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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 10/17

Opening statement:

"A good, focused practice today. That is our focus is having a good practice, getting better. Have a lot of things that we have to continue to clean up and work though. We started that process today. I think that the guys had a good day. We are going to Tampa to play a really good football team. Regardless of what their record is, this team knows how to score. They have some really, really good defensive football players and good special teams units. It is going to be a tremendous challenge as we go on the road again. I think that our team is focused. We understand that it starts with us first. We need to get better at the things we need to correct before we get ready to play. There are results we want. In order to get those, it starts in the meeting rooms and out on the practice field, and they have to take it to the game. That was a good start today."

On if he likes QB Baker Mayfield being tough on himself, given his statement that Week 6 was the 'worst loss he has ever had':

"I do. Anytime that your quarterback takes that on, he wants to fix that. At the same time, I want everybody to take that on – every unit, every coach and everybody take that on so that we can correct the things that we need to correct."

On if Mayfield has the critical eye needed when evaluating his play:

"He does. We all watch [the film]. He gets a chance to watch it with (quarterbacks) Coach (Ken) Zampese. There are times when I have watched tape with him. He is very critical about the little things. I think that is where it is going to start for him. It is the little detail things. As I have said before, I do not want him taking all of it on his own. We have to help him. His teammates have to help him. He has to help himself. He has to continue to get better, but I do like the fire that burns in him."

On the Browns' identity at this point of the season:

"I think that we are a team that has learned to run the ball. We have run the ball decently. We are one of the better running teams in football today and having had played some decent and really good defenses. We have not been as opportunistic as I would like us to be. We have gotten quite a few turnovers that have not turned into points so we need to get better that way. We need to be able to score enough points to win. I do not think that 14-15 points is enough. You have to score 24-28 points in this league to be able to win. Those are things that we need to be able to do better. Obviously on defense, we need to be able to stop the run. It is obvious. We are not going to run from that. We need to do that better. I think getting the turnovers that they have gotten, the 16, has been awesome. We need to continue to do that, but we have to make sure that we plug the holes that we have had. Our players understand that way to get better. In special teams, I think that there was some improvement, but we still need to see some moving forward, getting better. As a football team, I think fundamentally at every spot we have to continue to grow. That is my message to the staff. Let's keep pushing that way. Let's keep getting our young guys better so that they can perform at a higher level. Pro football is a different game week in and week out because you play different teams, and different teams have different strengths. You have to be able to handle those things. As a football team, especially our young players, are starting to understand that every week is a new challenge. It is not the same. You have to learn from those things. We have enough veteran players that get that. I think that we have enough in that locker room that if we do what we are supposed to do, that we have a chance week in and week out. Here is another opportunity for us to get better, another opportunity to go to Tampa and get a win. We have to do our jobs."

On Mayfield identifying a need to improve with selecting checkdowns and how he can help Mayfield with it:

"I think that he nailed it. There are some things that way that he can do better. We have to make sure that we are in the right spots for him all of the time, though. I think there were some opportunities there. As I said to our line coaches, we have to fight harder and longer, too. We have to make sure that we give up ground grudgingly for this young man. I do not want people hitting our quarterback. He has been hit way too much in my mind. We have to do everything that we can to keep the other team's defensive line, linebackers and safeties off of our quarterback, and then he has to get the ball out of his hand. I have seen some things where he can improve, but I have seen some things where the unit can improve more than anything."

On if a team can learn what it has in a young quarterback when things do not go well:

"Yes because when it is going well, it is great. When it is not going well, it is tough. I have said this a long time ago, quarterbacks might as well start on their knees because they are going to be brought to their knees in this league. He has to bounce back and you bounce back in a good way, you lead this team to victory this week – it is what you do. Everything we are doing and everything that we are trying to accomplish is leading to that. That is the goal."

On who will replace LB Joe Schobert at MIKE:

"It will be Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey). Kirko will be in the middle."

On who will replace Kirksey at WILL:

"It will be a combination of guys based on the packages that we put into the game."

On if OL JC Tretter practiced today:

"No, he did not."

On if Tretter is out for the Buccaneers game:

"No, there is a good chance that JC can be back, but we will see as the week goes."

On if OL Austin Corbett will start at C in the event Tretter is unable to play:


On if the Browns offense can compete in a scoring shootout with high-scoring teams like the Buccaneers:

"We have to. We have to do whatever it takes to win. They can score the football. They proved that last week. They had four touchdown passes. They do. They have had 17 total touchdowns and 16 of them are passes, and they have run one in. They know how to score. They have guys that can score. We have guys that can score. We have to keep putting them into position to score. Whatever it takes to win the football game, we have to be willing as a football team to do. That is just part of it."

On focusing on coverage of the Buccaneers TEs, particularly with Schobert out:

"Absolutely. (Buccaneers TE) O.J. Howard has done a really good job and (Buccaneers TE Cameron) Brate and those other guys. They have done a really good job. Those guys have score touchdowns. They have made catches. We have to make sure that our eyes are in the right spot and that we are on top of our keys. Regardless of who is covering them – our safeties, linebackers or whoever – we have to have tight coverage and do a good job that way."

On preparing for a team that recently changed defensive coordinators:

"I do not think that you can change a lot. I am sure he is going to change some things and I am sure that he is going to put his personality on play calls and the defense his way, but I think that the scheme and who they are is not going to change too much."

On if he was on the coaching staff with Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mark Duffner in Cincinnati:

"No, I do know him though. He is a good coach. Really good, fine football coach."

On the Buccaneers changing coordinators after struggles early in the season:

"Have to do what you have to do."

On if Mayfield was holding on to the ball too long was due to the possibility of receivers not being open downfield:

"It is a combination of everything. We have to get open. Sometimes, he just has to say 'Uncle' and throw it away. You have to understand situational football and get better in that way. The best place to learn is under fire. That is where he is learning those things. That is so important. Do not want to do anything to give away points and want to do everything to not put your team into a third-and-long situations. There are some learning things for him. At the same time, we have guys that have to get away from people. We have to create separation so that he feels comfortable delivering the ball."

On if opposing defense's may attempt to keep Mayfield in the pocket until he can prove productive in it:

"No doubt. No doubt, and that is up to us as a coaching staff to help him."

On if WR Da'Mari Scott can contribute immediately, given he has been with the team since offseason workouts:

"It all depends. (WR Breshad) Perriman is here. He practiced today, which was good. Looked fine out there running around and catching. Has not been in a game for us or anything like that – learning how we do it. Scott, we brought up. We are going to put the best guys out there that give us the best chance to win this weekend, and whoever those guys are, they are going to be ready to play. That is their job. That is what we pay them for. I think they get that."

On if the Browns coaching RB Carlos Hyde to do a hop-step similar to Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell:

"No I guarantee we are not coaching that (laughter). No, I think it happens on certain plays when you are waiting on certain blocks to happen. In this system, there is some of that just happens naturally with a back, but no we are not coaching that one at all (laughter)."

On if Perriman can potentially contribute immediately:

"I think there is a chance yeah. The guy is big, fast and caught the ball well today so that is good. It is a good start."

On if there has been any discussions about trading QB Tyrod Taylor:

"No. None."

On expecting Taylor to be with the Browns all season:

"I do. Until someone tells me something differently (laughter). He is our backup quarterback."

On needing WRs Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway to contribute more:

"Oh, we need them. We need them like we needed them yesterday. They have to play well, and we have to keep giving them opportunities and chances to make plays as a football team."

On how to help Callaway prepare to contribute more, outside of practice:

"Good conversation. That is all. I think he is doing everything else pretty well. I just think he has to be consistent. He is very talented. This is another young man who has not played a lot of football in a while, but he is ours so we have to do everything we can as coaches. I am sure Baker is spending time. I think we are all are trying to do everything we can to get him to where he needs to be because he is going to be a fine player. It is just how fast is the consistency piece going to happen for him? We needed for it to happen yesterday. He will continue to work. He had a really good practice yesterday. He has to keep stringing good practices together and go play well."

On sensing if Callaway has lost any confidence:

"No, he is doing fine. He is not that kind of kid."

On if Callaway's drops are due to mental factors:

"I can't tell you it is not a mental thing. I can't tell you that it is, neither. I think you work through that. There is a JUGGS machine. There is putting guys under pressure in practice situations. It is all of those things I think he worked through. You go back out and give guys a chance to show that again. Let's rebuild the confidence and put him back in situations where he can make plays and move forward. Obviously, the drop rate is not what we want. We do not want to drop as many balls as we have. We can do that better, and we will do it better."

On if the team's views the pass to Callaway in the end zone this past Sunday as a drop:

"I think that was a tough play, personally. I think if he would have made it, it would have been on Sports Center. He did not make it so you guys are talking about it.

On if he considers the Callaway play in the end zone a drop:

"I do not personally. I do not know if anyone else does. I know when I looked at it I was going to [be a great play]. If he would have made that play, it would have been a hell of a play."

On if the coaches track drops:

"Oh yeah. Yes, we do."

On Callaway saying if he would have dove for the ball, he would caught the touchdown:

"Then dive (laughter). Then dive. Then dive. Absolutely, if you feel that is what it takes to go make the play, go make the play. The play is what matters. It does not matter how you do it. You can be on your back, sideways, a handstand – I do not care. Make the play."

On Callaway's play in the end zone not being characterized as a drop but there could have been more effort:

"Right. To me, he was in the vicinity to where you do anything and everything you can to try to make the play. Now, like I said, it would have been an unbelievable play. If you go back and look at it in real time, it is a tough play to make with a guy in between you and the ball and where the ball is going is kind of tailing away, but we believe he has that talent to make that kind of play."

On the flea flicker to WR Damion Ratley:

"Tough play. Tough play, but that is what these guys have to do. That is what big time NFL receivers do, and that is what we expect. Was it a tough catch? Yes, it was going to be a tough catch – the angle the ball was on and the angle he was on – but you have to find a way. You have to find a way to make those plays."

On how to help Browns WRs make those types of plays, given there hasn't been many of those plays in recent years:

"I think you have seen Jarvis make one – earlier against the Jets, running through the seam with a guy in between him and the ball and he goes up and goes over him. We saw (TE) David (Njoku) catch a ball in the corner of the end-zone, and kudos to David because he had not made that play. He had not made that play. We tried throwing that same ball all last year about six times in the same area, and he did not make it. He made it the other day. Man, I was excited. Let me tell you. That is what you do. You keep working with these guys and keep putting them in situations to make those plays, and they make them. We have these guys on our team because we think they can play. Obviously, we have not caught the ball, as well. They get it. They understand it, but they have to keep playing. They have to play through it. There are some guys that come out the other side of it, and you do not see that again. There are some guys that because they can't catch do not make it in the National Football league. That is how it works."

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