Hue Jackson conference call - 11/7

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Sometimes, a short week comes at a good time, and I am taking that approach with this team this week. There were no positives to take out of yesterday. Plenty to learn from, but really no positives. The Dallas Cowboys, they are a good football team, and I think we know that. We did not do much to slow them down on defense or keep their offense off the field by sustaining drives on offense. That is always part of our plan when we are playing a team like that, but we could not accomplish that. I will continue to say this all year and I am sure you guys are probably tired of me saying this, but I am not going to change – I am going to continue to remain determined. I have to get us playing better and coaching better. It takes a total team effort and I am glad we have the opportunity to get back out there quickly with a game in the division on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

"As far as our injuries are concerned, (DL) Carl Nassib, I think he will be fine. Obviously, it was an eye situation, and I think we are working through that and kind of on the positive side of that. (DB) Jamar Taylor obviously has an issue with a groin, and he might be questionable for this week, but we will see where that is at the end. We will keep working through it the best we can. We have a lot of work to do here, and I respect that and understand that. I think our staff does. I am sure our players do, too, and we are looking forward to having an opportunity to play this week."

On improving tackling:

"We can't go tackle in practice. We are not going to put anybody in harm's way. We can obviously on the video tape really do a great job of pointing out the right angles, how to make sure that we are seeing our keys so we can get there better, cleaner, faster. As far as the tackling, there are a lot of teams in the National Football League that miss tackles. We are one of them. Obviously, I think if you look at Pro Football Focus, we are not at the bottom of that either. There are some teams that are really good teams that are way ahead of where we are. I think the problem gets magnified because there are other things we are not doing. We are not getting turnovers and we are not pressuring the quarterback so those things coupled with some tackles missed from time to time really looks really bad, and I am not the first to deny that. There are some things that don't look very good, but we just have to keep working at it, make it an emphasis as we talk to our team because we will not be able to tackle in practice and go from there."

On how troubling it is that he cannot find a positive in the Browns Week 9 game and keeping the team focused when it is not getting wins:

"It is tough, but at the same time, there were no positives from yesterday but there have been some positives so that has been the foundation. We take the positives that we can find and really build on those and make that something that we rally to. Yesterday, there was not as you just mentioned. Our players are professionals, and they understand when they come in this building we come in here to work each and every day. That is the environment that I try to create for our players, that our coaches try to create and I think our guys have done a great job of meeting that challenge."

On if he has instructed defensive coordinator Ray Horton to do something to be creative on defense:

"Ray is always searching for ways to do things differently and creatively. We understand that he has a lot of young guys over there and sometimes those things as you try them, they just do not work out the way you want them to. I am not going to tell you guys that Ray has not tried to be creative because I know without question that he has, but sometimes, that does not bring success. Sometimes that can hurt you. I know everybody is concerned about the defense and what they are doing, but our staff is working extremely hard and the best they can. We are not getting the results that any of us want, and we are not going to run from that. We know things need to get better, but at the same time, I know that these guys are doing everything they can to try to help the players and try to put them in better situations."

On QB Cody Kessler's stat line yesterday and if he was able to find positives in Kessler's play:

"There were some positives but not enough. I think the biggest disappointment for me as the leader of our offense is that we have not been able to win. We have not found a way to score more points than the other team to win a game. There are some things that I am sure individually that our players have done really well, but as an offensive team, the quarterback's job is to get the team a win. I have not done a good enough job of getting that done for our guys, regardless of what stat lines are. Until we can get a win for this football team, the franchise and the organization, it is not going to matter."

On if Horton is in danger of losing his job now:

"No. No, and I say that with no question. I don't want to continue to get into those kind of things, and that is probably the last question I will probably take on any of our staff members about their job because it is not about that at all in my opinion."

On his statement after the game yesterday that the first place he was going to look would be the coaching staff and if he did not mean to imply that somebody may be in danger of losing their job:

"No, that is not what I meant as far as that. The first thing we have to do is go back and make sure that we are putting everybody in the right [position], giving our players the best opportunity to be successful. That is what I meant by that. Let's go back and look at our gameplans, how we did and what we asked them to do, how we practiced it during the week and did we put them in the right situations. You always go back, and for me, I am always going to start with our staff before I go to our players because I normally see them after I see our staff, so that is what I meant by that. I did not mean I was going to go back and just going to start releasing coaches or changing things or any of that."

On OL Cameron Erving and his performance the past two games, despite the ejections:

"I said, I think a couple of weeks ago, that we are going to continue to evaluate Cam through and through. When I decide that it is not good enough, to make a change, and if it is, then we will keep going. I don't think it is important to talk about what we have done the last couple games. The most important thing we have not done is won. I just think we have to keep moving forward with him. It is disappointing that he did not get to finish the game and play the game so we could evaluate further. We have to get ready to play a big game this week."

On implying that QB Josh McCown will start Thursday, given his comments about Kessler:

"No, I was not saying that. I am not going to play musical chairs with our quarterback. I made the decision to go with Cody, and that is what I am going to do.  All of them, Josh, Cody or (QB) Robert (Griffin III), we have not gotten a win. I do not think any of us are excited about that. That is the quarterback's job more so than anything is to win games. The stat line is the stat line, but winning is truly what this is all about."

On the Browns have enough pieces on defensive to see improvement this year:

"Obviously, things have not gone the way we want them to. I am not going to really get into if we have enough pieces or do or do not. I just know the pieces that are here, we have to coach them as well as we can to give them the best opportunity until we have success."

On if Kessler has been struggling with deep passes and if that is a large contributing factor to the Browns not being able to win:

"Obviously, it is not giving us a chance to score more points. Sometimes, those plays have been there to be made, and sometimes, whether it is the quarterback or whether it is the receiver, whether it is protection, we all have a hand in that and we can all do all those better. I am not going to just lay it at Cody's feet. Obviously, he has to improve in some areas, but I think our receivers have to improve, I think protection has to improve. At the end of the day, we just have to improve overall as an offensive football team."

On LB Jamie Collins Sr. and his impact on the defense:

"He played quite a few snaps. He was able to make a tackle for a loss. He looked really good blitzing at times, got some pressure every now and then. Obviously, he got an opportunity to play with his new teammates and did some good things. There are some things that he is going to learn more about our system as he moves forward. As we talked about yesterday, I think it was too much pressure to think that one guy was just going to totally change the defense. He has to play within the structure of our defense, but we think he is a good player."

On if this is the toughest challenge he has ever faced as an NFL coach, given the 0-9 record with a short turnaround for a division road game:

"Absolutely, I have never been 0-9 before so you better believe it is the toughest challenge I have ever had. I am excited about the challenge, and I truly believe that we have a tough road ahead of us but we are looking forward to it. This is the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night in Baltimore. We have to get up and get these guys ready to play, and they will be."

On the Browns' plans for this week on a quick turnaround and if the team will conduct walkthroughs or practices:

"We will do a little bit of both. We will have some walkthroughs because the guys just came off of a tough, physical game. It is too hard on their bodies to put them back out there and start running, but there is some running that we do need to do for timing purposes. We will work through all that as we go."

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