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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 10/25

Opening statement:

"Finished practice. The injured guys, I probably should start with those guys first. I still feel really good about (OL JC) Tretter and (DB) Damarious (Randall) having the chance to get back. I feel good about those guys. We still have the other guys and I feel good about those guys – (WR) Da'Mari Scott has a little shoulder and (DL Brian) Price has a little knee – but those guys all practiced. It was nothing major with those guys. I feel good about the group. I think that the first two guys that I mentioned, obviously, they are a huge key to our success. Getting them back as fast as we can would be very important to our football team. Outside of that, it is business as usual. Moving forward, big game in Pittsburgh."

On Steelers RB James Conner's development since Week 1:

"I think he has been really consistent since our game up to now. He has played really well for them. He has been in their program, understands what they are asking a running back to do. I think that he has done a really good job. He played really, really well against us. He has played really, really well all season. I am not surprised. I just think his role is expanding more and they are doing more with him."

On ability to evaluate and prepare for Conner now that he has played a significant number of snaps since the beginning of the season:

"We have seen him for sure. We felt him in the first game because he made a lot of plays. We know what to expect. It is not walking out there for the first time playing against a guy sight unseen or anything like that. We know that this guy is a really, really good football player."

On WR Antonio Callaway's progression:

"I think he is developing. He is still growing and still a young player finding his way in the National Football League. We have to get him more touches, as well, and give him opportunities to make plays. We do at times. Sometimes, it just does not work out. Sometimes, that is just the life of a young player. Maybe this week he catches fire and catches six, seven, eight, nine balls and has a huge contribution to the team. That is always the goal every week. Just sometimes, that is not realized."

On DB Denzel Ward's development and facing elite WRs multiple times this season:

"Thus far, he has done a good job. This is Round 2 now. He is going to go see two of the better receivers in the National Football League – (Steelers WR) Antonio Brown, and (Steelers WR JuJu Smith-) Schuster is playing extremely well. He has another crack at it. I am sure that he learned something from the first opportunity that we played them. He learned more about them personally playing against them. I am sure that he will have a little bit better feel. I have been very pleased with his season thus far. Hopefully, he can make more plays for us. He has the skillset to do it. That is what we want to happen."

On QB Baker Mayfield and considering his potential long-term future with the team, specifically given AFC North opponents have had the same QBs for multiple years after playing as rookies:

"I think that you think about it. Obviously, when we drafted him, whenever it was that he was going to play, our goal was that he is going to be our quarterback. He has to continue to progress and continue to get better. I am not trying to compare him to anybody. I do not think that would be fair. I think that he is going to blaze his own trail as we go. Hopefully, it will be somewhat like the guys in our division's career have gone. Like you said, all of those guys played as rookies. They have been the quarterbacks of their teams for a long time. I think that was the vision when we drafted him."

On if he was worried offensive coordinator Todd Haley might interpret his comments on Sunday about his involvement in the offense the wrong way:

"I do not think I was worried that he would take my comments the wrong way. I was worried that he would take what everybody was saying and writing and the way that everybody made it out to be the wrong way. You always have to handle those things very quickly and privately. We did, and we move on. Like I said, he has been great."

On when he talked to Haley about it:

"Monday. Yes."

On if the conversation occurred first thing Monday morning:

"I made it a point to get to it. I am not going to say that it was first thing. We have a lot of things to do in the morning, but we had a conversation."

On if he has seen being a NFL starting WR being 'too big' for Callaway at all:

"I do not sense that. I do not think that it is too big for him. I do not think that the pressure is getting to him. For all involved, I think that we all want to see him catch more balls and make more plays because we all see the skillset and talent. That does not always equate to a guy that can play at a high, high level all of the time. I think that he is working at it. I think we are continuing to find ways to have him affect games and make plays. That has to all work hand in hand together. I think the young man is doing his part, and we have to continue to do our part. This is going into Week 8 of the season. There is still a lot of season left for him to make a mark on this football team."

On TE Seth DeValve's role in the offense after returning from injuries:

"I think that he is finding his role, his niche, in the offense. Obviously, on special teams he is making contributions. As he continues to be consistent – when I am talking about consistency being out there, being available – I think that we will find more things for him to do, as well."

On getting the Browns to believe the team can win on the road against Pittsburgh:

"You go play. This is a very confident team. Our team is a very confident group. We do not get concerned about the record. Obviously, we want a better record, but this is a division team. This team is leading the division. What better way to make a statement about playing of the road and wining on the road than in Pittsburgh? Here is a tremendous opportunity for the group to put some of those to bed."

On public perception that 'the sky is falling' at 2-4-1:

"I think that [the public perception is] 'the sky is falling' here because we have been in so many games. You are so close. If you can win a couple of those, nobody would be feeling that way. We just have not. Does not matter what the reasons are, we just have not done it. There, they are a confident group. They have been down before where they have not started fast and all of a sudden the get on a run and away they go. We just have not done that yet. When we become that team that starts winning games consecutively, week in and week out – regardless of where it is, on the road, at home, wherever – then I think that the narrative will change. We will change it, but it is not going to change until then."

On challenges playing at Heinz Field:

"Their fans. Obviously, they have good players, a good team. Their fans, that is home field, and that song that they play before all of a sudden the kickoff happens (laughter). I know it is coming. That is what I think their advantage is. It is a hostile place to play. We get it. We think that our stadium is just as tough to play in, as well. We welcome that. In order to be the team that we want to be, you have to go into those environments and win. That is what we are trying to do."

On where the Browns have improved since Week 1:

"As a football team, I think we are understanding better situationally about down and distances and how to handle situational football better by far. The one thing that we have continued to do and did well in that game is get turnovers. We need to continue to do that. As a football team, what we have to do is regardless if it is in regulation or overtime, we have to go find a way to win the game. That is just what we have to do."

On if he is superstitious or considers changes to the team's travel routine, specifically referencing past changes to schedules when the Browns lost consecutive games, and if the team's routine has been the same for his trips to Pittsburgh:

"I have done the same three things that were recommended to me. I am not superstitious in that way when it comes to those things. How you get there, I am good about. What we eat and those things, that might be important to me. How we get there, I am alright with."

On if the Browns have bussed to Pittsburgh each season:

"We have bussed every year. It is a quick trip. I kind of like the trip. I think that the players do, too."

On WR Jarvis Landry's impact on the WR room:

"Obviously, he is the leader of the room. He is demanding that they step up. That is just Jarvis. That is how he goes about it. Those guys will. He is continuing to lead as he needs to. He needs to continue to be a very vocal leader for our offensive football team and be very accountable and dependable. That is who Jarvis is. He has to keep dragging those guys along with him."

On if he expects players' performance to improve significantly from Year 1 to Year 2:

"Absolutely. (DL) Myles Garrett, he is getting there. There is no question .The guy is one of the leading sackers in pro football. He needs to continue to do that and do it better. Really good players, there is a jump form Year 1 to Year 2 where you start to see guys be more comfortable and understand the National Football League. I think those things have shown out throughout our team. (TE) David Njoku is playing better. He has a ton of catches right now – 31, if I am not mistaken. We are not even halfway through the year. I think he had 33 last year total. I think there is improvement across the board with our second-year players. Some guys will stick out more than others, but I think that is what you want to see, obviously."

On Landry catching a higher percentage of targets in Week 7:

"We need it to be sustainable. What you saw was Baker and Jarvis both make plays together. I think they took advantage of the opportunities. There were not more targets called for him than what was the last game – a few here or there. We just made more plays. That is wat it comes down to. At the end of the day, Baker has to throw it straight, Jarvis has to get open and then we have to secure the catch and away you go."

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