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Hue Jackson press conference - 10/3


Head Coach Hue Jackson:**

Opening statement:

"We are a quarter of the way through the season and obviously not in the position that I thought we would be in. We have earned what we have. We are an 0-4 football team. We understand that. Yesterday, our guys still continued to fight extremely hard. Our lesson to take away from yesterday's game is turnovers. It is something that I have talked about since the day I walked in here. We have to make sure we take care of the ball, and we have to get the ball away from the other team. We didn't do that very well as a football team yesterday. On offense, we had three consecutive turnovers in a row. I thought the first one kind of started to turn the tide a little bit. Lessons to be learned. There are continuing lessons for our football team as we move forward, but at the same time, I like some of the things we are doing. We are running the ball better, and I still think there is a lot that we still leave out there so we are going to continue to work at that. On defense, our guys did a good job of covering for the most part. To hold that offense to [183 passing yards] I thought was outstanding. On the other side of that, we still have to play the run better. I thought they ran the ball at us better than we have had the ball run at us all year. We still have some work to do. We understand that. Our guys are more determined than ever. Just seeing them today and talking to them, nobody is going to back down from the challenge. We understand the hole we have dug ourselves, but we know how to get out of it. We just have to keep working at it and continue to improve. To a man, everybody walks in this building ready to go. We are not going to blink, but we understand where we are and I do, too so we are going to fight our way out of it."

On injury updates:

"(OL) Austin (Reiter), I think he tore his ACL so he will be out for the year. (TE) Randall Telfer, I think is one of those high ankle sprains so we will deal with that as we move forward. Other than that, some good news is I think (DL) Carl Nassib will do some work this week. We will hope to get him back. IC (DB Ibraheim Campbell), I think his work will be ramped up a little bit. Hopefully, we will start getting some guys back here because we need them. Obviously, those are and Austin's was a huge injury yesterday. And Randall because Randall has been doing such a good job. We will keep moving forward and continue to put whoever is the next guy up in those positions."

On the difficulty balancing seeing young players progress with the league standings:

"Absolutely. I didn't think it would be this difficult. It is tough, but I'm seeing a lot of the young guys improve. We are just not seeing what I want to see and what the team wants to see on the other side of the ledger. We think we have been there for the last three weeks. Obviously, the Philadelphia game was the first game of the year. I didn't think I did a good enough job, but I thought over the last three weeks, our guys have been in position to have a chance to win the game. That is a good thing, and that is a bad thing. The good thing is our guys are fighting hard and putting themselves in position for a chance to win. The bad part of that is we are doing things that you have to improve at to win in the National Football League. Whether it is turnovers or a mistake here or mistake there, those are the things that do get you beat. We have to continue to learn and grow from these things so that we can get better."

On who will play C for the Browns:

"I can tell you that tomorrow because as you know, we will do everything we can to see if we can improve in that area. If not, obviously, (OL John) Greco would be the first guy up in that spot. We will look around and see what we can do and then kind of go from there."

On if OL Alvin Bailey's punishment is over:

"Yes, I don't hold grudges. Once we make a decision and talk, we move on from things, but we are going to do things right. My point is there are consequences to anything and everything you do within our building. I think Alvin understands that, but we had a good talk and we will move forward from there."

On if OL Cam Erving will be unavailable again this week:

"Yeah, I don't think Cam will be back this week at all."

On if QB Josh McCown will be unavailable again this week:

"Yeah, I think both of those guys will definitely still be down this week."

On the challenge shuffling the Browns OL every week:

"Oh, it is tough, but the National Football League. No one is going to feel sorry for our circumstances. I get it, but your question is it tough? Yeah, it is tough, but we have to find a way. We have been doing it every week since we started. Whether it has been the quarterback or shuffling the line, receiver, here or there, we still continue to go out and fight. That is a good thing. I think we will grow and learn from all of these experiences that we are having right now to be better in the future."

On if the Browns need a big play to get over the hump or something else:

"That is a great question. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. It is us playing better in those critical moments – don't do things, do intelligent things that good football teams do to give themselves a chance to win and players making plays in those situations. All of those things will factor in, but there is no question in my mind it is going to happen. When it is going to happen, I don't know, but I know it is going to happen. I feel good about that."

On how much work FB Malcolm Johnson receives carrying the football in practice:

"He gets work. He gets enough work – enough work for me to trust him and say, 'Malcolm, go in there and carry this ball.' I know everybody wants to make a big point about the fullback here carrying the ball and it was his first carry. It was his first carry in a game. Got it, but I trust Malcolm. Malcolm is one of our 11 starters, 12-13 starters, however you want to determine on our offensive football team. He has practiced. Like I said that yesterday, he is a paid professional athlete that can carry the football. We have conditioned him to do that, to go back there and run the ball and pass protect, if need be because that is the way that injuries are. Sometimes, you just have to put guys back there. I trusted him in that situation to go do a job. We didn't get it done. I know there is a lot open to be second guessed because he plays fullback and so he never carries the ball. I get all that, but at the same time, I made a decision. It was my decision. I handed him the ball. We fumbled it. That didn't lose the game. It turned the game, but I don't think that one play lost the game for us."

On some coaches being reluctant to give Johnson another opportunity to carry the football:

"I'm not going to say I'm never going to give it to him, but if our players are up and going… If Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) hadn't have made the run he made to get us to a first down where he was exhausted, and if (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) wasn't being checked for a concussion, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Those things are going to happen. I made a choice and a decision to put Malcolm in there and hand him the ball. I might make the same decision again in the future. I may not. I might not need to. We will just kind of take it as it comes."

On if the Browns have any more clarity from watching tape of RB Duke Johnson Jr.'s fumble:

"Gosh. Well, it doesn't matter what I think. Obviously, as I talked to Thomas, who was on the sideline because she knew the play was being reviewed upstairs and they have the thing that calls down. She told me, she said, 'Coach, it has been reviewed. I got the signal that it is a turnover.' I can't challenge it anyway. I know people want me to jump on the officials right there and run on the field and go bananas and all that, but what is that going to do? I'm not going to let my team ever see me lose it like that. I don't think that was what was important. Obviously, we will turn that in and then the league will make their determination. They are trying to do the best job that they can, too. Maybe some things look close and maybe at a different timeframe it might look different. It looked awfully close to us, and obviously, Duke had the ball when he got up. It seemed like a bang, bang play. It was a fumble and then, boom, we had the ball, but that is not the way they judged it so we have to go with their decision."

On being emphatic after the game about not dropping the ball and if that is a point of emphasis to the Browns:

"No question. Absolutely. You can't. At the end of the day, it is our responsibility to hold onto the ball. We can't give and put people in a situation to hold judgement for our future.  We get to control that. Don't turn it over. Don't turn it over and then there is never anybody second guessing or asking this or asking that. Malcolm doesn't fumble the ball, you guys are not asking me this question. Duke doesn't fumble the ball, we are not talking about the officiating. Let's do our part. Our part is to hold onto the ball. We have to do that better."

On if the coach's film shows a different angle on Johnson's fumble:

"On the video, it looks pretty bang, bang to me. He is tackled. The ball comes out. I could clearly see the ball come out. I'm standing right there next to it. The ball goes down and I can see them scuffling for the ball. As the scuffle is ensuing, he is holding the ball up. He stands up and holds the ball up as if he did fumble it, he went and got the ball back and was holding the ball up, but I don't think that is the way it was interpreted upstairs from the camera view that they had. Let me make this clear: I couldn't challenge the call. That is made upstairs. She was very clear that 'Hey, Hue, we got the signal. It is Washington's ball.' Obviously, it was disappointing, but at the same time, I can't change the call. That is the call that's made."

On his expectations for the Browns' position at this point in the season, given the number of young players:

"I respect that question. This is my expectation: I'm never going to change from the day I came here. I expect to win. The last three games I would hope showed you that I expect to win because this team is playing with the opportunity to win. We just have to finish those games. We hold onto the ball, I think we all feel very comfortable, we have an opportunity to win the game. Two weeks ago, we make a few field goals, in everybody's opinion, we have an opportunity to win that game. We hold a 20-2 lead and just do anything, we have an opportunity to win that game. I know a lot of people look at our football team with a lot of young players and a lot of injuries. To me, I want to give them a little credit because they are fighting their tails off. I think our coaches are coaching their tails off, too. Contrary to what everybody believes, we are not rolling over and saying 'uncle' and just walking out there and saying we are not going to play. We are playing our tails off to win. That is all we're interested in."

On players with experience make big plays and players with less experience making those types of mistakes:

"Absolutely, they do, but that's is why we coach. That is why they call me 'Coach.' That is why we call our coaches 'Coach.' We have to do a better job. I'm not trying to be like everybody else. I might look back on it when the year is over and feel differently and see things differently, but when you are in it, I don't look at it like that. I want us to be the best we can be. That is my job, that is our coaches' job and that is our players' job to try to be the best we can be. We are going to keep chasing it. We know we are going to make some mistakes. I get that. I do see those things. I know a lot of that sometimes is from youth, but we also have some veteran players making mistakes. We have to correct them. We have to move forward. We have to keep playing and we have to keep expecting to win football games."

On if releasing LB Armonty Bryant and OL Alvin Bailey's discipline sends a message to the locker room:

"I don't even want to get into that. I think what is important is he is not on our team right now. We have moved on and we wish him well."

On the importance of 'eliminating foolishness' is part of changing the Browns' culture:

"Again, I don't want to direct it at just one person. We are laying the right foundation here. I is important to do it the right way. We have a standard that we want to hold our players to, our organization to – coaches, players, everybody. We have an expectation, and that is the direction we're going in. It is not just directed at Armonty or anybody. I just think that is the way (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown), myself, Jimmy and Dee (Haslam) see this as we move forward. That is the way we are going to conduct it."

On how QB Cody Kessler progressed from his first game to his second game:

"He did some good things. His poise was better. Obviously, he started the game better this week than he did last week. That is improvement. Cody has made some plays. The touchdown pass to (WR) Terrelle (Pryor Sr.) was a thing of beauty. Some third downs last week that we did not convert as well, he did a great job of converting them, standing in there and throwing the ball. There was clear improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. Now, we have to do it again. That is the challenge. You have to keep getting better each and every week, and we have to keep growing."

On OL Austin Reiter's performance:

"He did an outstanding job. I was extremely happy and pleased with his play. He battled. He gave us an opportunity to run the ball extremely well, did a great job in directing protections and doing those things. It is unfortunate that he got hurt because he was doing some really good things as a young player that we went and found and put on our football team. Hopefully, he can get healthy and get back."

On playing Patriots QB Tom Brady fresh off of his four-game suspension:

"Not fun at all. I know Tom, known Tom for a long time. I was trying to get him to Cal Berkeley a long time ago when I was there so we have a little history. He is a tremendous football player and competitor, and he will be chomping at the bit. He has not had his passion, which is football, other than his family and his life, over the last four weeks so he will come back ready to play. No question about that."

On LB Cam Johnson's contributions after joining the Browns on Saturday:

"Isn't that something special? Wow, the guy walked off the [Cardinals' practice squad], but he has been here, he knows our system. Walked off, met us in D.C. and went out and got two sacks and had two huge plays in the game. Hopefully, what it shows is that we know how to put players in position to have success, and he did. We have been plugging and playing since we started this thing. I want to give my staff a lot of credit because I think they are doing a heck of a job. Maybe not the job that everybody wants or expects, but I think my staff is working tirelessly trying to do anything and everything we can to help our players be the best they can be, and I think our players are giving themselves and trying to give everything they have. It is twofold, but we know we have to keep working at it."

On if he has any interesting stories from trying to recruit Tom Brady:

"Anything interesting? No, he made a decision to stay in Michigan. I was at Cal at the time, and that is kind of close to home for him. We thought we were going to shoe him over there, myself and (former NFL and NCAA head coach) Coach (Steve) Mariucci. He ended up staying up staying at Michigan, and obviously, his story is one of the greatest ever told. What a tremendous competitor and quarterback."

On if QB Robert Griffin III will be re-evaluated this week:

"Yeah, I think we will get a chance to look and see exactly where he is, as well."

On what day Griffin will be re-evaluated:

"I don't have that right off the top of my head."

On if Griffin's re-evaluation is to determine if he needs surgery:

"I don't know that that will just determine if he needs surgery. I think it is more to see exactly where he is and exactly what the diagnosis will be after that. I don't think it is – it could be maybe he needs surgery, but it also could be maybe he just still needs a little bit more rest. I think it will be determined after they really look at it and kind of go from there."

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