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Press Conference

Browns coach Hue Jackson press conference - 9/26

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Another opportunity for our football team. Get to travel out west to play a good Oakland Raider team. I do not care what their record says – I know their coaching staff too well; I know the head coach too well – when we watch them on tape, it does not say that they are a 0-3 football team. Their offense has moved up and down the field on everybody. Their defense has slowed everybody down. Their offense has scored either a touchdown or field goal every first drive of the game. Their defense has gotten teams off of the field on the first drive of the games. This is going to be a tremendous challenge for us. Going into the Black Hole, a place that I am familiar with. Our guys are going to have to play their tails off. We have to get ready. We have to practice well. We have to stay focused and go play a good football game."

On QB Baker Mayfield is showing what he hopes for, specifically off the field like taking a lead in meetings:

"Absolutely. That is what your quarterback does. He is doing the same things that (QB) Tyrod (Taylor) did before. I think that is the role of that position. I think that he has assumed that and he is doing that."

On Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden:

"We used to be officemates. He taught me football. We used to argue every day. I know him extremely well. He is extremely competitive, and he does not losing, no more than I did not like losing. Trust me, he is going to get his football team ready to go. We have to be ready to play."

On returning to Oakland:

"It is a football game between the Browns and the Raiders. We are going to do everything that we can to go win the game. I have no other feeling than that. If anything, I would like to thank (the late Pro Football Hall of Famer and Raiders owner) Al Davis for the opportunity that he gave me. Al Davis is somebody who is very important in my life and my ability to be where I am today. I thank Al for that and the organization for the opportunity, but they are no different than any other team that we play. We have to get ourselves ready to play and go get a victory."

On the challenges playing at Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum:

"Baseball field. You better know the dirt. You can slip if you have not been on it before. You do not want the first third down to be a receiver running a route and he slips down because he does not know how to get his feet in the ground the right way. I think that all of those things are important. I think that managing that is one of my jobs with the football team, and that is why we are going to go to the stadium on Saturday."

On if the wearing the right cleats are important:

"Yes, the right cleats. Everybody runs around differently. Everybody puts their feet in the ground a little bit different. We are going to have to run around to make sure that they have the right shoes so that when Sunday comes, there are no excuses about the field."

On if he is happy that football teams playing on baseball diamonds will be done soon:

"It does not matter. We can play in the parking lot if we had to. It does not matter to me. We just have to play."

On when he shared an office with Gruden shared:

"He worked at the University of Pacific and I worked at the University of Pacific with (former Pacific Head Coach) Walt Harris. I have known Jon for a lot of years. Jon tried to hire me when he was first at the Raiders, and I decided to stay at USC. We have history, a relationship. Obviously, I worked with his brother (Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden), as well, through my travels through the National Football League. I know the Gruden family well. Obviously, the guy is a tremendous football coach."

On if he or Gruden put in longer hours:

"During that time, like I said, he taught me football. I was a wishbone quarterback at the time. I have always given Jon a lot of credit for where I am today because he helped mold me and shape me into the coach that I am a little bit. There are a lot of things that I took. At the same time, this weekend, I am trying to beat him."

On how much a player like Mayfield's confidence can influence other players:

"It normally does, especially form that position. That position is the face of the franchise. You kind of go how that guy goes. He has that – I have said it before – magnetism about himself. He is confident, and he likes to play. I think that he likes to lead. I think that he has a leadership quality that a lot of people do not have when it comes to leading men. He is not afraid to do that. That is a good thing."

On if Taylor definitely will not be cleared for play on Sunday, given he was not available today:

"No, we still have one more day. I think we are really on the back end of it. I think that there really is improvement. I think that we will know more tomorrow, for sure. I still feel good that he will be able to participate this weekend."

On the Browns WRs' performance, besides WR Jarvis Landry:

"We need to play better. (WR) Antonio Callaway is still a young player. He made some plays the other night but needs to continue to make more. (WR) Rashard Higgins has done a nice job. Rashard needs to continue to be steady as he has been. He does all of the tough work for us and has done a good job in that way. (WR Derrick) Willies has gotten there from time to time and so has (WR Damion) Ratley when he has been out there. It is a young group. Obviously, it is led by Jarvis. In our offense, the ball will be spread around because we have a lot of other guys. There is (TE) David Njoku who needs to start making plays. There is (RB) Duke Johnson (Jr.). We want to have an offense to where you have guard everybody as we go. Everybody needs to raise their game to another level so that we can have a chance to have an offense that we all feel really good about."

On Dolphins DL William Hayes injury and if he would feel a preference to get a penalty rather than lose a player to an ACL injury, given recent roughing the passer penalties:

"I guarantee you our players feel that way. They would rather take a penalty in a heartbeat than to get hurt. I hope William recovers fast. Obviously, everyone is trying to figure out the rule and how to do it better. Everybody wants to understand it. I think the league is doing everything they can. It sent out videos. I show our football team every week something that they are trying to point to on how to judge it better for the referees and to officiate it better. At the same time, I think the players have to keep playing. They just have to keep playing and do the things we are coaching them to do, and we will let everything else take care of itself." 

On how different it is coaching after a win and if guys are more focused:

"Yeah, I do, but I need more of that. As I told our football team, we need to make sure that one, we need to always be focused; but two, there is a whole other level of focus now. You are not sliding in here under the radar with people thinking you are not a good team. I think we have a team that if we keep growing and keep getting better that someday people will say that we are a good team. We are not that yet. We have not earned that, but I think we have the makings if we keep working if we do not get caught up in what everyone says and thinks and all of that stuff and keep working like we always have, I think we got a chance to have a team that we will be very proud of."

On if the Browns envisioned WR Jarvis Landry's role involving as many downfield routes:

"Oh yeah. We do not have any limitations to Jarvis. We are going to throw him the ball whether it is short, deep, sideline, over the middle and everywhere because he has that kind of ability. He is one of the best contested-catch guys in all of the National Football League. He can make plays so why not give him opportunities to make them everywhere if he can?"

On relief the Browns will not face Bears OLB Khalil Mack following the trade:

"Yes, no doubt (laughter). He is in Chicago so I do not want to talk about another player."

On DL Emmanuel Ogbah and LB Christian Kirksey returning to practice:

"Yes, they practiced today so that is encouraging. We will see how it goes after practicing today, but they were definitely practicing so that is a good thing."

On K Greg Joseph:

"He did well last week. He has to do it again this week. It is week to week. I do not know him very well. I loved him last week; I want to love him again this week (laughter). He is going to get an opportunity, and hopefully, he can nail them. That is what he needs to do. "

On if he prepared Mayfield that NFL teams will now have his film to study:

"Oh, absolutely no doubt. I think he gets that. The game is going to change for him a little bit. People will start preparing for him more, but we feel like we do a good job as an offensive unit of preparing him and preparing our offensive team for what could happen and what may happen, then we will be fine. This guy is no finished product by any stretch, but he works at it and it is important to him, and I think it is important to his teammates."

On if Mayfield should perform just as well or better than last week, specifically given he is taking reps with the first team often:

"I do not look at it that way. I understand your question, and I think it is a good point. I am not going to say he should do more. I just think he needs to do his job. Let's just do his job at a high level and give everybody else a chance to do their jobs even better because that is the quarterback's job. He is facilitating it all. Hopefully, everybody will rise to the occasion and make those plays when those opportunities come."

On if the playbook changes with Mayfield at QB:

"I think it is important anytime – I do not care who plays quarterback – to put them in position to be successful, and I think that is what we are going to do. I think (offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley), the rest of the offensive staff myself, our job is to make sure we give Baker the best chance to have success with this offense, whatever that means. We will do whatever we need to do that we feel is going to give us a chance to have him perform well because if he performs well, then we have a chance to do what we need to do. To answer your question, will we look at things? Yeah. Will we implement things? If we think they fit and if they fit him. We will take the things that he does real well in our offense now, let him continue to do those and keep giving him a little more here and there as we go."

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