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Hue Jackson press conference - 12/8

Posted Dec 8, 2017

The Browns head coach talks with reporters Friday

Opening statement:

“We went out on the field and the players looked at me like I was sick or something. We were outside and they started saying, ‘Coach, this field is hard as a rock. What are we going to do?’ I made the decision to bring them inside. The first note on my practice plan was we have to get heat on these fields because when we are having the opportunity in the future to start getting ready for the playoffs and these late season games like this, we are going to need to be outside practicing. I like to be outdoors. That is the first thing that happened today and our players get it. We went inside and finished up a good practice. Getting ready for a big game on Friday. Injury standpoint, I think everybody is good.”

On his relationship with General Manager John Dorsey prior to his hiring and his vision for the partnership:

“I don’t have a personal relationship with him. I will try to develop that here as fast as we can. Obviously, he has been in the National Football League for a long time and so have I so we know mutual people. My information from my sources are from people that I know who have worked with him, been around him, everybody says he is a tremendous talent evaluator. Great to work with, a true football guy, spends a lot of time working on that process. Our conversations have been just that. Everything that people told me has been what I have found him to be. Excited to have an opportunity to work with him. I think he is a heck of an addition to our organization.”

On why working with a GM he doesn’t personally know doesn’t seem to be more daunting for him:

“I think the most important part of that is because of where he comes from. He is a football lifer is what he is. That is all I have know. The fact that I was able to talk to people firsthand who I know who have worked with him that I trust in this business made me feel really comfortable that way. That is what it is all about. I think people know my personality pretty well and know his personality pretty well. We want to see if it will mix. Through conversations, I felt very comfortable with that.”

On if he will meet with Dorsey to get on the same page:

“Oh, absolutely. I want to know him as well as I can. As you mentioned, we are still preparing for games but time is not an issue here. It is about trying to get this organization right and get our vision squared away on what we are trying to accomplish here. I’m sure we will do that. We will do it from sun up to sun down.”

On if his meetings with Dorsey so far have been more about the roster or football philosophy:

“I think what is more important is vision – what do we want to be? What do we want this organization to be like, play like, look like as we move forward and make sure that we get aligned together as fast as we can? We have a lot of the same beliefs football-wise and I think that is important, but we have to make sure that we continue to dig into all of that and vet all of that out and make sure that we know exactly what it is so that we can make that a reality.”

On the advantage of Dorsey arriving now rather than after the season:

“I think what is good for him is that he gets to see what the process has been, who our players are, how we go about practice and really see them in real time as opposed to just watching them on video tape. I’m sure we will do that again too when this is all over. To really see our players, feel our players and be around them, know who they are, be able to see our process that was here in the past from a scouting department process, I think all of that is really important because he will get to see that these last four games and really get a true feel of what it is that we are looking for as we move forward.”

On Dorsey and his football philosophies including sustained winning but still needing to be on the same page:

“You just said it, those words don’t mean anything. What you are hitting on is true because a lot of people want to win a lot of different ways. There are all kind of ways to win. I think everybody will walk into the organization with the thought process of winning – ‘I’m here to win.’ It is how you do that together. I think that is what is most important that we have talked about because there is no question that I might want to win a certain way, he might want to win a certain way. That might not fit. That is why I meant you have to really dig into that. What does that mean? How are we going to do this over the course of the next several months of putting that into place and making sure that we are on the same page to get that done? I think that is what is most important because you said it, everybody wants to win. It is just how you do that together.”

On how Dorsey and his philosophies paralleling:

“They will be, there is no question. You go into a room and you don’t walk out until you get to the nitty gritty of it all down to the last detail of it. We leave nothing un-talked about. We have to talk through it all to make sure that we are on the same page of how we are going to get this organization up and running as we see fit. I think that is what you have to do. I think that is the only way to do this. There is no other way.”

On if he will seek more say in personnel decisions with Dorsey:

“My conversations with John thus far have been and what I feel most comfortable with is that he said, ‘Hue, I’m interested in going to find the players that you feel that you need to win here at the Cleveland Browns.’ To me, that is a really important part of this. Sometimes – not the past; I’m not talking about the past. – you get players on a team that maybe you think fit the team. They have to fit the coaches’ talent and what the coaches on the staff’s talent is in order to bring winning to an organization. I think John truly gets that. That is something that we have talked about in detail and will continue to dive into because we have to have the right talent on our offensive football team, on our defensive football team and on our special teams that fit our coaches’ talent that give them the best chance to maximize the ability of our players.”

On if he was surprised by Dorsey’s hiring and if he was notified of the process:

“I’m not surprised by it. Obviously, this was Dee and Jimmy’s hire. They felt very comfortable, but Jimmy did keep me abreast as to who certain people were and what possibly could happen.”

On if one key to success is Dorsey understanding the type of players that fit in his system:

“Absolutely, there is no question. That is why I think he is so good at what he does. He is so good at identifying talent and knowing what does fit. When I can talk about a receiver that plays like X, he knows what that looks like and feels like. He can bring in these guys that look like this. I think that is the only way you can get to where you want to go in these situations.”

On if Dorsey and will share the same view on QB DeShone Kizer’s performance over the last four games:

“I think so. I think not just Kizer but at every position. I think we really need to talk through every spot, how we see it, how we want that position to perform, what we think it should be and how it should be. I think we will go through that.”

On if Dorsey and he have found common ground already on opinions of players recently drafted, specifically Chiefs QB Patrick Maholmes II:

“I am not going to talk about just specific players, but there is common ground on guys that he has dealt with before that we are going to be able to work through or talk through that we are looking for the similar characteristics in players. It has been one day and a couple minutes. We are going to spend a lot of time here very shortly if I can break this meeting and get going. This guy is a football man. He truly lives, sleeps and eats football. That is all he is about. I mean, obviously, he has been very good at what he has done.”

On his feeling towards working with someone who has 25 years of experience in player personnel after working with someone who didn’t have direct player personnel experience:

“I do not think that is fair. I said it yesterday and I will say it again, I think it is unfair to compare situations, whether (former Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi’s (Brown) regime or this regime. This is just a new beginning. I am not going to take anything away from Sashi because Sashi worked his tail off here. I said that before, and I really appreciate what he tried to do here. This is just a different time, a different situation, and you just said it, with a guy who has a huge football background. Obviously, I am going to feel more comfortable with that. That is where I come from. That is my world. That is what I know, but I think it is unfair to compare the two.”

On Haslam’s comments about finding a QB and if he will be more involved in that decision:

“Oh, I think we all will be. I think we all know that is the big piece that we still have to get right. I think that is what we will definitely sit down and talk through. I think John has some tremendous ideas on how to accomplish that.”

On if there may be a step backward in the team’s process due to hiring a new general manager:

“We can’t go back anymore. We are as far back as we can go. I am just being very honest with you. I came to this organization to turn it around. I am not here to be where we are. Obviously, I am a part of this and I get it. It is on my record and I respect that. At the same time, I came here to turn this organization around, not be a part of the losing-est coach in the National Football League. This is not going to define me as a football coach or who I am. It goes on my record, but the only way to change this is to get to winning as fast as you can. There is no other way to do it. There is no other way to change the narratives of what is out there and everything that is being said and how it is being said until we start winning and until this organization becomes what I truly believe it can become. That is why I came here. I think that is what John is here for now. I think that is what Dee and Jimmy want to accomplish. That is what we are going to set out to do.”

On if he feels the ‘breath of fresh air’ and a ‘weight off his shoulders’ with Dorsey’s hiring:

“I feel we are heading in the right direction. I am not going to say it is a weight off my shoulders because I am still going to bear part of that responsibility of what happened here because that is part of my deal, as well. At the same time, I know what we are trying to do. I know where we are trying to go. The decision to move forward is a key one in getting this organization where it needs to be. That is what we have done. Now, we have to put in the work and do the job. The job is at hand. The first job I have to do is this Sunday, then for the rest of this year and then help this team be better as we move into the future.”

On if TE Seth DeValve sustained an injury in today’s practice:

“No, it was yesterday. It was late in practice.”

On if any of the Browns listed as questionable on the injury report will likely play on Sunday:

“I feel better about Seth. I will know more about the other guys when I walk out of here.”

On TE Randall Telfer being named the Browns’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year:

“Obviously, Randall has done a tremendous job in the community. He has been the one player that consistently week in and week out has been in the community giving back. He has done a tremendous job. We are very proud of him for that. He is the right person to represent this organization as the Walter Payton Man of the Year. He has done outstanding. He has been accountable to his teammates. He is playing every week, competing out there giving it everything he has. He has helped keep that locker room together. The honor for him is well-deserved.”

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