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Todd Haley on Jackson: 'We're all on the same page'

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Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson turned heads when he expressed a desire to become more involved with the offense following the team's 26-23 overtime loss in Week 7.

There was a strong hint Jackson would even absorb some of the play-calling duties, a responsibility that falls on offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

But after Jackson set the record straight Monday that he would not call plays, all is well in Cleveland when it comes to clear lanes of responsibility: Jackson will oversee everything as the head coach and Haley continues to call plays.

And as Haley likely sees it, no harm done.

"I've been in this league around a lot of different personalities," Haley told reporters Thursday. "You know one thing I'll never be is reactionary. I'm here for one purpose and that's to help this offense, continue to grow this offense, continue to develop this offense. We're all on the same page. Nothing has changed."

Haley pointed out Jackson sits in on planning meetings with the offense and defense, a time when ideas are tossed around among staff members.

The offensive coordinator also said Jackson's level of participation and involvement with the offense this week has been the same when compared to previous weeks. And more important during the meetings, Haley is receptive whenever a good suggestion comes up.

"I don't care where a good idea comes from, no different than one of the assistant coaches," Haley said. "Anybody that has a good idea, we talk about it, see if it fits, see if it works with things we do and the core things that we've worked on since the spring, and good ideas go in."

Haley's comments on top of Jackson's from earlier in the week could effectively put a stop to any speculation of discord. The Browns are essentially waving a "move along, there's nothing to see here" sign when it comes to the dynamics of the Jackson-Haley relationship on offense.

But one thing that can't be ignored surrounds the hard statistics on why the subject probably came up in the first place.

The running game has been the lone bright spot on offense, as the Browns (2-4-1) rank fifth in the league entering Week 8's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Slow starts, however, have plagued the Browns through seven games, including Week 7 when the Browns fell behind 16-2 at halftime before forcing overtime. And in other notable statistical categories, the Browns rank 29th in the league in third-down efficiency (32 percent), 28th in average time of possession, 22nd in total offense, 20th in scoring and 23rd in passing.

The Browns' coaching staff might be holding hands and singing songs by the campfire for now, but it wouldn't surprise if grumblings resurfaced if there isn't immediate improvement.

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