns, even though the organization cleaned house when it fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley on Monday.
The Browns owner said the team is “rebooting” and that they don’t plan on tanking this season.
“This is not a throwing in of the towel,” Haslam said in a press conference Monday afternoon (via ESPN). “It is a rebooting, if you will, an opportunity to give them a fresh start these last eight games.”
Jackson and Haley were fired after going 2-5-1 this season, which was Jackson’s best season to date. In his two-and-a-half seasons with the Browns, he posted a 3-36-1 record.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been named interim head coach in the meantime.
“I think that we put the organization in a better place (Monday) than it was (Sunday) moving forward,” Haslam said. “And we are comfortable with the decision.”
Haslam declined to get into any strife going on behind the scenes with Jackson, Haley and the rest of the staff, nor did he address the rumors that Jackson was pushing to help Haley with his offensive scheme.
“I think the message today is we’re not going to put up with internal discord,” Haslam said. “That we want people who are collaborative and work together.”
Since Haslam bought the team in 2012, the Browns have gone 22-81-1 and dealt with other discord on the team, including issues between Jackson and former general manager Sashi Brown, Mike Pettine, Ray Farmer, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Lombardi.
“I will accept the blame because, ultimately, it is the person at the head of the ship,” Haslam said. “I will take the blame as ownership. I can’t explain it more than that. We have had different situations with different people. I know that it is something that we are not going to tolerate moving forward.”