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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 10/22

Opening statement:

"When you look back at yesterday's game, there are so many things that you would like to have back from that game. We had our opportunities. It can be frustrating to be so close so many times and not come away with a win. I told our team everyone needs to stay together, keep grinding and working at it. I told them we have to obviously continue to get better in a lot of different areas, but we have to continue to press on. We are not going to get side tracked or distracted by anything. We are just going to keep working at improving. We can't get discouraged. One thing I know about our guys is we will fight. We just have to stay focused to the task at hand. The team never quits. I think that we see that in this football team. It has never quit, and I know that they won't. We will keep competing even when things are not going well. The quality will serve us well as we grow as a football team, but we have to keep growing. 

"As far as the injuries are concerned, we came through the game pretty well. No real bumps and bruises. Too early in the week to talk about progress of (WR) Rashard Higgins and (LB) Joe Schobert. (OL) JC Tretter, who I told the team I was very, very pleased with for the young man to play with a high ankle sprain, not have much practice and go in there and play every snap for the offensive football team, that says a lot about one, how he feels about his teammates and how much the game is important to him. I commended him on that. Injury wise, I think that we are very good. We will know more about the other two guys that I mentioned later on in the week. We just have to continue to stay focused and continue to get better."

On if he plans to take over play-calling duties, given his statement yesterday about becoming more involved with the offense:

"No, I never said that that I would take over the play calling. I just want to make that clear. I think that sometimes things get said, written, whatever that is. When I said that I would do whatever I think I need to do, that is to help. If there was something that I needed to change, I would regardless of what that may be. My frustration – again, as a coach, I have to be careful of not too frustrated too when you see things and you want them to happen faster than maybe they are. When you watch our offense play in the second half like we have, boy, let's see if we can get that in the first half. If I can assist our offensive coaches – (offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley), the staff – in any way on offense, because it is something that I know and something that I think I know how to do pretty well, then I want to help. For seven games now, we have not been able to score much in the first quarter. We have not started fast enough. We have not a very good start, and we are firing on all cylinders in the second half. My whole thing there is if we can put it together – first half and second half – then maybe we will have a better chance of finishing some of these games and winning. I want to take a really good look at it, be very thorough through it, watch it all and see where I can help – infuse myself, I do plan on doing that, infuse myself to help and assist our offensive coaching staff."

On what he told Haley about how he would assist:

"That I would do anything that he needs. That I would like to help in any way that I can. That me and him would walk through that and see what that looks like. He is very open to it. He did not say, 'No, you can't do that' or anything like that. We are all committed to doing one thing, trying to find a way to win – Todd, myself, the offensive coaches, (defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams), (special teams coordinator) Amos (Jones), all of us. I think sometimes the way maybe it came off – and I take responsibility for that – was not in harshness of staff. It was in harshness of 'God, I want to win.' I want to do whatever I think it is going to take to help our football team win. That is where my motivation was coming from."

On helping Haley, who is an experienced offensive coordinator:

"Absolutely, but we all have things that maybe we do not see as well. We all have things that maybe as things are going we may not be privy to because we are not looking just at that. Everybody sometimes has their own blind spots. I am not saying that Todd does, but I am sure that another good set of eyes on certain things might help. I have always felt that way. I still think that two heads are better than one in certain situations. Obviously, somebody has to lead it and that is Todd's job, but at the same time, if I see something where I can help and help us be a little bit better, I think that is my job, as well."

On if he sees the offense's opening scripted plays before Sunday:

"Yes, I do. I do."

On if the opening scripted plays are causing problems with the offense's start:

"No, I do not think any of that is a problem. Obviously, our execution, our ability to finish plays, our inability to get chunk plays in the first half leads to us not having opportunities to score. That is a combination of a lot of things. We have to work through those things and continue to see them for what they are so that we can get them better."

On if he calls the team's fourth down plays or grants approval to attempt a fourth down conversion:

"I grant approval."

On if agreed with the Browns' play calls on the two fourth-down attempts:

"Absolutely. I liked both of our fourth down plays. Obviously, we did not make either one of them. That is the roll of the dice sometimes."

On attempting the fourth-down conversion late in the first half rather than kicking a FG:

"At the time, our offense had not played well in the first half. I was looking for anything to spark our offense. I thought that we had a great call on fourth-and-2 – a play that I thought that we had a chance to make. They ended up playing Cover 0. Here comes the linebacker. Matter of fact, it was the play that linebacker got hurt on. (QB) Baker (Mayfield) made him miss. He had a chance to make a first down running, which he did make, but the ball was in his near hand to the defender and the guy knocked the ball out. Instead of the ball going forwards or sideways, it went backwards. Instead of making the first down and then making the decision to either be able to throw one in the end zone for six or later on kicking the field goal, we had no chance at anything. I felt very good about our play and the plays that we had in that situation. We just did not execute very well."

On if he meets with General Manager John Dorsey on Mondays:

"All of the time."

On the nature of his conversations with Dorsey following a loss like yesterday:

"I am supposed to tell you all that (laughter)? I know that you would like to have that. I think we have to keep that in house. That is between me and John."

On if there is an art to running a QB sneak or if it is up to the QB to generate the yardage:

"There is an art to it. There is an art to blocking it. There is an art to the quarterback running it. The offensive line has to make sure that they keep their pads down. The quarterback has to get low and like you say, fall into the cracks. You kind of ride the wave a little bit and make sure that the edge people do not get us. We did it in a hurry-up type mode, trying to beat them to the bunch. They got lined up and were able to defeat us there."

On if Dorsey consulted with him before trading RB Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars:

"Yes, absolutely."

On if he was in agreement with Dorsey:

"Yes, this is an organizational decision that we made. Me and John talked about it, talked it through every avenue that you can talk through it and made the decision that is best for the organization. That is the decision that we made, and we move forward."

On trading a player on a Friday prior to a Sunday game:

"Those are not easy. I will be the first to tell you that. That is not an easy decision to make, but the way it came down – what Jacksonville's needs were, what they were willing to do for us, our roster, the players that we had at the position – you know how some of these things go. It is either take it or leave it. I think we felt very good about the situation that we were in so we made the decision. I do not think that there was anything wrong with that."

On if there is added pressure to win now:

"Added pressure? I have always had added pressure to win now. I think everything we have tried to do is win now. Trust me, we did not make a trade because we thought hat it meant win now. We are not doing anything differently. I think that our players and our coaches are doing everything that we can to win each and every game we play. That is why you play. Nothing more, nothing less than that. I do not feel any extra pressure of, 'Boy, Hue, you better win or else.' I have never felt that since I have been here. I am trying to do the best job that I can with the staff and with the players, and we have to find a way to win some game. That is just the nature of the business."

On if he still feels support of Dee and Jimmy Haslam and Dorsey:

"No doubt. No doubt. None. No question."

On the source of his confidence with the Haslams and Dorsey:

"Conversations. Conversations."

On how he addressed the team about the Hyde trade, given some players' responses on social media:

"I talked to them about it Saturday morning when they came in. One thing that I think the players know, I am very honest and up front with them. I told them what I knew the situation was and why it happened. They understood. Like you said, for some guys, that is a brother. That is a brotherhood in that locker room. You lose one who is a huge member. For a second there, you can make it about that. I think our players handled it the right way. After we discussed it and talked about it, then we moved forward. We made Tampa Bay the focus on what we needed to do."

On if trading Hyde was the easiest way to get RB Nick Chubb more carries:

"I am not going to say that was the easiest way. I am sure that it looked like that, he got 18 (carries) where he was only getting three. I know that is the way that it looks. If you take one player from the equation, the next guy is going to get more carries. I just think that is natural. Was it the easiest way to do it? I think that there are all kinds of ways to do it, but the bottom line, it was not done. I know that everybody is going to look at it that way, but I do not look at it like that."

On if Hyde was a part of Sunday's gameplan prior to the trade:

"He was the starting tailback. We are not going to go away from that, but Chubb practices, Duke practices and everyone practiced, but he was the starting tailback on the team. We made the decision as an organization to trade him, and we did that. That was OK. I thought Chubb did well. He had 18 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown. Ran hard, ran strong and did some really good things yesterday."

On potentially running Hyde on the fourth-and-goal, rather than a QB sneak:

"We could have had Chubb on that call instead of Mayfield on that play. We did not. We had Mayfield. We did not make it."

On Mayfield getting a lot of experience in overtime:

"I think our team is getting a lot of experience in overtime (laughter)."

On if there is a 'common problem' related to the three-and-outs in OT:

"I am not going to say it is a common problem, but I think it is the same thing we are talking about starting the game. We have to solve that as a staff and as a team. I think making sure of the urgency at the start of the game, just like in overtime, you have to find a way to make enough yards or make enough plays to where your team has a chance to win. We just have to do it better."

On if he wants to avoid breaking the league's record for most OT games played in a season:

"Yes, I would love to avoid breaking the record, but if it meant going into overtime and us winning? I am fine with [winning in overtime]. It truly is all about winning. The overtime [games], I have never been through anything like this. This is four for us – four in seven games. One time we played in Oakland in overtime and flew all the way back and then played Baltimore the next week for another overtime and then here we are playing another [overtime] game against the [Buccaneers]. Our team has probably played a whole other game in overtime. It has been a lot of snaps. I do not know if there is any magic to it, other than that we have to find a way in those situations to win the game. We have been in them now. Our players – you should have heard them on the sideline, 'Guys we have been here before.' That is what they were saying to each other. I think that the 'been here before' part needs to go. Let's go win this thing now. We have been so close in so many of these. Just imagine if we could flip a couple of these in the win column. It is a whole different record, a whole record different conversation in here, but if it does not happen that way and this is where we are."

On Mayfield's play yesterday, the Browns' sacks allowed and the team's difficulty producing chunk plays in the first half:

"First of all, I think that Baker did some good things. The game for him really started improving as it went on. He made some unbelievable throws in the second half to put us in position to get to overtime and win the game. In the first half, I did not feel like he was holding the ball as much for the sacks. I think some of them were physical where we were getting beat in some situations, and we need to continue to clean those up fundamentally. There was another time where maybe he could have gotten the ball out sooner or feel the pressure. I thought he improved from last week to this week. I thought that was huge. From that standpoint, I think he made a jump this week. When you say the chunk plays in the second half to the first half, why did we not get them in the first half? That is something that I think we have to continue to look at. In order to score touchdowns or points period in the National Football League, you can do it a couple of ways – you can throw it in or you can run it in. When you see teams, unless you have these 15 or 17-play drives or something like that, somewhere in there is a big run or a big pass that kind of moves you toward the end zone a little bit quicker. We just have to find a way to get a few more of those as we go."

On officials picking up the flag when Mayfield was hit in the helmet and communication with NFL headquarters:

"Trust me, as I have said before, we get on the phones. We do [talk] quite a bit here with the league office with (Senior Vice President of Officiating) Al Riveron, who is the head of the officials. We have had quite a few conversations. That was disappointing. That is all that I can say."

On stating some of his comments yesterday were the result of frustration, public criticism that it was perceived as him 'passing the buck' of responsibility and if he regrets the comments:

"No because I am going to tell you why – I think that when you are a 1-31 coach from a year ago, everybody is going to take it as I am passing the buck. People are going to feel the way that they feel. I am human just like anybody else, and I want to win. All I said – people can go back and look – is that I want to help. I want to be more involved in the offense. It is something that I know how to do. It is something that I have done in my career. I want to assist. If there is an issue that I can help as a head coach, I would think that is something that you do. I did not feel like I said anything wrong. People can spin it, turn it, say it…"

On understanding how some people come to that reaction:

"Oh yeah, I can, but, I can't worry about where everybody comes from and how they want to write it. I can only go by what I said. I know what I meant and I know what I said, and I still feel the same way today. I am not changing off of that. At the same time, people say, 'He is not winning. He has to move it someplace else.' That is not what I am trying to do. All of this falls squarely on me. If it is going to fall squarely on me, if I feel like I can help – I do not care if it is offense, defense or special teams. I helped the special teams, and nobody said anything. That is my point. At some point in time, I have to continue to do what I do as a head coach. What you have seen is something that I am very passionate about, which is offensive football, we have not been able to do much in the starting blocks. I want to see if I can help."

On OL Chris Hubbard's performance in pass protection:

"You do not think Chris is doing pretty well? The way that you said it, I can hear it at the end."

On Hubbard 'throwing some look-out blocks' this season:

"He has thrown some look-out blocks (laughter)? I am not going to say he has thrown some look-out blocks. There have been some twists and some games on that side that I think we need to handle a little bit better, but I think that Hubbs has done a good job. He has done some things really well. There are some times where we do get pushed where we need to make sure we are a little bit firmer. I think as a whole, we have given up way too many sacks. I will be the first to tell you that. We have to continue to shore that up. I think that is a unit issue. The ball has to come out at times, the receivers have to get open and we have to block better, but I think as a group, we all need to continue to work at it and continue to get better."

On if it was his decision to have Haley call offensive plays or if that was a mandate:

"No, it was not mandated to me. When I decided to bring Todd here, I made a commitment that he would have total autonomy of the offense. I do not think that you hire a coordinator and put him in that position when you are an offensive head coach to dabble in what that person is doing. That is that decision that I made. Obviously, the guy has been extremely good at what he has done. His reputation precedes him. I think he is doing some things extremely well here right now. We just have to get the offense moving to where he wants it and where I want it as we continue to move forward so that we are playing all four quarters and maybe not two and a half. That is all that we are saying. The question was, has he been calling plays? Yes, he has been calling the plays. He has had my full support that way, and I will continue to support him in that way."

On decreasing penalties midway through the season, in addition to some being questionable calls:

"You have to show it. Trust me, some of these penalties we would all like to keep looking at them, too. We will get the customary paper back that, hopefully, says that it was not a penalty. Some are, some are not. There are some self-inflicted things that we are doing that we need to get better at. There are some things that are questionable but we do need to improve. The penalties yesterday were uncharacteristic of this football team – that many. There were what, 14? Those are way too many. We watched every last one of them today again. It is not like we do not address it. We do. That has not happened like that. Some were legitimate and then there were some that we need to take a closer look at. We do need to get better."

On if DB E.J. Gaines is still in concussion protocol:


On if there are lingering effects from players competing in four OT games:

"No, I did not see that yesterday. Not at all. If anything, like I said, our guys were excited because they have been there before. We feel like we have the upper hand. We have played so many of these that we feel like we will go finish them. What we have to do is finish them. We have not done it other than one time. It we can a couple more of these if it happens on the correct side of the ledger, then we are OK with that. We will play as long as anybody wants to play. We have to find a way to win."

On reviewing the incompletion challenged in the third quarter:

"I still felt like he caught the ball. I felt like he caught the ball and was about to make a move and that the ball came out. Both feet hit the ground. I think that simultaneously of the catch and the hand at the same time, I think that is how they saw it. We will turn it in and see what they say."

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