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Transcripts

Hue Jackson conference call - 10/8

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Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

“Tried to get this conference call in early today so that you guys can focus on the Indians. We are all pulling hard for them today. Obviously, rally together. Let’s get the Indians to win today.

“Obviously, proud of the way that our team fought yesterday. Tough AFC North football. That is what it is like in our division. Very competitive. You do whatever it takes. That is why we were able to come away with a victory. Guys played hard and worked hard. Some things obviously that we have to clean up, but I thought the effort was there. I can’t give enough credit to our defense because obviously, that Ravens offense has been really, really strong this season. To hold them to nine points and keep them out of the end zone, that in itself was impressive. Always room for improvement, but we like where our defense is headed. Offensively, it was a grind. Ultimately, we did enough because we had more points than they did. We all knew how good the Baltimore defense is, but we needed to do just enough, in which we did, to get the win. (QB) Baker (Mayfield) was really solid in his first start at home. He handled the environment really well. He has great trust in his receivers, and they have great trust in him. That is something that we can continue to build on as we continue to move forward. Special teams was better. We still have a ways to go. We have to continue to work really hard to improve everywhere. I thought (P) Britton Colquitt did a really nice job punting and pinning the Ravens back. (DB) Denzel Ward kept points off of the board, obviously, with the blocked field goal so that was really, really good for our team. As a team, there were still too many penalties. We have to get more consistent at getting that number down and getting it down fast. Versus these really good defensive teams in our division, we have to continue to work to run the ball even better than what we did. It was really important to get the first win in the division. Happy to do it in front of our fans. They were great yesterday, and they have been great all year. They were loud and into the game. They made huge impact. The only injury to talk about really is (WR) Rashard Higgins. He has an MCL sprain, and he will be week to week. Other than that, we were pretty clean coming out of the game.”

On if the Browns will need to acquire another WR due to Higgins’ injury and reports of free agent WR Rishard Matthews trying out with the team:

“We will see. I have not seen (General Manager) John (Dorsey) since I was down there earlier. We will see how it unfolds. We have some good candidates here. I like our guys that are here. We will just see how it all unfolds as we go through the day.”

On if he is confident in the Browns WRs if another WR can potentially step up:

“I do. I feel like these guys know our system, know exactly what we are looking for and know how to come in and practice the way that we do and understand what the opportunity would be for them. Not that I would not like somebody else who could really play, but it is just hard to find those kind of guys at this time – guys that can come in and really contribute right away – just because they have not practiced with you, do not know the system. Guys that you have to get caught up to speed, sometimes it just does not work out as well.”

On if the Browns can compete with anyone and potential for the team to be 5-0:

“We thought about it. We could be, but we are not. We are 2-2-1. I think our team has shown that they can compete and play against anybody when we do things right and we do the things that we are coached to do. I feel comfortable with our team playing anybody. At the same time, we know there is still work to be done. We know that we have a lot of things to continue to clean up. Hopefully, as we keep going, we will be a team that can play anybody any place any time.”

On if signing free agent WR Dez Bryant is off the table, given his name has not come up in recent weeks:

“I have not spoken to John about that. We have not had a conversation about that at all.”

On the saying the Browns can ‘play anybody any time’ after the past two seasons’ results:

“I think that it just shows the improvement of our team. I give that credit to the personnel department and our coaches. We have done a really good job of putting more talent on the team, but the talent has to be coached and the talent has to play well. I think we are heading and trending in that direction.”

On WR Jarvis Landry passing Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald’s record for most receptions in a player’s first five seasons and Landry’s leadership:

“What he says, he means. He walks the talk as I should say. The guy loves football. He is always out there. He is very competitive. He has not really missed anything. There was one day of practice, but this guy is trying to be out there every day. I know that sometimes physically he is hurting, but he fights through it because I think he understands how important it is to be out there at practice. In games, he shows up and makes plays. At times when we need big time plays, he makes plays. That to me is invaluable in this league.”

On the team’s resilience and how much of it stems from Mayfield:

“There is no question he has a lot to do with it, but I think just the team in general [is resilient]. I think that has just been everybody’s mindset that we are willing to do whatever it takes to get this organization where it needs to be and to win football games. I think to a man, nobody ever worries about the situation we are in. We are just going to play it through. That is something we talk about, and I think that has been their mindset. They have been really gritty, really resilient and really hard working. I think when you do those things it is hard to ever give up in a game because you always feel like you have a chance to win. I think that is where Baker has stepped in because I think there is a belief in what he does. I think there is a belief in how he goes about his work and his business as the quarterback of this football team. I think it is all working together.”

On how Mayfield has been deceptive with his pass selection and not staring down receivers:

“He has done a really good job that way. As you go through these games, people are going to start filling a book up on him a little bit, but I think he has done a really good job of making sure he is not looking directly where he is throwing and not tipping anything. A lot of that credit goes to (quarterbacks) Coach (Ken) Zampese. He has done a really good job of trying teaching this young man all the inner-workings of playing quarterback in the National Football League.”

On clarifying the end of the game and potentially uncertainty about the game’s completion and time on the clock, given comments on sports talk radio and social media:

“One, I did not even know what you were talking about when you said taking some heat at the end of the game. I do not know what that is. Then when you say end of the game not knowing what was going on, you are referring to the two seconds that were left on the clock? All I did was put up two fingers because there were two seconds left on the clock, and I knew it could not be because it was overtime and once we kicked the field goal the game was over. One of the officials was saying, ‘Hold on, wait a minute. Hold on.’ Even the official was trying to make sure – wait a minute – I think he had to go back and make sure that it was overtime in his own mind. The first thing he said was there was two seconds left. That is why I put up two fingers because I was trying to really understand what he was saying, and basically, what that was just me referring back to him that the two seconds did not matter. The game was over. It was overtime.” 

On if the Browns ‘caught a break’ with K Greg Joseph’s game-winning field goal:

“It does not matter if we caught a break or not. It went through. I think that is the most important thing. I do not look at it as breaks. You make your breaks by how you play and how hard you work. He worked, and he made the kick. That is what matters.”

On if the Ravens got a hand on the final field goal:

“When you look at it really closely, it does not look like it. It looks like the ball just kind of… I do not think they grazed it at all. Matter of fact, I think my man (Ravens S Tony) Jefferson said he did not touch it. He was the one that was closest to it. It did not look like he touched it. It looked like we just kind of pulled it and kicked a wobbler.”

On if the Browns will continue to look at Ks, given misses:

“We will always find ways to improve the football team as we move forward. Right now, he is our kicker until he is not.”

On if DB Jabrill Peppers and LB Jamie Collins Sr. were the most active on defense this season on Sunday:

“Yes, I did. I thought it was the best game that Jabrill has played – breaking up passes, PBUs, making tackles, being around the ball. Obviously, Jamie played the way we know Jamie can play. I think both of them had terrific games. They were one of the huge reasons why our defense could keep that team out of the end zone. That is what we expect from them, and it is good to see it. Now, we know they can do it. They need to do it consistently. 

On OL Desmond Harrison’s performance against Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs:

“He did OK. He was probably playing against a first-ballot hall of famer, and one thing I know about Desmond, he competed hard. Terrell Suggs is as good as they come so I am sure there are a lot of lessons he will take from that. He battled. He held his own. A couple of times he got bull rushed. He gave up a sack one time, but I thought he hung in there extremely well and did a good job.”

On WR Rashard Higgins’ performance this season prior to injury:

“He played well. Obviously, he was doing some really good things. We will miss him until we get him back because he has been very consistent for our football team.”

On clarifying Higgins will not need surgery:

“Right so this will be week to week, and we will go from there.”

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