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Hue Jackson stresses patience as new-look Browns offense goes through growing pains

Posted Sep 20, 2017

'I knew that this was going to happen, I know that we're getting there'

Hue Jackson stressed patience as a Browns offense filled with new faces builds chemistry early in the season.

The second-year head coach said he’ll be the first to tell you he’s “pulling his hair out” over the team’s struggles in its first two games, but maintained confidence the group remains on the right track.

“There are some things we have to do better to be the offense that I want us to be. I see the same things, but that’s part of this,” an upbeat Jackson said Monday.

“I never told you we were going to be a juggernaut in the first two games. We’re going to keep working at this. We’re on this practice field working every day to get better and I think we're getting better at some things. That's my charge to the players, that's my charge to the coaches and I think we're getting there. We'll arrive at some point in time. We're not there yet, but that's part of it.”

In back-to-back losses to AFC north rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore, Cleveland has averaged 14 points and 312 yards per game. In Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, the Browns outgained Baltimore 386-337 but finished with just 10 points as five turnovers ultimately undid them.

Jackson described those struggles as growing pains for an offense with eight new starters, including rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, three offensive linemen and a host of young receivers.

“You have a new young quarterback. You have, basically, an offensive line that’s new that’s going to be good. We have new receivers that we insert here and there. We have a new, young tight end that's playing. We have runners who are learning how to play off of the offensive line,” Jackson said.

“It’s time on task. That’s all it is. I mean, I couldn’t have played all of these guys for every quarter in the preseason. I knew there were going to be some rough spots. I don’t like the rough spots. I don’t like the turnovers, I don’t like the production on offense, I don’t like the consistency, but I knew that this was going to happen. I know that we're getting there.

Kizer, who struggled in his first NFL regular season road game, took ownership of his four turnovers in Baltimore and spoke of the need for consistency on offense.

“We have lulls in games that we have to eliminate,” he said. “It’s on us to have energy and on myself to make sure that I am pushing this offense as fast as I can so that we can have the same consistent energy that we have seen at times where we are driving the ball up and down on defenses.”

Jackson believes the group will come together sooner than later.

“I know the work ethic is there, I know the time on task is starting to be there, and the continuity is starting to the be there," he said. "Now, you take this and hopefully you turn the corner, and that’s where we need to get to.”

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