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Hue Jackson press conference - 11/13

Posted Nov 13, 2017

The Browns head coach looks back on the Lions loss

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

“First of all, how are you guys doing? Good. Good. I am fair to middling. I have seen better days. Obviously, disappointed in yesterday’s loss but not discouraged. Disappointed and discouraged are two different things in my mind. I think our team understands kind of where we are. We started the second half of the season and did not get done what our goal was, which was to go to Detroit and win the game. I thought our guys fought extremely hard, played as well in some situations and some areas of the game as we have played all year. At the same time, it was not enough. We have to continue to get better. We have continue to work at the little things and the big things in order to give ourselves an opportunity to win a game. I said ‘win a game’ because you have to win one before we win two. I think we get that. Offensively, I thought we ran the ball better. We still left some plays out there on the field. I think our players saw them and understand it. The chase for perfection in everything we do is real. We have to do that to give ourselves the best chance to have success to win. On defense, played well early and then had some break downs in the second half. We have to continue to work at those things. Communication, being the right place we need to be fundamentally and playing our assignments are still things that catch us from time to time. On special teams, I think we did some good things. It was good to see Gonzo (K Zane Gonzalez) bounce back and do well kicking. The little guy (Lions CB Jamal) Agnew is a special talent. He is a really good punt returner. I thought our guys did well for the most part, but there are some things that we can keep shoring up as well. We will go back into this week making sure that we chase those things as hard as we can so we can get better as a football team because I think our guys more so than ever understand how important  those things are to give us a chance to win.

“On the injuries front, there are a couple things to talk about. One is (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.). He has an MCL that will keep him out the rest of the year. That is unfortunate. That is a big blow to our defensive football team because he is one of our best players, one of our leaders and one of our really good locker room guys. We will miss him, but that is football. It happens. He will grow and get back as soon as he can and be stronger and better for it. (OL) Shon Coleman is in concussion protocol. That is kind of where we are. (QB) DeShone (Kizer) with the ribs as I said yesterday, DeShone will be fine. Everything was negative that way. I am sure he is sore, but he will be fine.”

On if he said Collins Sr. will need surgery:

“I just said MCL. See where it is but it will keep him out the rest of the year and then we will go from there.”

On the last play of the first half, if Kizer did audible on the play and if that is part of the development process:

“I take responsibility for it. Again, let’s just put that one to bed. It is on me. It is not on DeShone. It is not on the offensive unit. I coach the offensive unit. I coach the quarterback. As I said yesterday, I am not going to back off that. Totally on me. Not on him. Whatever we think he should have done or could of done stems from my teaching of him. I take full responsibility for it.”

On what he taught Kizer wrong on that play:

“I do not want to get into that. Next question.”

On if Collins Sr. has a torn MCL:

“I know there is damage there. To the degree of what it is, I don’t know that.”

On if the defense is allowed to hold Kizer on the ground at the end of the half as time expires, according to league rules:

“In that situation, I think the offensive unit is in a tough spot because that is what defensive teams are taught to do. Like I said, I take responsibility for it. I can’t put our guys in that spot. I know a lot of people feel like that is the reason why we lost the game. I do not feel that at all. It was an opportunity to score more points, but it is not the reason we lost the game. We came back out, tied the game and went ahead by a touchdown. I get it. I know everybody is fuming about it, and I am, too. I am kicking myself many times about it. At the same time, we kept playing. Our guys responded, and we had our chances. We just have to do more.”

On his lessons from the end of the first half and what he will do differently going forward:

“I have to do a better job of coaching. Have to do a better job of coaching. It is just that simple. I do not want to get into what I am going to do. None of that matters. Yesterday we made a mistake. We owned it. I owned it. Does not matter. I owned it. That is it. I will get better and do better. Whatever you guys want to write or say, that is what it will be. We will get it better.”

On the Browns defense not playing as well in the second half as the first half:

“They made some adjustments, and I think there were some things we let slip away from us a little bit – some plays we felt like we should have made, some things we could have done better and that we did not do on defense. It is very uncharacteristic of us that way and at that time, but that happened. We have to do better. Our players have seen it. Our coaches, coach (defensive coordinator Gregg) Williams has pointed it out to everybody. We have to get better to playing Browns defense, and we will.”

On what the Browns defense misses with Collins out:

“He is a big-time player. When he got hurt, he got a pick which led to a touchdown for us. I think he was right on the cusp of making those special plays that we anticipated he would make. He is a tremendous guy in the locker room, on the practice field, how he works and how he leads. We love him as a player. We will miss him.”

On the Browns defense playing well in the first half when the full unit was healthy and Collins then sustaining an injury:

“Absolutely. Like I said, it is unfortunate. Those guys were all getting back healthy and getting ready to play and like you said, starting off playing well. For that to happen, especially when something good was happening, he got hurt in the middle of an interception. It is tough, but we will keep going.”

On the Browns defense allowing 19 passing TDs:

“Yes, we have. It is a unit issue. We have to cover better. We have to rush the quarterback better. We have to make sure we get the quarterback off his spot a little bit more. We have to make these quarterbacks uncomfortable. We were not able to really, truly affect him that way. We had some sacks and we had some pressures, but we did not truly affect the quarterback the way we think we can with the personnel that we have. We just have to keep getting better.”

On what QB DeShone Kizer did best against Detroit:

“I thought early he did a good job of being very team-protecting with the ball. I thought he did a great job of getting us in and out of the huddle and did a great job of audible-ing to different plays that were there that were on his schedule of plays. He handled those things well. That was a check when we threw the touchdown to (WR) Kenny Britt. I thought that was outstanding. That was something that we hadn’t done all year. That is how you score more touchdowns. I thought he stepped his game up. The other thing for me as the head coach was watching his energy with the defense and with the special teams units because as a quarterback, you are the quarterback of the team but you are also the leader of this football team. I saw his energy picking up the defense and picking up the special teams units. That is what the quarterback has to do. I thought he did a good job of that yesterday.”

On how to teach a young team to deal with momentum swings during a game, specifically referring to Kizer’s injury:

“That is real what you just said. That is something that really happens, and you have to very quickly move on. I’m sure everybody was worried what was going on with DeShone, but at the same time, the game was going on. It wasn’t slowing the game down or taking a halftime deal for us to see what was going to happen. We have to move on from that as fast as we can. That is what we tried to do. We tried to put our team in situations where we could still make plays as if the game was still going. It didn’t happen that way. We have to do better. When I say we, starting with us as coaches, and then the players that are coming in there for those guys, they just have to be seamless. Those guys have to hit the ground running as best they can and make it feel just like they were in there from start to finish. That is what you have to do.”

On Kizer’s performance running the ball:

“I thought he did a good job of running with the football. I wish he could have scored down there right before the half so we wouldn’t be having this conversation about what happened. I told him, ‘Why didn’t you cut back?’ (laughter). No, he did a good job of running with the football. I want him to protect himself a little more. There was one in the middle of the field, and I think he took off on a 20-yard run and he slid but he slid a little bit too soon that time. He is learning, but he is willing to run with the football. I think that is a huge part of it. He is not afraid. He did a good job of running with the football yesterday so we will ask him to do some of that but in a controlled situation when we do it.”

On players appearing to be carrying out different play assignments on the goal line QB rush when reviewing the film:

“Again, It is on me. I’m going to keep saying that. I’m not going to get into all of that because it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it is me. I coach the offense, I relay things to the quarterback and tell him what to do. That is on me. It is not on him. It is not on the offense, it is on me.”

On the decision to call the final timeout of the first half with 1:17 remaining:

“I used it then because there was a play that we wanted to make sure that we were prepared for (TE) David (Njoku) that we almost to me should have been a touchdown. Not from the official; we have to lay that ball to the back pylon. David has to run back there. It is these little detail things that, to e, because I knew we had it and I felt very good about it, but I wanted to make sure that we orchestrated it the right way, got out of the huddle the right way, people lined up in the exact spots because sometimes when you know you have them and you can nail it, you want to nail it. I was just concerned that you have to say all of these things into the headset so that he can coach all of these people on where to be, how to be and those things. I felt it was best to take a timeout, settle everybody down, tell everybody exactly what we are trying to do and we can hit it. We missed it by that much. The game comes down to inches sometimes, and that is what happened.”

On the Browns not being able to convert on fade routes this season:

“It is disappointing because we have had our chances. We just have to make those plays. We have to continue to throw them. We have to continue to do it. We feel like we have a huge target in David. I think he can make those plays. We can make the throws. We just haven’t done it consistently enough. We did a little bit early and now we have fallen off a little bit so we have to get back to it.”

On QB Cody Kessler’s performance:

“He went in there and battled. He didn’t hit all of the balls that I’m sure he wanted to. That happens when you are the backup. You walk into the game and you want to do that. I’m sure Cody is out there trying as hard as he can and didn’t have some luck that way. When he goes out there, he gets it. ‘I have to go make plays for the football team to be successful until DeShone is able to come back.’ We just didn’t do that yesterday.”

On Kessler being sacked three times:

“Thank you, I saw it. I was at the game to (laughter). I saw it.”

On if Njoku expected blocking help on the play when Kizer was injured:

“It’s on Coach Jackson. I will take that one, too."

On if he will block for Kizer:

“I do. I have to get out there and get that done.”

On if he takes responsibility for Kessler’s overthrow of WR Bryce Treggs:

“I’ll take that one, too. I told you – I wasn’t kidding – anything that happens on offense is on me. That is how I feel. I’m being very honest with you. At the end of the day, I have to get these guys to do it. Didn’t do it right. That is my job. That is our coaches’ jobs, so it starts with me.”

On if LB James Burgess start at SAM with Collins out:

“Yes sir. He will.”

On if he would consider bringing QB Kevin Hogan back as the backup QB:

“Oh, I would consider it. Yes, I would. Oh yeah, no question.”

On if he will determine the backup QB today:

“No. Today is Monday, right? What is today? Monday? Monday. Days run together when you don’t sleep (laughter). You know how that goes.”

On if WR Corey Coleman will be ‘all systems go’:

“Absolutely. Let’s go Corey.”

On DL Myles Garrett’s performance:

“I thought he played hard. I did. He is going to get everybody’s best shot. Their goal is to make sure that he doesn’t get the quarterback down. He was close a couple of times, but I think he will be the first to tell you he doesn’t want to be close; he wants to get them down. There are some things that he can do better. It was his first action back playing again, too. He has to get back to playing the way Myles can play, and we have to continue to turn him loose and let him go get the quarterback. That was a good game to get him back in the flow because it was a good quarterback, a good opponent. He has to go continue to get better.”

On if OL Zach Banner did enough to start at RT, if needed:

“If we had to, I would. I thought he battled. There are some things he can do better. I thought he held his own for the most part, but when you are playing 10-12 plays as opposed to going out there from first play on, that is different. I thought he battled well, but if that is what we have to do, that is what we have to do.”

On if OL Spencer Drango will remain at LT:

“Yes sir. Spencer played well. If I can say one thing, I thought Spencer Drango played really well yesterday, and I told him that. I thought he finished on runs. I thought he finished on pass protection. He battles. I thought he did some good things.”

On how much Collins’ injury impacted the defensive gameplan:

“I think you guys know (defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams). Gregg doesn’t get caught up in that. Gregg goes right to Plan B because I think Gregg is always prepared when those things do happen. We play in so many different packages, you just go to this. That being said as the head coach of the team, that is difficult when you lose one of your best players. That is what we did. As a group, as a defensive unit group, nobody is going to tell  you or feel sorry for what happened, but at the same time, I think they know one of the best players was out of the game and he could have helped if he was healthy. To all of us – Gregg, myself and the defensive unit – we can’t worry about it. We will miss him, but we have to find a way to get it done.”

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