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Press Conference

Browns coach Hue Jackson press conference - 9/12

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Another opportunity to earn a victory. Obviously, victories are hard in this league. You have to work to earn them. I think you do that during the week. Playing an outstanding football team, regardless of what happened to them last week. Their quarterback (Saints QB Drew Brees) is one of the best there is in football. The guy is going to have a great year, we know that. He had an outstanding game last week. He continues to play at a really high level. Obviously, they have very talented players around him. He knows how to play that position of quarterback as well as anybody. It is a tremendous challenge for us. Everybody talks about their defense [last week], but that is not the defense I know. Kind of uncharacteristic of those guys to play the way that they played last week. We know that those things do happen. Obviously, we are going to have to make sure that we get better during this week to make sure that we have an opportunity to earn a victory.

"Obviously, there are some injuries that we have. (DL) Emmanuel (Ogbah) is the only player that missed practice today. Not going to rule him out, but we will see how he progresses during the week. Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey) had a little ankle and was limited in practice today. (LB) James Burgess (Jr.) was back at practice. (DB) E.J. Gaines was back and did some work today. Hopefully, those guys will be ready to go this week.

"We are excited about another tremendous opportunity. We have a lot of things to look ahead to as we practice and get ready for the New Orleans Saints. It is going to be a heck of a challenge for us."

On WR Josh Gordon's role and involvement in the offense will grow in the coming weeks:

"No doubt. Josh, when he is going like we know he can, he has an opportunity to make plays. He has to continue to work to be in the right spot. We have to give him opportunities, and I think that we will do that."

On if it is natural for Gordon and QB Tyrod Taylor to have some miscommunication at this point in the season, regardless of whether or not he was at training camp:

"No doubt. Those things are going to show up. I think that we all know that. We have to get those things corrected as fast as we can. In order for our offense to function better, our outside guys have to be able to make plays. They have to be able to make catches and huge plays for us in games."

On if Taylor had opportunities with Gordon in one-on-one coverage:

"There were some chances, and there were some chances where we have to do a better job of running the routes – not just Josh, I think all of our receivers – as an offensive unit, it is a thing that we have to continue to work through, and understand that when the opportunities present themselves, we have a chance to make those plays."

On RB Nick Chubb developing a role this season:

"I think it is going to work itself out, honestly. That was the first game. Game flow kind of dictates things, how things are going, things that we are trying to accomplish and do. I am sure that there is going to be a game where he gets a ton more carries than he did the other day. There might be games where he does not. I just think how the flow of the game goes is what is going to be important as we move forward."

On if Chubb is capable of contributing now:

"No doubt he can. That is why we suit him up on game days. We really think that he can. If need be, we will stick him in there and let him play, but he has got to continue to grow and get better, understand our protections better. He had one of those moments in the game where it did not work out well for him. I am sure that he has grown from that. Hopefully, he will and play well."

On Taylor preparing for Week 2:

"He is getting ready for this week. No quarterback wants to go and have the statistical things that we saw from this past week. I think that Tyrod finished extremely well in the game. He made some plays at the end to give us a chance and obviously, to tie the game – him and Josh put us into position to make some other plays. It was not a Tyrod Taylor performance. I think he would be the first to tell you that. Everything is not going to be pretty. I think that we all know that. At the same time, we are looking for consistency. You go back to work. We put that one behind us, and we work at this one. I think that is what he is trying to do."

On if there is a possibility Ogbah plays against the Saints:

"Absolutely, yes. Let's just see where it is as we go, and we will kind of go from there."

On if he is hopeful that LB Christina Kirksey will play on Sunday:


On playing in a loud dome after multiple pre-snap penalties in Week 1:

"Oh it is concerning. We have to work at it this week. Obviously, we are going to have crowd noise. We will have it revved up as loud as we can. That is something that we have to take care of. Those self-inflicted wounds like that, we can't do that because it is hard to overcome those. We brought it up it up to our payers again. They understand what we need to do. We need to do it better, and we are going to do it better in practice first."

On if OL Desmond Harrison's experience with a silent snap count and if it is a project for the week:

"No, it is not a project, but we have to work at it this week. It is going to be a little new for him up here at this level as loud as it can be, playing against the types of rushers that he plays against. That is why we practice all week – put him in position so he can have success."

On Saints DE Cameron Jordan:

"He is just a tremendous rusher. He is one of the better pass rushers in the league. He is strong. He is quick. He is tenacious. He is one of those guys that comes to work every day, and in the game, he plays hard. I think our players respect that. He is someone on their defense that we have to slow down to have success."

On OL Chris Hubbard mentioning that he expects to line up across from Jordan most of the game:

"Oh, absolutely."

On challenges for Hubbard facing Jordan:

"It is a big challenge. That is why we brought Hubbard here. He has to get these guys blocked, and obviously, there are some things we will do to assist as much as we can, but his No. 1 job is the blocking. He is going to end up on the other side of the line sometimes, too. It is going to be a challenge for our offensive line, but they have other guys too you know? (Saints DE Alex) Okafor, he can rush as well. This is a real challenge for us offensively with this defense on turf. We have to handle it."

On how to slow down Saints RB Alvin Kamara:

"I think it is slowing down Brees first. He is the guy that hands it to him and throws it to him. Obviously, they have some tremendous players. (Saints WR) Michael Thomas is playing well. (Saints WR) Ted Ginn (Jr.) is playing well. Kamara is playing extremely well and so is Brees. I think it starts with Drew, and I think we have to do everything we can to keep all of those guys in front of us. You do not want those guys getting behind you because it leads to points. We have to come up with the right gameplan, and we have to execute it."

On his respect for Brees and what has allowed him to maintain excellence:

"It is like a lot of these quarterbacks who are getting a little older. They have done a great job of taking care of their bodies and their minds, and he works at it. This guys has been the most consistent in-the-pocket passer over the last five years that you have seen in the National Football League. He knows how to do it. They have a system that really caters to him. I think they draft guys on offense for him that really fit their system. That is what you see. He has been very consistent at doing what he does. I do not know how much longer he can play, but I do not see him slowing down at all. The guy is playing at a very, very high level."

On comparisons between Brees and QB Baker Mayfield:

"You know I hate to compare. Obviously, I can see people saying that. Until Baker someday gets his opportunity to play that way, then we will see it. Obviously, being compared to Drew Brees, anybody would be excited about that, but this guy is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League, and we hope that is what Baker is going to be in the future. That is the goal."

On benefits of combining talented players like Brees and Thomas:

"It is special. Obviously, the guy was targeted 17 times last week and caught 16 balls. They have a special relationship. It is not just him. It is Kamara. It is Ted Ginn Jr. It is all of them. They play at a pace where the defense has to account for every last one of those guys, but those guys are really good players."

On what has made Thomas successful:

"I think consistency, accountability. He is always out there and he is making plays when the ball is thrown to him. Like I said, the guy caught 16 of 17 targets. He catches the ball. He makes plays for that offense, and that is what you want. That is what you need at receiver in order for whoever to feel comfortable with you. Then he makes uncommon plays. Whether it is a catch or it is a broken tackle, he just makes those plays for the offense, which I think is important."

On Brees' ability to throw from the pocket as a testament to him or the Saints OL:

"I think a lot of it is Drew, too, in the sense that he does not hold the ball very long. The ball gets out. The offensive line obviously has to take some credit, too, because they are trying to protect him. I think they protect him at all costs. They understand who their quarterback is, and as an offensive lineman, you want to make sure that guys is always up right because you have a chance to win. I think he protects them by getting the ball out of his hands, too."

On if Taylor's pass release time was slower:

"I just think in our whole offense – I keep saying I think it is an offensive unit thing – we have to play faster, crisper and with more assurance, and I think we will. That was the first game and in some elements. I am not blaming it on any of that, but there were some different circumstances in that game. At the same time, I think we all recognize that there are some things that we have to do better as we head into Game 2.

On if it is a challenge for OL to learn how to block for a running QB:

"No because blocking for him in pass protection is just what it is. When he takes off and runs, there is not a quarterback in the league that when things break down does not attempt to run or throw the ball away. That is just natural so it is not about blocking for a running quarterback. When we say there is a passing play, he still is going to drop back and try to throw the football. I think it is the unit playing together, understanding the strengths of the protection and the weaknesses of the protection and then executing at a high level."

On what prevented the Browns from targeting Gordon multiple times, referring to the Saints targeting Thomas 17 times last week:

"I do not think there is a hold up. I hear you. Obviously, last week is last week. I can't go back and undo the Pittsburgh game. What we can do is move forward, and we have to put the ball in our guys' hands this week and give them an opportunity to make plays. That is what the offense is designed to do, and that is what we are going to try and accomplish."

On if he says to himself that he needs to get Gordon the ball:

"I say to myself that we got to get all of our skill guys the ball, whether it is Josh, (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.), (WR) Jarvis (Landry), (TE) David Njoku. All of those guys, they have to touch it. If we are going to be the type of offense that we want to be, those guys have to be able to make plays week in and week out, quarter in and quarter out in order for us to be successful."

On if offensive coordinator Todd Haley learned more about his offensive personnel after seeing the team in a regular season game and if that will lead to adjustments:

"Oh, absolutely. I think you adapt, and you adjust. Obviously, Todd has been doing this for a long time. I think he sees that. I think we all do. When you look at it – you just said it – that is the first time that he had those guys for a whole game – [not a] a quarter or a half, a whole game with people game planning for what you do. Now, you have to make those adjustment, and I think we will. I think our players have to make them, as well as the coaches, and on we go."

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