Hue Jackson press conference - 11/17


Opening statement:**

"[Practice] was good. Guys worked hard again today and the energy is good. The energy is really good. These guys, I can't say enough about them. We will keep pushing and keep getting better."

On how bad weather can affect a coaching staff's gameplan:

"It can. The elements are a part of the game. I don't know what it is going to be like Sunday. I know they are calling for snow so we will adjust accordingly. It would be different for our players. I wish there was a little snow before the game just so I can see how guys handle that, talking about skill guys, quarterback and that thing. I am sure we will do well. We will handle it well, but we won't try to focus on it too much but understand that it is going to be part of the game."

On how valuable it will be to see QB Cody Kessler play in inclement weather in terms of evaluating him more:

"Very because that is the division we play in and those are the elements that we deal with and we face in this division. All of those things you want to expose him to as much as you can so that you can see so you can have an idea of what that is going to look like."

On if Kessler has played in cold, inclement weather before:

"I don't think he has played in a lot living in Southern California. I know they go to (University of) Colorado (Boulder). I think they went there and there was a possibility of snow there, but I don't think he has had to deal with it too much. In my time coaching at USC (Southern California), I never had to deal with it too much so I would think he had not either."

On if there is any way to simulate cold, inclement weather:

"I wish (laughter). I wish there was. If you have an idea, let me know. I will have somebody drop some snow down, the good man upstairs try to help us out.

On if anybody at practice was pouring water on the footballs to get the players used to a wet ball:

"No, we are done with the water bottles right now (laughter)"

On concern of a mixed message reaching the locker room giving the cultural message of expecting to win, given Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown's statement that the current focus is not solely on wins and losses now:

"I wouldn't think that Sashi meant it that way, just me knowing him. I think what he was saying to you guys is probably looking at things from a different space from where he is. Sashi is as competitive as anybody I know, and we are all trying to win. I don't know any other way to do this, me personally. With the team, that is all we ever talk about. I don't care what the situation is here as far as what anyone thinks about talent, these things, the elements or any of it. I am always trying to win. I just don't know any other way to do it. I don't want our players to know any other way to do it. Now where Sashi sits, he looks at probably from a different lens, but I know him very well and know that he is as competitive as anybody. I know this is honestly killing him and all of us, but at the same time, we understand what we are trying to do, where we are trying to go, but I don't want anyone to have the message that we don't want to win or that we are not working to win or that we are not trying to win because that is not the case at all. I would feel really disappointed if anybody felt that way – players, anybody – because this business is too hard not to go out there to try to do that each and every week."

On if DL/LB Emmanuel Ogbah has settled in nicely at DE and if he will stay at that position:

"Oh yeah, he is. He is growing. He is learning that every week is a different challenge. You face different offensive linemen week in and week out and is learning how to keep preparing for those guys and how to defeat those guys. He has done a good job since he has been there. He has come alive a little bit, not that he was not before, but I think you see the naturalness in his ability to rush and different abilities to play the run and do those things a little bit more there at that position. I feel very comfortable that that is where he is and where he will be. If he grows into something else as we go, great, but right now, I feel very good about him playing that spot."

On why the Browns decided to have Ogbah return to DE as opposed to OLB:

"That is the key to coaching. You keep watching and keep looking and you try to put players in the best position to have success. A lot of people get drafted and do a lot of different things, but it is our job as coaches to keep determining where guys best fit for them and where they can have success. He came on and had those three sacks and some hits, and it is unfortunate the call he got last week. I thought that was a tough call on him. He is playing well. He is getting better, and I think he has to continue to improve."

On the nature of his conversations with Brown:

"How to get this organization better. How every day to find a way to attain our goals and dreams and aspirations, which is to be a collaborative group and then sustain winning. It is something you have to talk about very often because if you don't, it can allude you. I can't tell you how many countless hours of conversation that me and Sashi have about what we truly believe it takes to win and what the vision is here. We started and it was just like you are saying, I have gotten to know him. You didn't know him. I have gotten to know him over time, just like I have gotten to know everybody here, and sometimes that takes time, but I can tell everyone that me and him are joined at the hip. We have one vision, and it is to make this organization the best and one of the best in football. It is unfortunate that it is not happening at the rate that everybody wants or wished, and I am on the top of that pole. I will be the first to tell you, I love to win. I do not like losing. Never have, never will, and I am struggling with it now. I will be the first to tell you that, but I can tell you without question that he is committed, understands and is all in to doing one thing, and that is helping this organization get back to where it rightfully belongs for a long time, not just for a flash in the pan, not just for a year, but for time, for sustainable time of winning football games and winning championships. That is what we want to be about."

On if he and Brown also have in-depth conversations about specific players:

"Oh yeah, have to. We have to. We are always talking about – you are talking about guys on our team? Is that what you are referring to? Yeah, we are always talking about players on our team because we have to. That is what this is about. It is about finding the best men that are going to help represent our football team in the vision that we have for Cleveland Brown football players – how they play, how they conduct themselves and how they go about their business. There is no question, we are in unison on all of that."

On Brown's law background and some people not understanding how he could have the expertise to have in-depth conversations about specific players:

"And I respect that, but I think he leans on me a lot when it comes to a lot of those things. Again, we are getting to know each other, and I have a lot of faith and trust in Sashi. I respect what you are saying, that he is a lawyer, but I also respect that you start some place and you work at it. His work ethic is second to none, and he spends the time and he is willing to listen and work through different things. That is what this is all about. I feel very comfortable about what we are going to do in the future. I know sitting here today we are being judged, and that is OK and I get it. At the same time, you have to start some place and this is our starting point. I am asking everybody to give us a chance and see what it will look like as we continue to move forward, and I think that is all any of us can do."

On if this year will be worth it when the Browns' long-term plan eventually works out:

"Heck yes. For what we are trying to do, which is be division champs and hoist the Super Bowl trophy, I promise you I will look back at this year and I will probably laugh about it at some point. Right now, I can't. I can't stomach it, but I will because I truly believe in what we are trying to accomplish and what we are trying to do. I will be the first to tell you, there are times when I wake up and I go, 'Wow, what am I doing?' But it is conversations with Sashi, it is conversations with Jimmy (Haslam), it is conversations with (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta) and (Vice President of Player Personnel) Andrew Berry that make me realize and see that we are doing this the right way. It is hard and it is hard when you are in it – there is no question about that – but I truly believe it is the right thing to do."

On if it is even tougher for him since he is good friends with Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis and Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, as well as being well familiar with Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin:

"Yeah, it is. You said it, and it is not just those guys, it is your peers. I like to be competitive and beat everybody, too. I don't like to lose at anything, and I am competing against men who I rub elbows with. I like to be one up, not two down so I have had to deal with that. That is hard because normally, I am on the other side of the ledger and trying to beat up on them. Like I said, right now, they better enjoy it now because it is not going to be like this very long. I promise you that."

On what compelled him to say 'we are being too harsh' on Kessler:

"Alright, I am not going to go there. I can't (vice president of communications) Peter (John-Baptiste). I will not do that. I don't think that – and maybe I said it the wrong way. I don't want you guys to think… I am going to coach Cody. I probably came across the wrong way. I didn't mean that I was being too harsh. That is why I never said 'I' so you guys go back and look, I said we. I am talking about you, OK? Not I. I am going to coach Cody, I am going to coach all of our players. I have an expectation of how they play, and so I am not going to – I think we are being a little harsh because we are talking about arm strength, we are talking about this, we are talking about that. I just think let's let the guy play and let's see what it will be when it's all said and done. He is a young player. He is a rookie. He is in a tough division, played against some of the best defenses in football. He has, and he has went out there and competed. Everything is not going to go perfect for him, and it just does not, but I think sometimes when you pull a rookie quarterback everybody goes, 'Oh my gosh, what is this?' That happens. This is the National Football League. My job is what we just talked about is to win football games. It is not anything else. It is not a popularity contest. This is I am trying to win every chance I walk out there. If I think there is something I need to do to help our football team win, then that is what I am going to do. I don't care what position it is. I just think sometimes when that happened, it turned into this big old to do, like 'Oh, maybe you should not make…' I would challenge anybody to come in all these meetings and go out to practice and be involved in practice to understand what we are trying to do. Sometimes, it just doesn't go right. That is my job. Sometimes quarterbacks get beat up the most, and they should – they are the leader of it all – but I think he is a young player and I think he is trying his hardest and I think he is working extremely hard at it, and I want him to have success. It is my goal. It is my job. At the same time, when it does not happen, it is also my job to make sure I do something different and that should be OK, especially in this situation."

On being confident in the future and if a lot of that is dependent on finding a franchise QB:

"Absolutely, I don't disagree with that, and I think we will do that. I would hope to tell you guys that is why I am here. I came here with that thought in mind that we are going to solve this quarterback issue that has been here. Is the guy on our roster now? We are going to find that out. Is the guy somewhere else? We are going to find that out, too. That is the beautiful part of it, of trying to solve that and I think we will. Until we solve that, I am sure like many of you guys feel, we will not be what we want to be. I feel very comfortable and confident that we will get that part of it solved and then we will move on from there."

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