Football’s giving Browns coach Hue Jackson refuge to cope with family loss.
Jackson, trying to turn around a Cleveland team that didn’t win a game in 16 tries last season, plans to remain with the team in training camp while mourning the recent deaths of his 83-year-old mother and brother in California.
A team spokesman confirmed Wednesday night that Jackson’s mother, Betty Lee, died over the weekend in Los Angeles following a long illness. Her passing came two weeks after Jackson’s brother, John Jr., died unexpectedly.
Jackson intends to stay with the Browns through next week’s exhibition opener against the New York Giants while the family finalizes funeral plans.
Jackson, who is in his third season with Cleveland, has not made any public comments about the deaths during camp, which opened last week. Beyond his daily duties, Jackson’s every move on and off the field as the Browns’ camp is being chronicled by cameras for HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Jackson’s agent, John Thornton, told Cleveland.com that the deaths have deeply affected the coach.
“It’s been really tough on him,” Thornton said. “He’s just trying to let football help him out.”
Although Jackson is just 1-31 in two seasons with the Browns, owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said last week that the coach still has their unwavering support.