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According to an in-depth report by ESPN.com’s Seth Wickersham, both Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager John Dorsey entered Jackson’s office in October to inform him of his firing.
Dorsey reportedly told Jackson that the team had “quit” on him when asked for a reason for the firing, which prompted Jackson to respond, “Get the f–k out of my office.”
Cleveland was 2-5-1 at the time of Jackson’s firing, although it was clear the team was making improvements with several close games, including four that went to overtime. It would have been difficult to rationalize keeping Jackson around after a blowout loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, however.
In the previous two seasons combined, the Browns went 1-31 under Jackson, and he finished his tenure in Cleveland with a 3-36-1 mark. When adding in his 8-8 record with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, Jackson is just 11-44-1 as an NFL head coach.
After firing Jackson, the Browns promoted defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to interim head coach. That move paid dividends, as Cleveland went 5-3 down the stretch to finish 7-8-1, its best record since going 10-6 in 2007.
Following the season, the Browns promoted offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and made him the new head coach.
After his firing, Jackson returned to the Cincinnati Bengals as a special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis. He had previously served as an assistant under Jackson from 2012 to 2015 before getting hired as Cleveland’s head coach.
When Lewis and the Bengals parted ways at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign, however, Jackson was let go as well. Jackson is currently free to go anywhere, but given his lack of success in Cleveland, he will almost certainly have to settle for an assistant role for the foreseeable future if he wants to remain in the NFL.