- McCown in, Kessler out**
Josh McCown will make his third start of the season with Cody Kessler in the league's concussion protocol, head coach Hue Jackson said Monday afternoon.
McCown, who relieved his rookie teammate late in a loss to the Steelers, passed for 118 yards and a touchdown but also fumbled the ball in the end zone. Kessler, who has started eight of the past 11 games for Cleveland, exited Sunday's game after a big hit from Pittsburgh linebacker Lawrence Timmons. He did not return.
McCown has played in four games this season, passing for 778 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. [
2. 'I'm not running from this'
Jackson said he'll be the first to admit an 0-11 season has challenged him and the Browns' coaching staff. But the head coach continued to express optimism about the future.
"Trust me," he said. "This is tough. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it is not. I could not tell you that it's not. I have never encountered this, but at the same time, I know what I signed up for. I truly believe I am just the man for the job.
"That has not shown, and I respect that and I understand how our fans and all feel, but I'm not running from this. I am going to run through it, and I am going to deal with it head on. We are going to fix this. That is what I came here to do."
3. Sacks are a 'unit issue'
After watching the Browns surrender eight sacks and more than a dozen hits on their quarterbacks, Jackson said it does the Browns no good to point fingers.
Instead, Jackson described the shortcoming as a "unit issue."
"We all have a part in it," he said. "The receivers have a part in it. The linemen have a part in it. The backs have a part in it. The tight ends have a part in it and obviously the quarterback. We all have a part in it. We just have to do it better."
4. Too soon
With the Browns' current situation at quarterback, Jackson said it's probably still too soon to consider Robert Griffin III as an option. "We will find that out a little bit more as we go," he said, "but I think right now it might be a little early."
Griffin, who was placed on injured reserve after Week 1, was cleared for non-contact activities last week. He hasn't played since breaking a bone in his shoulder against the Eagles.
5. Rookies still growing
Eleven games into the season, Jackson said the Browns' rookie class is still taking shape. But some players, he said, have "totally improved."
"I watched (defensive back Derrick) Kindred play as well as he has played all year. I watched (DL/LB) Emmanuel (Ogbah) battle yesterday. I watched (WR) Corey Coleman demonstrate toughness in a game that was a tough game," he said.
"Some of our rookies are growing and getting better, but I think the class will be judged at another time. It is too early to say where they are or what they will be or anything like that."