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Hue Jackson press conference - 11/14


Opening statement:**

"How is everybody? It was good to get away for a few days, not just for our staff but for our players, too, and to come back out and get back to work. These guys, they continue to amaze me. They keep coming back and getting ready. We have a big game at home this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have work to do to get ready for it. Today is Monday, a little different schedule because I gave them some time off. I thought we needed to get back out there and run around a little bit, knock the cobwebs out a little bit, and now, we will be back to our normal schedule as we move forward."

On why QB Josh McCown was not at practice:

"Excused absence. As a matter of fact, I think him and Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) were together. I excused them."

On QB Robert Griffin III's status and if he will return to play:

"He is getting closer. Until I can get him out there will I make a plan for him and know exactly what we want to do. Today would be premature to make that decision. Once he can get back out there and start practicing and then I think there is a window of time in there before we have to do anything. Once we can get him out there, we will go further and know more."

On what the window of time is to make decision on if Griffin could return:

"I think you have 21 days after he comes out there and starts working to see what you do."

On if he feels reassured after Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown stated today that Jackson would be the Browns' coach next year:

"I never thought I was going anywhere (laughter). I know that has been part plan from Day 1, before I took the job. I feel very comfortable. I know there has been a lot of mudslinging going around, but I get it. That is part of it. When you have the record we do, I expect things to be said. We are comfortable and know exactly what we are trying to do. It is a tremendous plan. We all support it. It is not where we wanted to be – I will be the first to tell you guys that – but I know we do have a plan in place, and we feel very strongly that we are going to get things headed in the right direction as soon as we can."

On if there has been a lot of mudslinging by the public:

"Not a lot. I probably should not have used that word. I know you guys were going to come back at me, somehow, some way. No, but it has been enough. To me, when you do not play as well as you like and you are in these situations, you open yourself up to a lot of criticism. I get it. I think we all do. Some of it is deserving when you are not winning. It is tough. At the same time, we knew it could be tough. We are going through it and it is part of the plan – not the losing – but it is part of where we want to go. Sometimes I think you take a step back to take a couple steps forward. We are headed in the right direction. I feel very comfortable with what we are doing. As I said this past week, Dee and Jimmy (Haslam) have been outstanding, and I meant that. They are unflinching in what we are trying to accomplish. That being said, I am sure it is hard for everybody to go through it, but we are going through it and we will come out of the other side of it."

On if his decision to bench QB Cody Kessler in favor of QB Josh McCown created any tension within the Browns organization, given a media report:

"I do have a tension headache (laughter). My head hurts (laughter). I don't know where any of that comes from. I have never felt that, heard that, any of that. Like I said, my head does hurt from time to time when we lose, and that is about it. The things we do here, I am the head coach of the football team and I will make decisions sometimes based on what I think is right. Sometimes, that is just part of it, but I have not heard that, felt that or seen that from anybody in our organization. They have been outstanding in their support of me and what we are trying to accomplish here."

On if he will have to 'shield the team from mudslinging' if the Browns don't play well:

"This team is really unique that way. We understand that things can be said and will be said, and like I said earlier, rightfully so. We are not here to have the record we have. We are all disappointed and probably to a person a little embarrassed by it. Don't like it, but I think we all understand the only people that can change our circumstances are the guys in that room. We have to find a way to do that. We have six more opportunities to do it. I think the guys walked in the room today and that is what we are focused on and that is what we are going to try to accomplish. I think they are more determined than ever to do that. We know those six games are tough games, too. There are no games in there that probably people will even give us a chance, but at the same time, the guys in the room will determine that and we will keep working at it."

On OL Cameron Erving and if he has had any thoughts about his play at C:

"Yeah, I have had some thoughts about it. Cam, I thought the other night he battled hard. He strained and did some good things, and there are some things he needs to continue to work at and clean up. As we move through the next six weeks, I would love to have some continuity up front and leave him there and give him a chance to keep demonstrating that he can do it. I think Cam understands there are some things that he has to continue to work at, as does everybody on our offensive line. There is another level to pick up on everywhere, but continuity there as well as everywhere on our offense is going to be the key as we go down the stretch here."

On if Kessler has been receptive to the coaching staff wanting more out of him:

"He has been outstanding. He hasn't blinked. Obviously, the other day, sometimes those things are wakeup calls for people. I am not saying that that is what it did to him, but I think it motivated him more. I don't think anybody likes being taken out of the game, but at the same time, some guys can understand why. I normally don't do it without trying to give guys a reason and have them feel very comfortable. We had a great talk. I think he understands what my expectation is for that position and where I want it to be and where I would like for him to be, and he is going to try to meet that challenge. That is what this is all about. Keep raising the level of play throughout our football team somehow, some way, and that is what we have to do."

On the Browns WR corps appearing frustrated during the Ravens game and if that at all influenced his decision in benching Kessler:

"No. In the Cody decision? No. It had nothing to do with the receivers. It had to do with my knowledge and expertise at what I do and trying to do what I think is right for our team to help our team win. Didn't work as I said the other day. No, but we have to stop all that demonstrative stuff on the side. I don't get to see a lot of that because I am so into so many different things going on, but we don't want to be that kind of group anyway. I love that we have guys that want the ball. There is not a receiver in the National Football League that doesn't think he is open all the time (laughter). I get that and I like that, but at the same time, there is a way of getting your point across."

On DB Tramon Williams Sr. working on the bike in practice today:

"I think he has an ankle right now that we are working through. We will see where he is."

On Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin attempting four 2-point conversions in yesterday's game:

"Mike Tomlin kind of does what he wants, you know? He is a good coach as we all know. He likes to score as many points as he can. Mike is coaching his team so I am not going to comment about that. He does what he thinks is best for them, and we have to do what we think is best for us."

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