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Hue Jackson press conference - 10/10

Opening statement:

“Good first day of work. Obviously, our focus is nothing else but the game in front of us. We all understand the focus and preparation needed to lead us to success and that is what we have to have. We have to continue to practice well, meet well and get to gameday hungry and excited to play in front of our fans again in front of our home crowd. They have been outstanding attending the game. I do have a challenge to them, though. I would like for them to get in the stands before the game starts, and I want them to be as loud as they have ever been. This week our players will need that. We need that assistance for them. They can help us this week by being at their best, as well. They have been outstanding, but boy, we need a little bit more from them this week, too. Get in the stands early before this things starts and be as loud as you can be. That is what we would love to have. 

“Injures, (WR) Rashard Higgins is the only guy who was not able to make it, obviously. We will still use that as week to week and see where we are. It was a good first day to get back on the grass. Our players have been away a little bit. Gave them a little downtime, come back today and practice. We need to have a really good practice tomorrow and Friday, and Saturday keep putting the finishing touches on and getting ready for a big time game.”

On QB Baker Mayfield saying he is focusing is eliminating sacks:

“I think we all are. Baker takes on every issue we have, and I appreciate that about him. Obviously, he can get the ball out a little quicker at times. We have to protect him better. We got to be in the right place on routes. We have to communicate better. We just have to do that better. We do not want our quarterback getting sacked five times. There are some things he knows he can do better, but as a whole unit, we need to do better that way.”

On Chargers QB Philip Rivers:

“He is good. I have played against this guy so many times. Being in the AFC West and watching him compete, he is one of the best that have played the game. The guy has completed over 70 percent of his passes. It does not look like he is slowing down at all. He is one of the top quarterbacks in this league, bar none. He knows how to play. They play to him. Everything is done for him. It should be. He knows how to play. He is playing at a high level again this year.”

On if WR Jarvis Landry has received an unusual amount of attention from opposing defenses:

“No, I think it is normal for a good receiver, but until our other guys start really showing what they are, you are going to pay even more attention to him. We need some guys to continue to step up – (WRs Antonio) Callaway, (Derrick) Willies did last week, (Rod) Streater was out there last week, (TE) David (Njoku) made plays and (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) made plays. We need to continue to keep pushing the guys on our team that can make plays. I think that would take a little pressure of Jarvis, but I think Jarvis likes it that way. He likes it when all of the attention is upon him because he wants to be able to make those plays.”

On if Mayfield is forcing passes to receivers who may not be open:

“No, I think Baker has handled that part of it pretty well. He has spread the ball around and is giving it to guys so they can make plays. I don’t sense that. I haven’t seen that. I think he is playing within our system. He has done a good job thus far that way.”

On confidence in the Browns’ younger receivers and not signing a new WR this week:

“We believe in them. We drafted them. We put them on this team, and they have been with us through OTAs, training camp, preseason and into the season. They know our system and what is expected. That has a lot to do with it. If you are going to put somebody on the team, it needs to be a substantial upgrade than what you have because that person is probably going to have to spend some time learning what to do and how to do it so there is a huge curve there. Why not trust in the guys that you have here and let’s really put our resources into those guys and do everything we can to be the best they can be? Obviously, when you talk about Willies, he made plays last week. Callaway has made some plays, and he will continue to make plays for us. Streater is kind of new, but at the same time, he is going to do somethings for us. You never know what is going to happen with (WR Damion) Ratley. We have some young guys who have not played who are up that are on the roster that we can thrust in the action when we see that we need to. We feel good about the group. They need to continue to get better, but at the same time, I think it is a talented group.”

On if Johnson Jr. could line up wide more:

“He could. Duke’s skillset allows us to do a lot of different things with him. As you see, we split him out a little bit this past week, and I am sure we will do other things with him as we go. Duke is very talented. Obviously, when he has the ball in his hands, good things happen.’

On not attempting a 2-point conversion last week:

“It is all about the game. It is about the game. It is about being aggressive. There is a time and a defense that you are facing. They have a lot to do with that, too. I knew we were playing one of the better defenses so I thought every point mattered. Every week it is what do you need to do that week to win that game. That is how we look at it.”

On factors allowing Willies to make the Week 1 53-man roster:

“A really good athlete that is very tall, long, can run. He works at it. It is important to him. He is excited about playing special teams. Many receivers as you know, they come into the league and they do not want to play special teams. He is all about the team, and that means a lot to our staff. He is willing to do anything we ask him to do, and on top of that and more so than anything, we think he is talented.”

On if Rivers’ ability at the line of scrimmage factors into his challenge to Browns fans to come early and be louder than ever:

“Absolutely. We will take and we need 12 people when they are on offense, and the 12th person is going to be our crowd.”

On if the Browns’ next step is being able to win consecutive games:

“Oh, absolutely. That is why we are playing. Every game we play in, we are trying to win. The next step for us is to start winning back-to-back games, regardless of who the opponent is. It is coming into the building, putting the right focus and the right process every week and then going out and playing as hard and as well as we can. I think our guys are prepared to do that.”

On if the start to this season convinced players this is a different team than past years:

“No, I think this was a different team once we started putting new players on the team. I think we all knew that. I think we are just seeing the fruit of all the decisions that were made to move forward. I think the players know that. We have done some good things, but really, what have we done? We have really done nothing, and they know that. We have to put our heads down, keep working and keep getting better. We have so many things that keep cleaning up, so many things to keep working at to keep getting better at. We are into the second quarter of the season, and we have got to continue to get better.”

On Ward entering the NFL with special teams experience and blocked kicks:

“It is really good. You just said it, he had a talent for doing it in college, and that has followed him here to the National Football League. A very talented player. He has some things he has to keep working at, but he is off to a good start. That is a good thing.”

On if Ward’s confidence has grown throughout the season:

“That is what it is for this young guys. The more they make plays, the more confident you become. He is stacking up some wins for himself personally, and as a football team, we are starting to stack those up, too. Guys start feeling good about what they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish each and every day.”

On balancing RB touches throughout games and the season, given his comments about finding ways to get RBs Duke Johnson Jr. and Nick Chubb the ball more:

“You find it the best you can. We still handed it to – we handed it to Nick – but like I told you guys, it is not always going to be 63 yards and 41 yard touchdowns runs. Those are hard to find. He was hot that game. You try to ride that hand the best you can. Duke made some huge plays at the end of the game; did not do much early in the game. Guys have to be patient. There is only one football. We are doing some good things. There are some things we can do better as a unit – offensive unit, defensive unit and special teams. At the same time, we can’t get selfish. This is about winning. It is not about personal stats or personal pride or any of that. It is about our football team, and that is what we talk about more than anything. Now, those players can continue. There is no question about that. We need to give them the opportunity to do those things. At the same time, this is about winning. It is not about what anybody thinks how many times this guys should carry it, catch it or any of that. It is about how are we going to win. That is the most important part of this.

On if the impact of this year’s rookie class is greater than expected:

“I want to say it is what I expect. I think (General Manager) John Dorsey being here, our personnel department and our coaches have a lot to do with that first and foremost, but I think this is what you can start to expect. How we see players, we see them a lot through the same lens. We go about our process. It has been a good one. We need to continue to tighten up all those things as we go, but this has been John’s track record. He goes and finds talent, and then he turns it over to the coaches and we have to coach it and put these guys in position to make plays. I think that is what is starting to happen.”

On if Snoop Dogg threw passes at practice today:

“He is always going to throw whenever he is around. Snoop, I have known him for quite a while. He has been around some other places I have been. I will not say what teams they were (laughter). It was good to have him out for a moment. A lot of guys see him on the sideline, and his message was ‘Man, you guys are doing some good things, some really good things.’ I thought that was great. At the same time, there are going to be a lot of people that want to come be on this wagon when the wagon gets rolling, and we are going to circle the wagon. I know that because I did not see any of these people the last two years. I am still the same guy. I still knew all of these people prior to this year. We are not going to get caught up in any of that. Our players won’t, and that is my message to them. We are going to work, and we are going to continue to get better and see where we are.

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