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Hue Jackson press conference - 10/12


Opening statement:**

"Obviously, another week, another opportunity for our team. Got a chance to get out and keep working, keep trying to get better as a football team. I thought today we took some steps. There is a lot of work to do. I think we all know that. I will say that every week. Work is never going to be accomplished. We just have to keep grinding at this thing and keep getting better. Our guys, I give them a lot of credit. They came back into the building ready to go, a spirited practice. A tough opponent this week in Tennessee. They are coming off a win. Tremendous football team – quarterback, defensive players, offensive players – again, it is a tall challenge. As you guys know, every week in the National Football League, that is just the way it is going to be. We just have to continue to get better, better at our process, better at how we do things, better at how we fundamentally play football and keep growing."

On how QBs Cody Kessler and Josh McCown practiced today:

"He did good. I thought both of them through the ball around well. We will keep looking at Cody, but he is taking reps. Josh took reps today. It was good to see them both out there. I told you we will have some bodies standing. Those guys were out there throwing the ball around, which was good."

On if the Browns would stick with Kessler if both QBs are healthy Sunday:

"It is too early to talk about all that. Obviously, Cody right now is the starter of our football team until I feel otherwise. We have to make decisions about where they are towards the end of the week. We will see that as we go."

On if the Browns starting QB could be a gameday decision:

"No, probably not. I think you guys know me well enough. I'm not about that. It is important for our team know who the quarterback is. When you are coming off injuries like that, you just kind of have to see where everybody is. After practice is normally when things start to on their bodies either break down or get better. We will get a feel for where they are after today and into tomorrow."

On what happened to OL Joel Bitonio"They are calling it a mid-foot sprain. We know he is going to miss some time, obviously, but nothing has been totally decided. That is a tough blow to our team, but again, as you guys know, it is next man up. Nothing we can do about that. Those things happen in football. It is unfortunate. We have had a lot. I think we all know that. That is well documented, but that is part of this deal. We are just grateful, the whole team, the guys that are left standing for the opportunity to come out here and keep practicing and keep getting better."

On if OL Alvin Bailey will shift to LG:

"We will do whatever we need to do. We are going to put 11 out there if he can't go, which he won't go this week. We are going to put 11 out there. We are going to put the best 11 guys we can put out there and go play."

On how much OL Cam Erving participated in practice today and if will he be able to play Sunday:

"We will know more about him, but he did practice, which was good. Those guys that have had some physical issues, I will know more about them tomorrow because normally it is when you go back in and take off the pads – you have had too many of those situations so I don't want to give you any information that might not be right. Let's find out where we are tomorrow with a lot of these guys."

On if surgery is a possibility for Bitonio:

"I won't know that yet until somebody gives me that information. I think anything at this point is possible."

On if Bitonio played through the injury during the game:

"If I know Joel because he didn't miss a snap, more than likely he did. I don't remember him coming out. He is one tough guy. We have a lot of tough guys on this team. It is unfortunate those things have happened to those guys. That is part of it."

On WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. taking more snaps at QB than normal at practice today:

"Absolutely. He has done it every week in different situations. It is important to do in case something does happen. I want to make sure we are really on top of it this week because it was unfortunate how it happened last week. I think I put him in a tough situation. You want a guy to be in that had some reps if you ever have to do that so a lesson learned by me to make sure guys are truly ready if something did unforeseen happen."

On the Browns elevating QB Kevin Hogan to the active roster:

"Just want to make sure. We don't know how all of this is going to unfold towards the end of the week. It is important that we have enough bodies that can go out there and play in case something was to happen. He knows our system. He has been around now and understands the verbiage. You want to be able to play in rhythm of your offense. Last week, as I said, it was unfortunate. I put Terrelle in a tough spot. Trying to yell plays from the sidelines and this and that, that is hard. We need to be a functional offensive football team so I wanted to make sure of that."

On what the Browns need to see from Kessler to name him the starter at Tennessee:

"Practice is the start of it. Then, talking to the medical staff and making sure exactly where he is because I it is important that we always do the right thing about a player, especially our young players. We don't want to put them in a situation where we can injure them more. The development of our young players is really important all the way through. I want guys to be tough but tough to a point to where they understand this is about longevity. It is about being able to be available for your team for a duration of time. We will make sure, if we do stick him out there, that he is really ready to play."

On if it is too soon to determine if OL Jonathan Cooper will be ready to play Sunday:

"I need to watch the tape and see how he learns, see how fast he can grasp things. That is my first exposure to him on the field. We will watch the tape and spend time with him in meetings and spend extra time with him and see if we can get him up to speed. If we can, great. If we can't, we have a contingency plan for that, as well."

On former Baylor Head Coach Art Briles being at practice today and if he is comfortable with the circumstances surrounding his departure at Baylor:

"First of all, he is here as my guest. As you guys know, I have brought guests here. I have gotten to know Coach Briles. He is a tremendous offensive minded football coach. I'm always looking at different ways of doing things and preparing things. What happened at Baylor is at Baylor. I respect what you are saying and understand that trail, but at the same time, I think everybody deserves an opportunity to kind of do what they do. I respect everybody's feelings and I don't condone anything or not, but that is not for me to judge. The opportunity to pick his brain and to have him be around and talk to him and get to know him outside of all of that in a different capacity was what was important to me."

On his strong stance on character and how having Briles aligns with it:

"Absolutely, yeah, a strong stance with the people within our organization. This happened at a different time and not here so I can't judge that. I understand everybody has an opinion about it, but I get to judge here and what goes on here in our building, and I don't think those things have affected our building that way. Nothing happened here so I think I have to be able to judge by my relationship with him and what he is here doing for me now. I think that is what is important. Again, he is a guest. I hope you understand what the term guest means. It does not mean anybody is coaching anything, doing anything. Are they in our building around our players? Yes, but I think that is seen as a kind of loose term by everybody."

On if he has any idea how long Briles will be a guest of the Browns:

"It could be a little longer, but it is not going to be something, a duration of time, a long time. There are some things that I wanted to understand a little bit better. The guy is a tremendous offensive mind. I think we all recognize that. If we recognize nothing else, he is that so just to learn some other things and hear some other things that I wanted to know and understand a little bit better I think is what this is truly all about."

On if OL Joe Thomas' knee injury is anything to worry about:

"No, I don't think so. I know his name shows up on the injury report but we are going to – if I know Joe Thomas, he is going to be ready to play so he will be fine."

On if Cooper was claimed by the Browns due to Bitonio's injury or if the team would have submitted a claim regardless of the injury:

"I probably would have brought him in and taken a look regardless, and not me, our organization would of. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and AB (Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry) and (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta), we are always looking for ways to continue to improve and find players that fit our system that gives us a chance. Like you said, take a good look. Why not? This guy was a former first-round draft pick who has had some success and some things did not work out either so it gives him another opportunity to try to revive his career."

On how changes along the Browns OL will impact who will be the starting QB:

"That won't affect it. Whoever we play or put out there is going to be ready to play, and they have to go get the job done. That is part of what we do."

On OL Anthony Fabiano and if he is a candidate to play C for the Browns, given OL Cam Erving's injury:

"We will see. I won't know more about Cam until after I get with the medical staff after practice and see how he faired. He was there, practiced the plays we asked him to practice and did a good job so hopefully, that will be a non-issue as we move through the week."

On the impact of additional changes to the OL with Bitonio's injury:

"(Laughter) You guys want me to say I give, I quit or what (laughter)? That is not going to happen. I think you guys know me. I'm built for this. I'm just telling you, I'm built for this and I think our team is. It is not easy. I'll be the first to tell you that. I'm not going to sit up here and tell you, 'Oh my gosh, this is great!' No, it is not, but at the same time, what do you guys want me to do? We are going to keep working. We are going to keep coaching and keep getting these guys better. We are not going to make excuses. I don't think that is what this is all about. This is the National Football League. We have other guys that are paid to do a job, and we as coaches have to get them ready to play and our guys have to get themselves ready to play. It is not going to always be pretty, it is not going to always be the way we want it to be, but that is just life in this business. We have had a ton of injuries, It has been unfortunate, It has been our year. Hopefully (knocks on wood), after this is done, we are going to get some guys back. As you know, we are starting to get guys back. Here comes Cam, here comes (DL Carl) Nassib last week. Hopefully, (WR) Corey Coleman will be back here soon and others. I'm not going to put my head down and nobody is. That is just the way it goes. We are going to get this thing right and get it better, and that is what I'm here to do."

On an update on WR Corey Coleman's status and when he may return to the field:

"I think there will be another follow-up on his X-ray either later this week or early next week so hopefully. I would love to put my arm around him and throw him the ball, hopefully soon, because I know he is chomping at the bit. He is tired of running over there on the side so hopefully we will get him back out here soon."

On what the Browns sports science staff has said that the injuries:

"Yeah, it is really amazing because when you look at the things that have happened, it is not like there are torn ACLs or any of that stuff or a play happened where somebody just got crushed (knocks on wood). What is a coracoid bone, you know? What is that? I'm serious. For me, what are all these things? But it is happening. Our sports medicine staff is just as surprised as we are – understand it, but surprised. We have to do everything we can to get these guys back. Our practice fields are good, our process is good, how we work and the strength and conditioning staff is great. We have just had some unfortunate luck. It is part of it. We are going to deal with it. We are not going to bury our head in the sand about it."

On if any part of Briles presence as a guest is his way of giving a coach a chance to get back into the coaching scene:

"And I know it can be seen that way – I truly believe Coach (Briles) is going to get back to doing what he does at some point in time. We have all been kind of knocked down before. I have, too. I have been unfairly judged before and judged correctly, too. I try not to do that with people. I try to take people for face value and who they are and what they are. I just know I have met him and have talked to him extensively, and I think, again, whatever has happened at Baylor, I am not condoning or him being here says that we condone anything. I have talked this through with our upper management because I asked is it OK for him to be here with me as my guest, and I got the OK. It was a good conversation with our people here and I think they understood where I was coming from. I don't want to make it seem like, well, I'm trying to extend the olive branch. I'm trying to learn some other things that I think are good, but also getting to know somebody on a whole different level, which I think is a good thing, not a bad thing." 

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