CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Browns new offensive coordinator Todd Haley challenged Hue Jackson on veterans getting days off in camp, but quickly found out who's boss in Berea.
In one of the most compelling scenes on the Hard Knocks Browns' premiere Tuesday night, Haley and new running backs coach Freddie Kitchens disagree with Jackson's strategy of occasionally resting veterans to keep them fresh for the season.
The segment begins with head trainer Joe Sheehan rattling off the injury list in a staff meeting with the coaches and finishing word that Jamie Collins, who's coming off a torn MCL, will take a day off and then be up for potentially two days in a row.
Kitchens speaks up first, offering an alternative to having idle players stand on the sidelines in bucket hats.
"The only thing coach I'd say is is when we talk about these people missing practice, I think it would help if, 'alright, I'm fine if Joe (Sheehan) thinks they need to take the day off.' But can he be dressed and just put it on me that he won't get any reps?'' Kitchens asks.
Jackson, who overhauled his staff in the offseason, gives it to them straight.
"For the new coaches here, we're not taking guys out because they're special or anything like that,'' he said. "We take them out for preventative measures and normally the team has understood that.''
Kitchens: "I understand there's rhyme and reason for doing it.''
Jackson: "It's been preventative. Duke (Johnson) has had a history of pulling and if we end up losing him or missing him, it doesn't help us. Guys, this is all for preventative measures.''
Haley, who spent the past six years as OC of the Steelers and was head coach of the Chiefs from 2009-11, weighed in passionately. He also worked with Kitchens in Dallas and Arizona.
"I have an opinion on it,'' Haley said. "We need to get so much done. ...if we live in our fears, I mean, our team has to get mentally tougher and be able to fight through the shit that we've got fight through. We've got to change this drastically and if we've got guys that haven't done shit sitting around doing nothing, I just don't know how we're going to do it.''
Jackson: "Well, I respect you saying that, I mean, I used to sit in the same chair...''
Haley interrupts: "I mean, Joe...''
Jackson cuts him off.
"Let me finish,'' he said. "I used to sit in the same chair you guys sit in and I used to feel the same way. I just wanted to kill 'em, okay? Until all of a sudden I sat in this chair and then they're not there, and you don't get them to practice, and you can't get them through and then you don't have them for three weeks. and I'm not living in my fears. That's real, and I think we all can appreciate that.''
Haley doesn't return to his unfinished thought.
"Speak now or forever hold your peace,'' Jackson says to the group. "Get it out.''
Haley: "We've got a long way to go, but all that being said, there's enough positive that in my experience, I'm encouraged.''
Jackson sets the group straight again on who's in charge.
"Guys listen,'' he said. "I'm excited about what you're doing. I'm going to say it again, but the chair I sit in, it's a little different then the chair you sit in. I get to watch from a different lens. And I think you guys can all respect that. At the end of the day, I get to drive this bus, and I'm going to get it the way I want it. That's it period. That's just how it works.''
He looks to his old friend and senior offensive assistant Al Saunders for some back up.
"Al (Saunders) taught me a long time ago, 'what is it Al? Give it to me?'''
"When it's your team you can do whatever the hell you want,'' Saunders offers.
Jackson repeats, "When it's your team, do what the hell you want. Okay? So this one's mine. So that's just the way it's going to be and that's a respect of everybody in this room but this is how we do it, and we'll always have these kind of discussions because I'm only trying to make it better. If there's something we can do better, we're going to do it better. It's just that simple. Alright, let's get out of here.''
The assistants aren't the only ones wrestling with the veterans' day off strategy.
Receiver Jarvis Landry, who stole the episode with his impassioned speech, implored his fellow receivers not to accept days off. In fact, he's refused to do so in practice, and Jackson said this week that they have to take his helmet away and almost kick him out to get to take a breather.
"I don't know what the f--'s been going on here," he said. "And I don't know why it's been going on here. But this ... if you're not hurt, like if your hamstring isn't falling off the f-ing bone, your leg ain't broke, I don't know, like, you should be f--ing practicing. Straight up. That s-- is weakness and that s-- is contagious as f--. And that s--ain't going to be in this room, bro. That s-- is in the past, and that's why the past has been like it is, bro.
"That s-- is over with here, bro. If you can f-ing practice, f--ing practice. You can't get no better -- ain't no one going to get better being on the f-ing sideline if you ain't f-ing hurt. If you're not f--ing hurt, you've got to f--ing practice. You should make other motherf-- work even f--ing harder. Now they're at risk of getting f--ing hurt because you don't want to f--ing practice. Because you're being a bitch.
"Straight up, man. That s-- is f--ing real, bro. I'm just letting you know. That s-- ain't happening here. I'm hurt and I'm tired just like every f--g body in this motherf--. But I ain't taking no f--days off because I can't be great that way. That's got to be the f--ing attitude and the mentality all the f--ing time. All that week s-- don't live f--ing here anymore. That s--- don't exist. It's contagious, bro. It's really f--ing contagious. It's contagious. ... That's all I wanted to say."
Later, in a scene from outside Landry's home, he explained that he's "not much of a talker. When I do talk, it takes a lot for it to come out. At the same time, I try to talk with the best interest of the team. Pushing guys and holding guys accountable and leading by example."
Former Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, a huge Jackson supporter, quickly jumped to the coach's defense on Twitter.
Classic...as old as time itself. Every assistant coach is always bitching about his players when they don't practice cause they're injured or they're held out for other reasons. https://t.co/9OwATdaIUP-- Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) August 8, 2018