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Hue Jackson press conference: Browns vs. Giants

Posted Aug 21, 2017

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

“I am watching a team that is growing and getting better in some areas. I thought it was a really good effort by our defensive football team. The offense, we are still playing really spotty. We started off with too many penalties early, and that put is in a hole when we are always trying to dig out so we are not where we need to be yet and I get that. We are going to keep working at it and get better. Special teams is doing some good things. It is good to see (DB) Jabrill (Peppers) making plays. That is another plus for our offensive football team. We are seeing some pieces of our team start to really make a jump. We just have to keep working in the phases that are not and keep getting better.”

On if the QB competition became any clearer tonight:

“I will watch the tape. There were some things that I felt on the sidelines just being out there watching the game, calling the plays and watching how things happen. Like I told you guys, I hope by Wednesday of this upcoming week we will have a decision of where we are headed, and I think that is what we have to do.”

On if naming a starting QB will be a difficult decision:

“We will see (laughter). I need to watch the tape and honestly answer that question, but I have an idea in my mind based on what I felt and what I saw from our football team. We will just kind of go from there.”

On the performance of QBs Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer:

“Brock did some things early, but obviously, the tipped ball… Again, you are getting holding calls and all of the sudden you are playing behind the sticks all of the time. That is not good. We are kind of mixing and matching the offensive line a little bit right now so that is tough. DeShone, there were some things he did really well and there are some things he has to keep improving on. To answer it all, I want to watch the tape before I give you an honest assessment of both those guys.”

On reaction to select Browns players kneeling during the National Anthem and if it may potentially occur again:

“Obviously, we put out a statement about that. As I said two days ago, we respect our players; we respect the flag. Those guys came to me and talked to me about it before they ever made a decision to do it. That is the way we feel about it, and we have talked about this. I said at some point in time, they may, and they have. I won’t know about the next game until it happens, but again, this was tonight and we will move on from there.”

On if he had objections with the hit DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun put on Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“Honestly, I really didn’t see it. I don’t think any of our players try to do things maliciously. I didn’t get that feeling. I know some guys who are thinking that maybe it wasn’t a legitimate or a good hit, but again, we have to watch the tape and see. Sometimes guys get put into [tough] positions, and it is tackle [football]. I thought Briean was just trying to tackle a player and got him on the ground.”

On if any of Kizer’s rushes were planned and if that is something he does not want to see:

“No. Three of those were planned because there were things that the defense was giving us. He has that ability with his legs and a couple others were scrambles, legitimate scrambles, but he has to learn to get down. That is what I told them. He said he wanted to make sure that he ran into somebody so he could see what it felt like. I go, ‘Nuh uh, that is over with. Get down.’ He has to learn how to slide. I don’t care how big you are. I have always said these quarterbacks only have so many hits in their bodies so he has to protect himself that way.”

On Osweiler only playing two series tonight and if that indicates he is the projected starter:

“That was my plan going into this game, and I said before that I wanted to see the younger guys play so I have done what I said I was going to do. Now, my decision and our organization’s decision as we move forward, we will get together, huddle together and talk about where we are.”

On if Kizer looked more ready tonight that he did after the first preseason game:

“Yeah, I saw improvement in a lot of things. There were some things that he did much better. Some games, you are going to have the big numbers and the touchdown passes. Some games, you are not. It is about playing efficient football and moving the team and doing what is asked of the quarterback position based on what the defense is doing so I think there were some good things he did. Like I said, I think there are some good things (QB) Brock (Osweiler) did, and there were some good things (QB) Cody (Kessler) did. I just need to watch the tape to be very honest and forthright with you guys about where we are.”

On the Browns defense holding QB Eli Manning to 80 yards passing in the first half:

“Like I said, I think this is a football team that is becoming something. I really do. Our guys on defense are battling. Not that our guys on offense aren’t – I think our guys on offense are battling, too – but I think our guys on defense are making plays, making stops and are doing things really well that helps our football team win. This was a team win. I don’t want to sound like this is defense against offense or special teams. It is not. This is about the Cleveland Browns football team, and the Cleveland Browns football team is getting better. We are getting better in units. We had more units play better on defense. We have to continue to do that. We need more units to play better on offense. We will continue to work at that. We need to do the same thing with special teams. We have to continue to work on that, as well.”

On clarifying if the Browns hope to be ready to name a starting QB for Week 1 on Wednesday or simply Saturday’s game:

“I kind of want to put this thing to bed by Wednesday. I kind of want to say, ‘Here is where we are going’ because I think this upcoming game, we will play a little longer with the first group because I think it is important to do so and have as many guys that are going to play in the opener playing because this is the dress rehearsal game. I would like to put this thing to bed and just move forward in that direction, and whatever decision we make, we make. We want to make the best one for the Browns.”

On how close he was to making the QB decision prior to tonight’s game:

“I have seen flashes of what I want to see, but I think timing is everything as you go through it. As you start through this – you guys said it best the other day – we are doing this with three different players so you are really somewhat playing three different offenses because you are trying to show these guys’ skillset and give them the best opportunity to have success, but at the same time, that might not be the best for the offensive team. I think that is what you see. You see kind of mixing and matching and trying to give guys opportunities to show what they can do so that you can make the best decision for the team. At the end of the day, the best decision for the team is who can put the ball in the end zone and score points because that is what we are going to need to do. If we can play good defense and score some points on offense, I really and truly believe in the National Football League that is the formula for victories. That is what we are chasing, and that is what we have to try to do.”

On why he feels ready to make a decision on QB prior to the third preseason game:

“I think I have seen enough. For me, I have seen enough. I have done this long enough in my career and know what it looks like and what it feels like and what it should be. I feel pretty good about it. We will travel in that direction. If I feel like after watching the tape we need to wait a little longer, we will wait a little longer. I just feel like we are at the point where we can move forward and feel good about it.”

On if much should be read into Osweiler not scoring points in the first two games, given his emphasis on scoring points:

“No. When you evaluate Brock, you might evaluate him a little different scale as you go through as you do the others. At the same time, we are going to throw in it the pot, look at it and make the best decision for the Cleveland Browns.”

On if the Browns’ WRs are getting enough separation:

“I think our receivers are open. It is a combination of a lot of things. It is protection, first and foremost. It is blitz pickups by our backs. It is making sure that our eyes are in the right area when we are looking to throw the ball. It is a combination of everything. That is what preseason is for – work out all of these kinks and get moving in the right direction, but it is hard. I think you guys all understand and know it is hard when you don’t have an established quarterback. That is just part of it. That is what it looks like. Until you start traveling down that road with one guy and you start giving him those reps the way you can do it over and over and over again, repetition is the mother of learning. You just have to keep doing it that way, and eventually, it gets righted. That is why this game coming up is so important. To get to where we need to be before we play Pittsburgh, there needs to be a jump in execution on offense. I get that. You all get that. I know how that works. We are going to get that fixed.”

On updates on LB Tank Carder and TE David Njoku:

“Tank has a knee. We will know about that more tomorrow. I’m not going to say anymore – what did I normally to say? ‘Oh, it was nothing?’ I’m not saying that anymore (laughter). We will find out more about that tomorrow. Obviously, he has to go and get that checked. David has an ankle. We will know more about that tomorrow, as well.”

On if DE Myles Garrett’s first sack was encouraging:

“Yes, it was. That is what you look for. That is what he is here for is to tackle the quarterback and get people down to the ground. He did that tonight. He had a couple of good rushes and got close a couple of times, and he will keep learning and growing from these experiences that he is having, as well.”

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