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Hue Jackson conference call - 10/30

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"I am getting through the long ride back. We got home about 12:45 a.m. I gave the team the day off today because I thought we needed to get our bearings back. We will get back in tomorrow. We will practice tomorrow and then I will probably give them the rest of the week off. We have eight games left. We need to take this bye week and heal up, take a little time away and get our minds right. Like I said, we have eight more weeks to go and figure some things out and get better at it. I still like our players fight. We all want better results. We are going to take this bye week and really study ourselves and see where we can do better. Hopefully, we will be able to get some of our injured guys back, especially the defensive guys who have missed the last couple weeks. Hopefully, we are getting closer to getting (WR) Corey (Coleman) back. He is making really good progress, but he needs to get back on the field. It might not be for a couple more weeks, but we should have him practicing soon. We will see where that is. As I said yesterday, my mindset remains the same. There is no quit in this team. We are going to continue to work hard. We are going to continue to improve. I think we are improving in some areas, but it doesn't show in the win column. We know we can play better at times, too, and I am going to keep asking more of our players and our coaches. We will continue to do it that way. Hopefully, we will come out with some better results here soon.

"As far as the injuries are concerned, coming out of the game, we talked about (DB) (Briean) Boddy-Calhoun's hamstring was really the only thing that might cause a player to miss some time and we will know more about that. We are hopeful that the bye will do (DL) Trevon (Coley), (DB) Jabrill (Peppers) and (DB) Jason (McCourty) some good. (DL) Myles (Garrett) will continue to progress through the concussion protocol. That is kind of where we are."

On if Garrett is still in concussion protocol:

"Yes, he is. As far as I know, he is still in the protocol, but I think we are on the back end of that, hopefully. There are different processes that they have to go through, but I think we are getting close to the end of that."

On if McCourty's injury is a high-ankle injury and if that will cause him to miss more time after the bye week:

"I hope not. I think we are closer to having him back than not having him back."

On encouraging elements from yesterday's game after watching film:

"I thought in the first half we did some good things. I thought the fast start by the offense, scoring in two plays, that was encouraging because we haven't done that since I have been here, and I am used to scoring on opening drives so I thought that was a plus. Our defense getting the interception early that helped set the offense up, I think that is playing complimentary football. When the defense does something well like that, we have a chance to respond. Right before the half, the team being able to drive down and score a touchdown, I thought was outstanding because that is football. Sometimes it is just not going your way. There were some plays that we could have made and should have made on third down that we did not early in that game, but as we kept playing, I thought things started to happen a little bit better for us in that first half so I thought that was encouraging."

On issues he anticipates addressing with ownership and the front office at the end of the year:

"I think obviously just our need to continue to get better at many different positions, and I think we all see it. I think we know where we are headed. I like our roster a lot, but I think there is some upgrading that we can do and will do. We have to continue to look at the things that we think will make our team better overall from just a positional standpoint, and I think we will have those discussions here soon."

On if he anticipates that the Browns will be active in trying to upgrade the roster before the trade deadline tomorrow:

"I think we are always looking to do that. As you know, we did that a year ago. I am sure we are working hard to do that now. I think we will do anything we can that is the right fit for us to upgrade our football team. There is no question about that."

On QB DeShone Kizer's performance yesterday:

"Like I said yesterday, I think that was a better version of DeShone. He played better in this game as far as taking care of the football. There are still some plays that I am sure he wishes he had back, but I thought he did some good things. He put the team in a position early in the first half to have the lead that we had. We just have to find a way to finish it, too, in the second half. You have to make those same plays in the second half that you made in the first half, but I thought he did a great job of taking care of the football and being very team-protecting that way."

On if he has or will need to have discussions with ownership about keeping the team's leadership intact and reasons to do so:

"I think that is a question for Jimmy (Haslam). I think he has to be able to answer that for you all. My job is to coach this football team and this football staff and get our players to be the best they can be. I know what you are asking. Will there be conversations that I am sure we will have over the next several days? I am sure there are, but right now, I have not had that conversation."

On if Kizer is releasing the ball more quickly and if it is because of scheme or how he is observing the game:

"I think it is a little bit of both. I think some of it is design and I think some of it is the piece – he is seeing things differently because the game is happening a little bit faster for him. He is diagnosing things a little quicker. I have made it a conscious effort, as I said, I want to do everything I can to protect him that way and put him in great situations. Not that we weren't in the beginning – I know everybody says the ball is coming out quicker – those things that you are mentioning are from play-action early in the year, which are things that we need to be able to do in order to have a chance to score points. I think as you can see, you can't score points sometimes by just nickel and diming it down the field – you won't score enough points, I should say – but you have to have a chance to have an explosive play as an offensive football team to score points in the National Football League. We have to continue to get better in that area. I think he is doing things differently. I think we are doing things differently. I think you are seeing a better version of DeShone."

On Britt's comment about 'hating everything about [playing in] London' prior to the team's trip:

"I never even knew about those comments. Obviously, I don't read much of what goes on so I'm not really sure what you are referring to. I didn't see that, but I would hope that – obviously, he said it – but I would hope that he didn't mean it that way. Obviously, he has played over there with different teams, but he hadn't played over there with our team yet. I'm not sure where that came from."

On if there is a spot for Britt on the roster, given he did not pay yesterday:

"Yeah, there is a spot for him on this roster. I have played Kenny most games when he was healthy. He has been out there. He has been a starter. I just thought yesterday, I wanted to do something different as I told him. I was very honest. We played (WR) Bryce Treggs a little bit more yesterday because I wanted to get a good feel for him in the game. That is what it was, but is there still a place for Kenny Britt? There is."

On OL Spencer Drango's performance at LT and how much the game plan was adjusted to help him in replacing OL Joe Thomas:

"Spencer did a great job. He battled and battled hard. We did make some adjustments. We did some chipping, some slamming over there to that side. We did some things left-handed a little bit. We did what we needed to do to help just like we would on any player on our team. Sometimes there are some things we have to do on the right side – we played (Texans DE Jadeveon) Clowney a couple of weeks ago. That is what we do on offense, and we are doing it better. Our quarterbacks are not getting sacked at a merciful number. Our guys are doing a good job that way. To me, two of the three we had yesterday – DeShone would be the first to tell you – he is holding the ball a little too long. We have to continue to grow in this area. Our quarterbacks have to continue to grow in how to get the ball out again. Those things were happening in the fourth quarter. That was the first time they really touched him so that was good. Spencer and our offensive line, I give them a lot of credit. They did a good job of battling that way."

On if a potential decision to make a change at K is complicated or simple:

"I think it is fairly simple as it boils down to it when we have it. I think it gets down to what is best to help our football team win. Those are points that we need. I think we all recognize that. We don't want to be on a rollercoaster. Those things happen. We do get it. We have worked through a little bit of that just recently with him. He was able to bounce back. Now, we are going back the other way. Now, we have to either try to get it back or we have to do something different. That is just the way this goes. We will make that decision as we go throughout the week."

On if the Browns have scheduled workouts with other Ks this week:

"No, not that I know of. Remember now, we just flew back here early this morning. We got in here and had our work so we haven't had a lot of discussions as of yet."

On if Drango did enough to secure the LT spot moving forward:

"I think he did enough to warrant another opportunity to go out there and play. I think he did a really good job, but again, I want to look at all of our options because my job coming out of this bye is over the next eight games put the best football team out there that gives us the best chance to compete and have a chance to win that we can. That is what we will do."

On if the same mindset applies to Kizer starting at Detroit:

"Yeah, no doubt. I think DeShone has earned that opportunity to walk back out there again. He did some good things. That was a better version of DeShone, and we need to grow from that and keep getting better."

On if he has to talk with Britt about the perception that he is a negative influence on the team:

"If I knew that Kenny Britt was a negative influence on our football team, he wouldn't be here. I have conversations with all of our players. Everybody is going to have some issues from time to time. Obviously, his are well documented. There are some games that he hasn't played. There are some games where things haven't gone as well, but hopefully, those things are not bleeding over into our locker room because I would not allow that."

On if TE David Njoku will have an expanded role the rest of the season and what Njoku needs to do more of on the field:

"I think there are more snaps for him coming. In order to walk out there, you can't just drop passes. You have to catch the ball. I think everybody knows that that is what you are out there to do. We tried to get him the ball several different times yesterday. It just didn't work out. We have to continue to do that because I think he is one of the young guys who can make some plays for us. As we move over these next eight weeks, we will find different things for him to do and give him a chance to be out there more."

On comparing Kizer to other young QBs in the NFL such as Eagles QB Carson Wentz, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and Texans QB Deshaun Watson and if it is hard to compare due to each QB's different situation:

"I would let you guys be the judge of that. Like you said, I don't get to see these other guys a lot. We played against one of them. I'm not going to get into comparing guys that way. Our guy is growing. He got better yesterday. He needs to continue to do so. There are another eight weeks coming up, and hopefully, he can go and show exactly who he is and what he has the potential to be. Yesterday was a step in the positive direction."

On how he would explain why the Browns did not select other young QBs in the past two drafts who are playing well if asked the question by ownership:

"As I said earlier, I think that is something you have to ask him. Maybe that question has been asked a while back. Maybe that question is not the right question to ask. I think as we go through it, Jimmy can only tell you if he is feeling that way. I can't. I can't speak for him."

On the next step for Kizer:

"Continue to lead this team to victories, continue to take care of the football and to be better in the scoring zone and get this team to winning."

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