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Press Conference

Browns coach Hue Jackson press conference - 10/1

Opening statement:

"Obviously, very disappointed with our result. We had a number of chances to put that game away. Being up 28-14 in the third quarter, we felt like we had the game in our hands. Not that we had the game finished but we felt like we were in control. We thought maybe if we did not turn the ball over maybe we could have kind of knocked them out a little bit. In those situation, when you turn the football over, you give a team life. It felt like it was back to back, even though it was not back-to-back plays, but, it was back-to-back series. When you look at that, it was a 14-point swing. We have to do that better. Obviously, the defense, they have been doing a really good job for us all season, but yesterday a little bit – that offensive football l team, which I think is a really good offensive football team, they were able to make plays in the pass game and in the run game. They had two pass catchers (Raiders TE Jared Cook and WR Jordy Nelson) over 100 yards and had a rusher (Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch) over 100 yards. We have to shore some things up there, and again, the tight end situation. The young man kept making plays – 87 (TE Jared Cook). We just have to continue to get better. We will continue to work at it. That is not how we have played on defense all year. I know our guys will go back, go to work and do better.

"Our special teams unit has not been good enough all year. I have said that. We need to continue to get better. We have to cover better. Obviously, we need to return the ball. The returner has to return it better. We have to get these things better. I am speaking very firmly about these things because this is the first quarter of the season so we really know what our football team is now. That is what I told our guys. We know where we need to become a little bit more accountable, responsible and get some things done by taking ownership and fixing it. I think that we will do that.

"On offense, we can't turn the ball over. At the end of the day, we had four turnovers, one of that went back for a touchdown. That is 21 points right there. Take 21 points off of the board and we play offense the way that we did, it is a whole different game. That was not the case. They are not all on (QB) Baker (Mayfield). At the same time, I appreciate him taking responsibility for it. As a unit – I am going to say it again – we have to continue to do better and assist and help him be the best version of himself as we go through it.

"As I said, the first quarter [of the season] is over with. We have earned the record of 1-2-1. We know where we are. We have a heck of a second quarter here, starting this week with a game at home. We have a lot of work to do over the next week.

"The injuries: (DB) Terrance Mitchell had surgery this morning to repair his fractured wrist. That is a tough loss because I truly believe that he was playing well. I think he was one of the guys who created turnovers in our secondary. Once he went out, we kind of had to mix and match a little bit, per se. Move a guy who was playing nickel out to corner and take a guy who was playing safety and play him out at corner from time to time. We did a lot of different things in that way to try to slow it down. That did not turn out the way that we wanted it. At the same time, those things are going to happen. That is football. We will have a next man up mentality, and we will get going. 

"I am not discouraged. I am disappointed because I think that our team is playing extremely hard. I think that they have been in position to win all four games to be very honest with you. You take the kick against Pittsburgh, which we did not make and you take the kicks against New Orleans, which we did not do. We win the Jets game by Baker coming in and playing extremely well. This game, we are up by 14 at one point and we go down and then we go back up again by [eight]. You look at that and you go, 'Wow, this team is talented, is gritty and is tough.' There is no quit in them. I like that characteristic about our team, but we have to learn how to finish. We have to learn how when we have a team on the ropes, you have to give them that knockout shot so that there is no doubt. There should not be any doubt.

"I know we talk about the officials, and there are some things that are questionable that I will send into the league. There is no question about that. At the same time, let's take it out of their hands. Let's us as a football team next time let's make it to where nobody has anything to say about how we win or lose other than us, and then we can live with it. We will move on, go in that direction and keep getting better."

On if Mitchell's injury is season-ending:

"I do not think so. I do not think that it will be season ending. Obviously, he had the surgery. It is going to be some time, obviously, but I do not think that it may be season ending."

On if similar problems are carrying over from past seasons and concerns about a cumulative affect from previous losing seasons and not being able to finish close games:

"No, I do not see it the way that you do. You just said, 'The same issues that we had a year ago.' We have never been this close since I have been here, not as close as we have been in these four weeks. There have been some games [in past years] where I think that we played as well as we could play and had a chance to win and make a play down the stretch. I know what you are saying. This team feels different. This team is more talented. I do not think that there is any remains of the past teams. I know that we can feel that because some of the similarities are not finishing the game, but I can't recall a game where we went down being on the road like that and came right back ahead – way ahead – and should have finished the game. That was different. It has been different all year in my opinion when I look at and evaluate it as I told the staff and the players. I get to sit and I look from a different lens. We are a better football team. Now, we have to do some things better. We have to make sure that the things that stop you from winning, we have to continue to correct. We have done those well. We had taken care of the football and we had not turned it over, but then yesterday on the road, that happened. I know that Baker took responsibility for it because he was the guy with the ball in his hands and his possession, and that is the first time that he started and played and I know that is what everybody wants to say, but I expect even more from him. He can do those things. I have seen him do it. He knows how to do it. I am going to take the responsibility for it all. We have to continue coach better, continue to get our players more prepared and ready. Like I tell everybody, I am really responsible for the process, but the players, they have to start being responsible for the outcome. The outcome is let's go finish this and win the game. I think we will. We are close, very close – closer than we have ever been since I have been here."

On not having a sense of 'waiting for something bad to happen' at the end of yesterday's game:

"No. I used to. I knew what that was. No. It was a whole different feel. It was a whole different mentality on that sideline. It is quicker. Move on from that. Let's go. Let's go find a way to score. Let's go find a way to get them stopped. No. Not at all. Yesterday, you are watching (DB) Damarious Randall play on one foot. There are some plays that I now for a fact that he would have made if he was healthy. You are watching (DL) Myles Garrett and them play a lot of snaps because we need them to to finish the game. Maybe sometimes some guys are exhausted and we need to feel comfortable putting some other guys in there. On offense, you are watching a young player trying to direct some traffic, and all of a sudden, here comes a snap that we all know should not happen but it happens. I do not get the sense of what I felt before down there. I get the sense that this is a team that is really starting to come together and understand how close they are. Now what they have to do is go finish those things. You have to play one snap at a time as well as you can, and let's see where we are."

On improving on special teams, specifically coverage:

"We are going to work our butts off is what we are going to do. I think that we can do somethings better. We have to cover better. We have guys going down there taking shots at the returners, and we are not close. That guy (Raiders WR Dwayne Harris) was a very strong runner with the ball, but we were in position to make some plays that we have to make. We did not make them yesterday."

On DB Jabrill Peppers returning a couple kickoffs that could have been touchbacks:

"There are a couple of decisions. (WR) Antonio Callaway's ball that came out, and Jabrill's ball that came out. Like I said, sometimes let's just play from the 25-yard line, and it might give us the best chance because we sure were not blocking them yesterday."

On if fans' frustration with officiating and calls are echoed in the locker room:

"Absolutely. They are frustrated by it. As I told our players – I think that they have said it – not one call or two calls were the difference in the game. We had our chances. What we understand is let's take it out of the officials' hands. Let's play well enough and put ourselves in the best situation so that it is not even question about a call. Let's do our part better. Let's not turn the ball over. Let's get more turnovers. Let's make third-and-1. Let's make sure that we are better on third down on offense. Let's see what happens then. I think that we will be happier about that."

On if the Browns considered a pass play on third-and-2 in the final two minutes of regulation:

"There were thoughts given to passing, but we felt good about our guards and our tackles. We feel like we have an offensive line that should be physical enough and a big back. Obviously, when you throw it, there are a lot of bad things that can happen. When you hand it off, there are some good things that can happen. (RB Carlos) Hyde has been very successful in doing that. I think that he stuck the ball up in there the way that you want him to. There were some things that they did defensively schematically that we can do better on the edge, but we felt like he had a chance to make it."

On young players are motivated by being so close to winning the game:

"It motivates this whole team because we all know that we are right there. We have played some pretty good teams. I told you guy last week when we were talking about the Raiders' record, I forewarned you that it was just a façade. That is a good football team, a big, physical, tough, AFC West team. I coached in that division. I know what they are. We have played some really good teams these first four weeks, and we are going to play some even better ones as we go. I think our players know that we can play with anybody. Now we have to play well enough to win. That is what we have to do for 60 minutes, 70 minutes or whatever it is going to be. We have to go finds a way to go finish these games. I know that is some of the same clichés that you heard a year ago, but that is football. That is the way that football is, especially in the National Football League."

On if he considered going for it on fourth-and-inches in the final two minutes of regulation:

"No. The ball was at the 18-yard line. We miss it, then there goes. They are going to tie."

On potentially going for it in that situation, given the eight-point lead:

"Yeah, but why not punt them down there and make it as tough as you can? It did not enter my mind. You asked, I would not do it."

On if the fumbled snap earlier in the game impacted the decision to punt:

"No, I do not think it was the fumbled snap. I just think fourth-and-1, here we are up by eight and our defense, even though it was not happening the way that we wanted it to, I still believe in our defensive players. You have to let our defense play. There is Myles Garrett on that defense. There is Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey) and (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.) and (DL) Larry Ogunjobi. You have to give them a chance at it. They will be the first to tell you, we wish that we could have did it better, but obviously, we can't let the ball come running back at us."

On Mayfield bouncing back from an INT-TD on the first possession and handling the back-and-forth nature of the game:

"I am being very honest with you, I did not see any blink in Baker on any of those things. That is what was very pleasing to me. I get a chance to look in his eyes, and he did not flinch. Matter of fact, he was like, 'Come on guys, let's go.' I think when you have a young man like that who one, takes responsibility, but two, I am not going to say it is just water off of a duck's back in a bad way, but in a good way that, 'Hey, look here. This is not happening again. Let's move on to something else and let's keep going. I am going to make enough plays and we are going to overcome this.' That is what he did. In the end, we were right there. He put us in position again to have a chance to win that game. We just did not do it."

On if that attitude and leadership from the team makes this year different in regards to not expecting bad things to happen:

"No doubt. No doubt. I have seen it. I have seen the sideline go (let's air out). I have seen the air go out a long time ago. When they first came back, that would have been it – let's be honest, game over. We have all seen that. That is not what it is here anymore. These guys now know let's get the ball back lets go score or let's go out and play defense. To a defensive player, they will tell you that they are disappointed in what they did yesterday. To the offensive players, they will say it was uncharacteristic for us to turn the ball over like this. I hate to say it, but let's have one of these games happen now so we learn from it, grow from it and get better as fast as we can."

On if Mayfield needs to release the ball quicker to avoid the sack-fumble:

"No. No. The right guard has got to do a better job."

On if Mayfield needed to step back quicker on the play:


On the fumbled snap from under center:

"It was not that he was taking a step back. It was just pressure. (OL) JC (Tretter) thought that he felt pressure. There was not pressure. That is what it was. It was a silent snap. Pressure of his (Mayfield) hand underneath of his (Tretter's) bottom. Did not feel it. Did not do it. JC thought it was. It was loud. He thought that he felt something that did not happen. Those things can't happen."

On if he would have liked to see Mayfield check down receiver rather than going deep on his final interception:

"Absolutely. No doubt."

On if he is satisfied about the officials' spot on the third-and-2 run in the final two minutes of regulation:

"There are a lot of things that I am not satisfied about."

On if he could have asked for a re-measurement on the play:

"Yeah. We could have asked for a whole bunch of things. I do not even want to get into it. I do not want to say something that I am going to get myself in trouble about up here (laughter). You guys are not paying the fine so I am not doing it. I will send a lot of things in [to the league] – the kicking of the football down the field right next to the official, the sack-fumble on a quarterback… Do you guys want me to keep going? The spot. It goes on and on and on. We have to do a better job of being in control of it, not the officials being in control of it."

On RB Nick Chubb's performance yesterday and if it is tough to get him more carries with Hyde's production:

"Unbelievable. He has to get some. Hyde is playing well, but this guy is scoring touchdowns from long ways away. I was impressed. I watched those two touchdowns on tape today, and they were even better than they were on the field. He ran away from some people on the first one and ran away from some people on the second one. It just looked natural and easy. He was gone. They could not touch him. He made a guy miss, broke a tackle. It was impressive. We have good backs. We know that. Sometimes it is going to be hit and miss where some other guy is making it happen and then the other guy goes in and does it. Between those two guys, they had big days. Carlos has been the bell cow. We have handed it to him a lot. Obviously, Chubb has gone in there and made some plays here lately. (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) started catching the ball yesterday. I think that it is a good problem to have. I think that we have three good answers back there. We have continue to find ways to use all three."

On if the Browns considered going for two following Chubb's second TD:

"Why go for two then? We are up seven, right. I was aggressive at the right times early. I thought just making sure that we made the point after try. I had been touching lady luck all day in this game in going for two. I am very aggressive as you said, and that was going to be my mentality."

On potentially going for two to make it a two-possession game, given a failed try would still result in a seven-point lead:

"I got you all the way. When it was all said and done, we were up eight and they had to go for two."

On the aggressive nature on offense yesterday:

"I told our team last week that I do not want to play with my hands behind my back anymore. I told them that for now on we are going to be as aggressive as we can be. We practiced a lot of different things and those situations, a lot. Why not go after people? I heard the room go, 'Yeah, Coach. Let's do it.' That is what this is all about. I want to change the mentality here. We are trying to defeat people, not just beat you. We want to defeat you. We need to do that, and we need to continue to do that and get it right."

On WR Jarvis Landry catching four passes despite 10 targets and WR Antonio Callaway's dropped passes:

"We had way too many drops. We had nine drops yesterday. Period. We had nine drops. Nine. That is not winning football."

On helping Callaway become more consistent as a young player:

"Just continue to practice. I think you guys all know some of this inconsistency comes with young players. I think maybe limiting sometimes the number of snaps that a player has to play. We are going to have to depend on Antonio. He is going to have to make plays for us as we go as you just mentioned. We are not going to shy away from that, but maybe not playing as many plays as he plays in a game will help him get to step back, take a look, take a blow come back and do it again. I like him. Obviously, he needs to start faster in games. I think the footing – I think you guys can say I wanted to take the team there on Saturday and why it was so important. They needed to know what that felt like. I watched guys changing shoes on the sideline quite a few times because that needed to happen because it is different when you are going full speed like that. They found that out."

On if the Browns' aggressive mentality coincides with Mayfield's playing style:

"The way Baker plays? Yeah, I think so. I think it does, but I think it coincides with the way we want our offense to play and the way we want our team to play. We have been very aggressive on defense. We want to be that way on offense. We want to be that way on special teams. We are not there yet, but I think we are working towards that."

On if Callaway has an injury:

"He is fine. He is fine."

On if DBs T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines will fill in for Mitchell:

"They will be guys that are candidates over there. Absolutely. Gaines, Carrie and (DB Briean) Boddy (Calhoun)."

On if receivers are having trouble adjusting to Mayfield's velocity:

"No, we dropped balls. No, that had nothing to do with it. Those guys have caught balls in games before so no. That had nothing to do with it. We did not play as crisp early. We dropped some balls. That was very uncharacteristic by us. We have to make those plays."

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