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Hue Jackson press conference - 10/31


Opening statement:**

"Obviously, we have reached the halfway point in the season, which to the team I called the second quarter of the season. We are not anywhere close to where we want to be or where we hope to be, but there were times yesterday that I saw a team that looked the way I want our football team to look. Obviously, in the first half, I thought on offense we kind of played the way I kind of like to play, and I think our players enjoyed that part of it to start the game. On defense, I thought we played a tremendous first half. What we have to do is put a full game together – offense, defense and special teams. We haven't been able to do that yet. That is something we are going to continue to work on and work through. Our players came in today like the normally do, very excited about getting into the tape and seeing what we can do better. It is a resilient group that works extremely hard. They understand our process. We cannot undo yesterday. We can just learn from it and grow from it. There are always lessons in losses, and we have had several so there have been a lot of lessons to learn. Hopefully, we keep growing from it. I don't detect anybody falling off or discouraged. We are disappointed to a man, to a coach because we haven't been able to get it done, but we are not discouraged. We are determined to stay after it and keep working at it, and we will continue to do so.

"Obviously, we have some injuries still to deal with. (QB) Cody Kessler, obviously, he is cleared, and we will see more of him this week. He needs to practice now, and we will see how all of that goes. (WR) Corey Coleman is cleared to come out and practice. That is exciting to get him back. Totally looking forward to having Corey back out there. He has been around, running around a little bit in shoulder pads and those things but he is chomping at the bit to get back out there and play with his teammates and I think that will help us on offense. (DB Briean) Boddy-Calhoun, he didn't have a concussion. He was taken out as a precaution, and we will see exactly where he is as we go through the week. (LB) Tank Carder is in the concussion protocol. I wanted to make sure I did not miss out on anybody that way.

"Obviously, we added what I think is a tremendous football to our team today in (LB) Jamie Collins. It is another sign of where I think we are headed. Dee and Jimmy (Haslam), (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown), AB (Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry) and (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta), we are always looking for ways to improve our team, and I think we truly did so here today. I had the opportunity to talk to Jamie on the phone.  It was a great conversation. I think he is going to come here with an open mind and come here and play football. He is kind of a quiet young man who I think the most important thing to him is playing. I think that is what is important to him. I am looking forward to meeting him and spending time with him and getting him acclimated here as soon as we can and getting him to know his teammates and learning our system and what we do. We are working at this thing every day 24/7. It is all I think about because obviously for our fans, for our players, for everybody involved with this organization, as I said when I first came here, we are going to find a way to win. That is what my expectation is, and I am not backing off of that."

On where Collins fits in the Browns defense:

"He is a tremendous pass rusher. He can play linebacker. There are several things he can do. He has a real versatile skillset because he has done both there in New England. We will definitely find ways to plug him in and have him be a contributing member to our defense."

On if this is an eight-game tryout as Collins' contract is set to expire at the end of the season:

"No, I don't think we want to try him out. I think we would love to keep him, obviously, but it has to be mutual. Hopefully, we can move in that direction. I think it is getting him here, having him get to know us and us getting to know him. We know what he is, we know what he brings to the table and I don't think we would have done this if we do not think there is an opportunity to move forward with him."

On if Collins will play at ILB or OLB:

"We will see. Let's get him here. Where his comfort level is what is most important and then we will kind of work around that."

On if QB Cody Kessler will return as starting QB:

"I think it is too early to talk about those things. Obviously, (QB) Josh (McCown) was the starter last week and we have to make sure Cody is ready to go. He is out of the concussion protocol, but he has to practice football. I will worry about that as we kind of move through the week."

On the Browns' missed tackles and how to correct it at this point in the season:

"It is tough. Obviously, I think practicing angles and making sure that everybody is around the ball are probably the most common things you can do because obviously, we are not going to go tackle our own teammates here in practice out of fear of injury. We are not the only team missing tackles, please. Their team missed tackles, too. They are just not missing them when guys are going into the end zone. I am just being very honest. That is what it is. Yeah, we have to get guys on the ground better. There has been a fundamental – that has been a fundamental issue to our season. I know we work at it. We address it each and every week, but we just have to continue to get better at it. We have to find different ways of addressing it to get it better."

On his conversation with Collins and if they discussed leaving a potential Super Bowl contender to a winless team:

"This young man, I think he gets it. What I mean by that is there are decisions sometimes that are out of players' hands, and I think what is most important to him. He is just excited to have that opportunity and we are excited to have him here."

On if the game film allowed him to identify any big changes between the first and second half:

"Make plays. It was not their halftime adjustments, I can assure you that, and it was not our lack of halftime adjustments. It was more the plays were there to be made, and I think our players will be the first to tell you we left a lot out there offensively, and I think there are some things that we did not do as well as we did in the first half defensively. It was not any new scheme or things that we saw or we didn't adjust or any of that. I just think for whatever reason in the second half when it is time, when it is 'go time,' as people say, it is 'money time,' whatever you want to call it, we are not doing it as well as I think we can. That has been kind of our Achilles' heel this year so I have to get it solved. That is my job, along with our staff, is to put our players in better positions. I am not going to run on the field and put a stake in the middle of the field or do something crazy. Like I told our players, we have to figure this out together and just go finish the game. When you get good, when we get good here, we won't be having this discussion. I promise you that."

On how much the Browns' late game struggles can be attributed to youth:

"Could be. I don't know. I don't want to make it about that. They are pro NFL players now, but are they young? Yeah. Some of the plays that are missed are by some of our young guys, but at the same time, they are out there playing. We feel good about them and that is who is out there playing so they have to make those plays when they present themselves."

On some Browns players saying that the Jets halftime adjustments caused the Browns second half struggles:

"No because they didn't do anything different. When I looked at the first half tape, and I watched that very closely, I think you guys caught those guys right after the game, it is very easy to say because I don't think they saw the game either. They just got done playing in it. I think if you go back and see them, and obviously, I did not bring it up. I think they feel differently today after watching the tape. I don't think they did anything any different. The quarterback (Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) got hot – he is a streaky player – and he made plays. On defense for them, there were plays that we had a chance to make that we didn't make. I don't like Josh to shoulder the blame. To me, everything with this football team offensively, defensively and special teams starts with me so this is a top-down thing. I am not trying to micromanage, but I don't want our players to take that all on because everybody plays a role in everything. It takes 11 players to play. We just have to play better everywhere. We are not there yet, and that is OK."

On 'an ideal world' allowing an opportunity to continue to assess QB Cody Kessler:

"I want to take a look at everybody. Everybody who is healthy needs to play. My No. 1 goal is to win football games. This is not a popularity contest to me or this or that. I am trying to win games because that is what my mission is with our players and our coaches: win as many games as we can. I am not trying to see this or that. It gives us an opportunity to – we have done that – but I think at the same time, the No. 1 goal is to try to win."

On when the Browns will name a starting QB for Sunday:

"Sometime this week, obviously. I am not going to make it today. I am not going to make it tomorrow. I don't even talk to you guys tomorrow, right? Yeah, I do, don't I? No I don't. OK, alright. I forgot the schedule there (vice president of communications) Peter (John-Baptiste). I don't think it matters today though. I am being very honest. Why do I have to talk about that today when I am going to talk to you guys at some other point in time during the week? I am not going to tell you the day I am making that decision. I don't know. We are going to go practice and I am going to let Cody practice and Josh is going to practice, and then we will figure it out from there."

On Patriots media claiming that Collins was 'freelancing' and not playing within New England's defensive scheme:

"He can freelance for me then (laughter). The way he freelances is OK with me. What happened there is not what is important for us here. We see a player that is very talented and has a tremendous skillset that fits in with what we do so he is a Cleveland Brown now."

On WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. getting off to a fast start and only being targeted three times in the second half:

"It was not just three targets. You guys are seeing the ball go toward him three times. I think that is what you guys counted. The ball should have went over there quite a few times. It is just it didn't. That is my point. There are things we have to continue to get better at. It is not about him having a fast start. He caught the balls that were thrown to him, and he dropped some that were thrown to him so he has to continue to get better too. It is not just about Terrelle. We have an offensive team. The ball does not just go to one guy. We spread the ball around to a lot of different guys, and he was fortunate to make the plays he made early. He had some chances to make some later, and we didn't' make them. It is that simple."

On if there was an issue with Pryor's route on the first interception:

"No, it just did not work out."

On if Collins will learn enough of Cleveland's defensive to play Sunday:

"Oh, I hope. Yeah, day and night if we have to. Yes sir."

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