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Hue Jackson conference call - 8/31


Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Tough day today and tomorrow when you have to make some difficult decisions, as you guys all know, when you are moving forward with your football team. Had some very strong and productive meetings with (General Manager) John Dorsey and the personnel staff and the coaching group, as well today. Really, a continuation of the open and honest communication that I think we have been having all throughout training camp. Just about putting the team together into what we think will be a team that can produce the winning results that we want for the organization and this community.

"Last night, I took the opportunity to thank all of our players that spent training camp with us. They all worked extremely hard and tried to do everything that we asked them to do. Unfortunately, there is only room for 53 on the roster and another 10 on the practice squad. That is just how it works in the National Football League. Obviously, I was very proud of the way that we finished the preseason last night. Many of the guys that played last night were fighting for roster spots. They gave tremendous effort. We came out of the game with the result that we wanted, which was winning. The guys that did not play in the game remained very engaged. They encouraged their teammates and brought some real energy to the sideline. There were definitely some players that earned roster spots with their play last night. Over the next two days, we will finalize the roster. There will be a lot of moving parts as all of this plays out over the next few days, but I think that everyone within our organization is excited about the work that we have ahead and the opportunities that are in front of us.

"As far as injuries are concerned, we had a couple of injuries that we will work through but nothing that I have enough info on right now that will allow me to provide a good update. Once we get through our roster moves and get into the next week, we will have a good idea of where we are injury wise."

On if he can share which players earned a roster spot last night, including DL Nate Orchard:

"I would rather not. Everything is still kind of fluid and moving together. Let's just see where all of that is. I am sure pretty soon over the next couple of days we will definitely put out who is going to be on this football team. Let's do it that way just in case something changes between now and the waiver wire period."

On if he is satisfied with OL Austin Corbett as the starting LG:

"I am completely satisfied with him as one of the top offensive linemen on our football team. We are just going to continue to look at everything. We evaluated the tape today. We will sit down and continue as a staff and make a decision about who is going to be the best five guys to put out there as we move forward."

On probability of injured players like FB Danny Vitale and TE Seth DeValve making the roster after not playing much in the preseason or training camp:

"Those are tough decisions because we have to do what we think is best short term and long term for the organization. Those guys have been players who have played football here and contribute, but obviously, they have not been out there on the field with the team and been able to practice. I think that availability is really important, especially as we start heading into the season."

On if Corbett did not progress as quickly as hoped:

"I think that he has done some good things. I have always said from Day 1 that we are going to play the best five guys. How that unfolds as we go through preseason and as we go through everything, we will make a decision about what we think is best. I just think that we are still working through it and determining what is best for us. That is all we are doing."

On if TE Devon Cajuste has shown enough to make the roster:

"I am not going to talk about individual players. Let's just see where this thing all shakes out when everything is said and done."

On OL Earl Watford playing one series and his fit with the Browns OL:

"Obviously, we think he is a talented player or else we would have not put him on the team. I think he gives us some more versatility, another proven player that has 33 starts in the National Football League. I think you can never have too many good linemen that have the potential to play. We added another good player. I know we are saying, how does that whole dynamic work? I still think that everything is a little bit fluid over there, especially on the left side as we continue to move forward. I am going to say this again, I am going to continue to put the best five guys out there, but what Earl showed me yesterday is he is a veteran player. He has been here for all of a day and a half. He walked in there and played some snaps. I did not want to play him too much. I just wanted to make sure that I can see something on tape and have him feel comfortable with his teammates and have him contribute a little bit. We will find out a little bit more about him this week as we get ready for the Steelers."

On if OL Joel Bitonio will start Week 1 at LT:

"Like I said, I want to reserve the right to just look at it all. I am going to put the best five guys out there. Whether Joel is playing tackle or guard, one thing we do know is he will be out there."

On if he is considering starting OL Desmond Harrison at LT:

"If you want to look at it that way, I think all of those avenues are open. I think what I am doing is as I said before, I want to look at everything and make sure the best five guys out there based on all of the information from preseason games, practices and what I think is best for our football team. I am just evaluating it all. I know we have seen Joel at left tackle and he has played it, and Corbett at left guard and Harrison at left tackle. When it is all said and done, my job is that we put the best five guys out there, and that is what we are going to do."

On anticipating if the Browns will add any 'big name players' during the next two days:

"Like a splash or something like that? I don't [know.] It would be hard for us to do, but nothing is out of the question. Nothing is off the table. We will definitely look at everything. If we think it fits our organization and football team, we will certainly do it. We have to look at everything. This is the time of year where you get an opportunity to make your football team better. I think we are going to look at any and everything that would help us do that."

On fluidity on the OL and if that is a concern:

"No, I don't have a concern about it that way. I feel pretty good about where we are headed. I think you guys are asking for concrete answers today, and I am not ready to do that. I feel good about where we are, where we are headed and the players who we have playing there. I just want to make sure that we are not turning in the lineup cards today or to say who is starting or anything like that. I just want to make sure that it is a decision, when it is all said and done, that I am good with it all and that I am not going to change two days from now or three days from now."

On if he expects WR Josh Gordon will practice this week:

"I do."

On if Gordon will be a full participant in practice or on a limited basis:

"I think it will be a little bit more than limited but not totally, totally full go. He will definitely get into the route running part of it, catching balls and being with the offense a lot more than what he has been."

On processes to work through in his first year of full roster cuts with General Manager John Dorsey:

"I think it is winning your 'why.' Why do you like this guy? Why do you not like this guy? And 'how.' How is this guy going to help our football team? How is he going to contribute to our team? I think those two words are very important to everything we do here. John has done a great job that way of really talking through things. I am that way. I think the relationship piece of it of them understanding what the coaches need and the coaches understanding how the personnel sees it is so, so important. That is how you get some [collaboration]. We work together and get some same ideas, some like ideas, and we just talk through it and work it out. I think that is the most important thing we are doing now, which is great."

On if he feels more energized by collaborating more with Dorsey:

"I feel very good that me and John have great conversations about our football team and about the players. I am not going to say 'more energized.' This is what you do in football. I am just thankful that John is here, along with the rest of his staff and with the staff that I have. I think everybody is understanding what the sense of urgency is to get the organization turned around and to put the best players on the football team."

On if DB Damarious Randall will practice this week:

"Yes, he will."

On if RB Matthew Dayes had X-rays and his status:

"I think he is going to be fine, as well."

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