Making good on a vow, Hue Jackson says he'll jump into Lake Erie

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson strode to the podium for his Wednesday news conference, looked at the assembled media and said, "Who's going to jump in the lake with me?"

Jackson was referring to his vow from a year ago that if the Browns went 1-15 again, people would find him "swimming in [Lake Erie]." His proactive approach Wednesday defused what could have been a difficult topic.

"I made that statement," Jackson said. "I got to back it up."

Jackson technically could avoid the commitment if the Browns lose Sunday in Pittsburgh to finish 0-16, but Jackson said he would keep his word.

"I got to," he said. "How? You just jump in. When? That's going to be at my convenience and hopefully I can get a lot of people to come out. It'd be something that we're going to make special.

"I don't like it. Don't like to do it for the reason why I'm having to do it, but I have to make do on my word. I just think that's what you do."

Jackson said he will make it an event that will benefit the Hue Jackson Foundation, which supports efforts to combat human trafficking in Cleveland.

By picking a time of "my convenience," it appears Jackson will wait until the weather is warmer before he takes the plunge.

"I never said I could swim," Jackson said. "There will be some people down there to rescue me pretty quickly. So we'll make it fun. It's for the right reason. Again, I don't take light to things that I say that I put out there. I like to back them up.

"I haven't been able to."

Jackson added that he has no reason to believe he will not return as Browns coach next season. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said on Dec. 3 that Jackson will be back.

"I unequivocally believe without question that what Jimmy Haslam said is going to happen here," Jackson said. "There is nothing that anybody has said to me is making me feel differently."

Haslam said he believed Jackson and new general manager John Dorsey would work well together. Jackson has gone 1-30 in his two seasons with the Browns.

"You can't sugarcoat it," Jackson said. "There's no way around it. The record is what it is. This is where we are, so we got to find a way to climb out of this hole as fast as we can and get to where I think we should be."

Jackson also said he will not walk away from the Browns job.

"I've never quit at anything," he said. "I've never lost like this and I've never quit at anything. So if people are thinking I'm going to walk away from this, no."