Hue Jackson wouldn't let his mind wander beyond the task at hand Monday.
Moments after it was revealed quarterback Robert Griffin III would be sidelined for a minimum of eight weeks with a shoulder injury, the Browns coach vowed the team would move forward with the same, "expect to win" attitude it's embraced since his hiring in January. Certainly disappointed to see Griffin sidelined indefinitely with a broken coracoid bone in his left shoulder, Jackson expressed confidence the Browns would hold their own and succeed with the "next man up," veteran Josh McCown.
"Am I disappointed? Yeah, I'm disappointed for our players and for the organization and for the fans. We want to put a better product out there. I think our players want to play better, and my job is to help them play better. I'm disappointed in that, but I'm not discouraged by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not," Jackson said. "As a matter of fact, I'm more determined to get this fixed and to do better and have our players play better."
Jackson delivered this message during the second half of his 2:30 p.m. press conference. It'd already been provided in some form to the team earlier in the day, as the Browns reflected on their 29-10 loss to Philadelphia and looked ahead to a challenging home opener against the Ravens.
"I'm more determined than ever before to get this right, because at the end of the day that's what I came here for," Jackson said. "I said it before, I don't like losing, and at the same time I know in order to win you have to do the right things to give you a chance to win and we have not done that. Until we do that on a consistent basis, will we have an opportunity to win? That's what we're chasing."
The Browns will get a better sense of Griffin III's timetable when he is re-evaluated in the next three to four weeks. Because Griffin III was placed on injured reserve, he'll be out for at least eight weeks. Teams are permitted to return one player per season from injured reserve, and that designation does not need to be made until the player is able to return to practice.
In Cleveland's best-case scenario, Griffin would return to practice in six weeks and be ready to play in eight. Pegged with many questions about Griffin's future not just in 2016 but also the years to come, Jackson repeatedly brought the focus back to the immediate present.
"I think what's important for our football team is that we move forward and worry about the game that is coming up this week and this week of practice and trying to get ourselves ready to play a good Baltimore team that is coming into town," Jackson said.
"This is pro football. That can't suck the wind out of your sail. You have to go, and whoever is playing quarterback for us, you have to get in sync with him real quickly. That's the good part about Josh – he has been here."
This type of situation is nothing new for Jackson. In his first stint as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders, starter Jason Campbell was knocked out for the year during the first half of the season. The Raiders swung a trade for veteran Carson Palmer and ultimately finished 8-8.
Jackson said the Browns' situation is different than the one he experienced with the Raiders, but the lessons he learned were valuable.
"I learned that if the team has been around the guy who has the chance to be a quarterback it is probably better off keeping a guy that you have there just because there is continuity," Jackson said. "The guys know what to expect from that player and how he is going to perform and what he is going to do.
"We have a very capable backup here. A guy that has played in the National Football League for a lot of years and knows how to play and understands the lay of the land here and what needs to be done, so I'm excited about that."