Browns: Next 3 games are the biggest of Hue Jackson’s coaching career

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback DeShone Kizer
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback DeShone Kizer /

Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell says he’s not upset with the Browns’ play calling, but he does question it.

Tuesday at the Browns building in beautiful Berea, Ohio centered around Isaiah Crowell, who’d like to help his team by carrying the ball more.

In a worthy nugget, because Crowell said that he’s not upset with coach Hue Jackson’s play calling, but he does question it.

Sounds like he’s 100 percent on board to me!

OK, the 2017 campaign doesn’t get any bigger for The Crow. He wants a big season so he can cash in on free agency this offseason. The higher numbers he puts up, the bigger his bank account will be come March.

While Joe Schmo couldn’t give a rip what Crowell earns, card carrying members of the Dawg Pound are invested in the Alabama State product’s success.

If he’s running well, the Browns offense can only get better and maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to wait until Christmas for another win.

Crowell’s rushed for 70 yards and no touchdowns on just 27 attempts.  He carried the ball 17 times in Week 1 against the Steelers, and a measly 10 times during the Browns most recent loss in Baltimore.

As a whole, the running game is averaging a paltry 2.9 yards per carry.

Jackson responded to Crowell’s talk by letting his running back know that if he’s going to take the talk, he better walk the walk, via the Orange and Brown Report.

"“…You better make the plays when you get them, OK? There is another responsibility that comes with that. I start handing it to you 25-30 times, I am looking for 160-150 yards and a couple of long scores. That is just how we do it.”"

Jackson likes that Crowell wants the ball more. He’s hungry to help. Jackson can appreciate that. What coach wouldn’t?

But Crowell better be careful, because one has to wonder if Jim Brown would have success rushing the ball on this team.

With DeShone Kizer taking every snap from the shotgun formation, the running back is receiving the ball five yards behind the line of scrimmage. The Browns dumped $100 million into their offensive line last offseason, but without Crowell getting a head of steam in the backfield, in addition to defenses stacking the box against a rookie quarterback, how successful can we really expect Crowell to be?

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi covered this topic in his feely “Hey, Tony” column.

"“Hue Jackson wants to keep Kizer in his comfort zone by using mostly shotgun formations. Yet the shotgun hurts the running game for a variety of reasons. The Browns have to come to grips with what is more important – keeping Kizer comfortable in the shotgun or grinding a running game to improve their chances of winning,” Grossi wrote."

This Sunday, the Browns begin the most important three-game stretch of Hue Jackson’s coaching career because the questionable Colts,  hapless Jets and  touchdown-less Bengals are on deck.

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If the Browns play with the same type of effort we saw against the Steelers, Cleveland should be able to win two of their next three games. Heck, they better win all three.

Three losses puts the Browns at 0-5. Just imagine how many empty orange seats you’d be seeing at FirstEngergy Stadium by the end of October! Sad!

Jackson needs these games to start earning some capital with his players and probably ownership.

Crowell questions his play calling? Jackson’s supposed to be an offensive guru. Some fans and media are calling for an offensive coordinator, which is ridiculous. Jackson was brought here for his offensive smarts. To bring in someone else seems to devalue the guy Jimmy Haslam hired to turn things around.

Next: A Browns to-do list that needs finished ASAP

But say positive Browns fans. The Browns almost beat Pittsburgh and looked terrible against the Ravens. In theory, this team is somewhere in between those performances.