Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 10/25

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Another great opportunity for our football team, a chance to play an international game in London. We are excited about representing our city and our organization. Our players are excited about going over. Playing a really good opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, coached by a really good friend of mine (Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer). A really good football team all the way around – defensively, offensively, special teams so it is a tall challenge. A real challenge for us. Our guys every week, we start into the week on Wednesday. There is a lot of energy, a lot of good practice. Guys worked extremely hard today as we get ready for this opportunity.

"Obviously, you guys know we are going to start (QB) DeShone (Kizer) this week. I thought that gave us the best opportunity to win the game. We will put him back out there and let him go. I think he understands there is work still to be done this week to continue to get better to focus on the things that he needs to continue to clean up. He is working at it. A good day today, but I think he understands you just have to keep stacking these good days on top of each other to be where you need to be.

"I know the report about (DL) Myles (Garrett) has gotten out to you guys. He came into the facility yesterday not feeling well, and we immediately placed him in the concussion protocol. That is where he is. That will be day to day until we figure that out. That is just a process that they all have to go through. It is nothing as far as coaching or any of that is concerned. I think you guys get it, it is concussion protocol, and some guys are going to come back quicker than others and some guys stay awhile as we know. We hope it is the [former] and we will kind of go from there.

"As far as the injuries are concerned, (DL Trevon) Coley's neck, (DB Jason) McCourty's ankle, (DL Larry) Ogunjobi's groin and (DB) Jabrill (Peppers) toe, they weren't able to practice today. We will see how the progress goes throughout the week and then kind of go from there. That is kind of where we are as a team. I thought the guys were outstanding in the building today. A lot of energy in meetings as well as at practice and I think there is real excitement about going over to London and playing against a really good football team."

On when Garrett will be checked again medically and how the timing work with the team's flight to London:

"I think I don't know all of that. I will find out more after practice, but I think we still have a little more time than that, I would hope, to find out exactly where he is. Obviously, like I said, some guys are going to get through these things faster than others. We hope it is the other piece of it for us and for our football team and for Myles. We will just see where we are."

On if he has not ruled out Garrett going to London:

"I have not ruled that out, no sir, but we do know he is in the protocol and we will see where it is."

On if Garrett can travel to London if he remains in concussion protocol:

"He can, yes. He can do that if we think it is best because again, I think you guys know these concussions are different degrees so I would hope that he can, but I don't want to go on record of saying I know for sure he is. Let's see where it is and then kind of go from there."

On Zimmer endorsing his abilities as a head coach and ability to turn around the team during a conference call today:

"It means I paid him (laughter). No, just kidding.  Mike is – and he said it – he is one of my really close friends and I have a lot of respect for him. He is one of the best football coaches in pro football in my opinion because he can get guys to play and they played hard. He has a vision for his football team and the way they play on defense is Mike Zimmer style. They are really talented, really good football team. I appreciate the things that he says, but I think he knows me extremely well. I don't like being in the situation I am in and I want to do something about it as fast as I can and we will. We are just not there yet, but we will get there."

On the decision to start Kizer and if he will go to another QB if Kizer continues to turn the ball over:

"I know what everybody is concerned about – that I have this quick hook. Listen, I think DeShone gets it. I am very honest with DeShone. This is a performance-based business, and there are some things that at the quarterback position are kind of non-negotiable for me. He knows turning the ball over is something that we can't do. It hurts not just him; it hurts our football team. I think he gets it. I don't think he is going to go play this game worried about am I turning it over or not. I don't think he has that personality or else I would not put him in that predicament. I think he understands he needs to play better that way and be ball protecting. Like I said, last week, he started off extremely well. He has to finish it that way. I would like to have a game where we have no turnovers, period. That is what we are chasing, and just see what happens after the game then and see where we are. That is the message that I give to the team and also to the quarterback room. We have to take care of the ball better. My decision in going into that, I still think he gives us the best chance to win, but he has to play better than what he has played, and he knows that."

On balancing trying to win a game and having patience with a rookie QB, referencing the number of interceptions and record some elite NFL QBs had during their rookie seasons:

"I have patience. I have had patience up until whatever game it was I first took him out. Like I said, I think everything is still the same. That is why I understand how you guys have written certain things about it. I get it, but at the same time there are lessons in this form, too. This is a different football team than maybe Peyton Manning was on or Troy Aikman or whoever those guys were you just mentioned. This is our situation and this is his situation and I truly believe that he can play better and that is my goal. Whatever it takes to get him to play better while in the process of doing everything I can to win football games, which is my charge as the head coach of this football team – it is not, I will say it again, just developing the quarterback. That is a big piece of it, but we are also trying to win. That all goes into the thought process as we go through it, but do I want DeShone to get better? Yes. I hope to see a better DeShone this weekend, but also, I want to win the football game. We are trying to do both and sometimes those things clash. When they do, we will make the decision that we think is best for our football team and go from there."

On if public criticism or questioning after sitting Kizer will impact his decision to play or sit Kizer:

"No. I could care less what anybody thinks. I think you guys know me that way. People are going to say what they say, but nobody knows what goes on in this building and the conversations that are had with our players. Unless a psychologist comes to tell me that DeShone is going to fall apart and jump off the building or do something goofy because I am taking him out, I don't sense that because I am very honest with our players. I think they understand what we are trying to do. At the same time, he has a job. His job is to help this football team win. If you are doing things that don't allow us to win, then it is my job to make a decision to help, whether that is to sit you down and put somebody else in or stick with you because I understand certain things that happen and there will be certain things that happen from an interception standpoint that is not his fault. When it does happen, I won't put that on him, but at the same time, there are lessons for this for all involved, and we will grow from it."

On the Browns backup QB on Sunday:

"(QB) Cody (Kessler)."

On if QB Kevin Hogan's ribs are still a concern:

"I think Kevin is better, but still what I see is he is not exactly where I want him to be. He is not the Kevin that started this thing a couple of weeks ago."

On ability to identify a play when Garrett sustained a concussion:

"I can't. I don't think he could either. It came up a couple of days after, which is different. Those things hit you like that. Sometimes you don't know. You think you are catching a cold or something like that, you look up and you ae not feeling well and wow, here it is. That is just the way these things works sometimes."

On the disappointing timing of Garrett's injury, given his recent increased playing time:

"It is but this is something we all have to deal with in the National Football League. We have to handle it correctly. Like I said, he is in the protocol and hopefully he can get out of this thing soon."

On if he feels inclined to bring Garrett to London regardless of his status for the game:

"I think that would be great, but like I said, there are different degrees of these things. If the medical people say it is best for him not to go if it is in that stage, then we will do whatever we think is best for the player."

On challenges balancing travel and the routine of a regular season week:

"I think leaving tomorrow is what really worked for us – being able to get the majority of our practice week done here in the comfort of our facilities, doing things that are normal for our players and not changing everything. I think what is really important is how we handle the flight as you mentioned. I think what I know, what everybody has told me, the research that we have gotten and the people I have talked to is that we need to get these players to sleep as fast as they can and really sleep through this process and rest and not be up on the phone or looking at movies and all of that stuff. You really need to get your rest and shut down because it is a huge time difference and a different environment and atmosphere once we get to London. I think our organization has done a great job that way. I give a lot of credit to Dee and Jimmy (Haslam) because our team will fly first class. It will be as good as they can be. The plane is outstanding. These guys legitimately will be able to lay down and sleep. That is outstanding. Hopefully, this will be a really good trip for us from that standpoint from learning how to travel like this because hopefully, we will do this again in the future but also to go and play as well as we have played all year. That is the goal."

On if the travel schedule was his idea when the game was announced or if he was given information on the best way to handle the travel:

"I had a lot of information given to me. One, I lived over in London for three and a half months myself at one time. Coming back to the States and going back and that whole process, I have a little experience in dealing with it, but we did [research it]. We did a lot of research on it, talked to a lot of different people, really kind of sat down and put our heads together and made a decision that we thought was best for everyone involved."

On if defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had input on the travel schedule given he played a game in London last season:

"Yeah, he mentioned to me how nice the hotel was for the whole week (laughter). He did. A lot of people had a lot of great things to say, but everybody understood what was important was our team, our situation, our environment and what we were trying to accomplish. There was a lot of information given and a lot of discussions had, and we think this is best for us."

On how to help OL Spencer Drango with Vikings DE Everson Griffen:

"You put seven guys over there and try to tackle Griffen as he comes off the ball (laughter). No, he is a tremendous football player, a really good player. He is a guy on their defense that is playing extremely well. He has a sack in every game. It is a tall challenge for us. We are going to have to do some things differently, there is no question. Spencer has to battle and hold his own. When we can help, we will. That is just part of this game."

On when he lived in London:

"I was coaching. I coached for the London Monarchs. I was over there, won the World Bowl and had a great time, a good experience being over there for three months. The food was different, the living arrangements were different (laughter), but it was fun. It was a good time."

On if he has talked to Drango about filling OL Joe Thomas' shoes:

"I haven't yet and I'm sure I will at some point, but again, he is on our team. He is the backup left tackle. He has to go in there and play. I think we all know those shoes won't be filled. Let's just be honest, that is Joe Thomas we are talking about. I think we all get that and respect that. We all wish Joe was here, but we also know that he is not right now. I know one thing, we are going to have the biggest fan the Cleveland Browns have ever had screaming for the Browns this weekend – his name is Joe Thomas. That was my conversation with him the other day, but I think Spencer is going to go out there and compete. The one thing I want our guys to do is to play as well and as hard as they can. That is all I ask, and then we will let the rest take care of itself."

On sensing if players who didn't practice today will play on Sunday:

"I hope they will. I think we are moving closer to they can than they can't, obviously, with Jabrill and McCourty and that group. We just hope that our medical team, which is doing everything they can to get these guys ready to play, and we will know more about it as we get towards the end of the week."

On if LB Jamie Collins Sr.'s injury happened at practice or last week's game:

"That is from the game."

On if WR Kenny Britt is expected to remain in the starting lineup:

"We will see. We will see where that is as we finish up during the week."

On if elevating TE Matt Lengel was to help Drango block Griffen:

"We are looking for anybody who is long and strong and can hold some people out (laughter). We will take them. Lengel fits that goal that you are mentioning. We thought that was the best fit at this time for us."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content