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Tim Benz: Crazy, but HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ makes Todd Haley appear sympathetic |
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Tim Benz: Crazy, but HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ makes Todd Haley appear sympathetic

Tim Benz
| Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:21 a.m
Todd Haley, offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, in an episode of HBO's 'Hard Knocks.'

Part of my Wednesday was spent catching up on what I missed Tuesday night in the Cleveland Browns “Hard Knocks” debut on HBO.

And I swear to you, I will never make the mistake of missing an episode again.

First of all, new Browns player Jarvis Landry’s speech to the other wide receivers was the stuff of legend. Clearly aware that this wouldn’t touch the editing-room floor, Landry swore a blue streak so impressively, HBO hasn’t seen this many F-bombs since the network last aired the movie “Casino.”

This is absolutely not safe-for-work. So, put your headphones in now if you plan to hit play and the boss can hear you in your cubicle.

On 105.9 the X yesterday, we snatched a 34-second clip of that screed. We counted 12 bleeps along the way.

As you can tell, Landry was none too pleased with the other players who were sitting out practices with minor injuries. Video of a coaches meeting expressed the same sentiment.

Guess who was doing the expressing.

Yup, the Tequila Cowboy himself. Former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley . Now in that role with the Browns, Haley voiced his displeasure with players not practicing. He even channeled his inner Mike Tomlin — ironically — and said to head coach Hue Jackson that “we can’t live in our fears” when it comes to getting the players out on the practice field. With a few four-letter words peppered in.

Jackson, politely, then more firmly, informed Haley he’s “the one driving the bus” and that there is a “different perspective” sitting in the chair he is sitting in. Initially, Jackson appeared to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that Haley won exactly 18 more games as head coach in Kansas City over three years than the one game he has won in two seasons up in Cleveland.

Later, Jackson emphasized to Haley — and many of the other coaches who seemed to be siding with Haley — that when they have their own teams they can do with them what they want. But this is his team.

In my opinion, if Jackson is really driving the bus, it’s about to spin into Lake Erie.

This was 20 years of Cleveland dysfunction summed up in 20 minutes. I don’t how this is possible, but within the span of one episode, Haley appears cast as the protagonist.


This show is one-hundred times more entertaining than any Browns game I’ve watched since they blew that big lead at Heinz Field in the 2002 playoffs.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH.

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