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Hue Jackson press conference - 11/23

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Opening statement:**

"First of all, I want to say happy Thanksgiving to everybody here.

"It is another opportunity for us to get back on the field and work. These guys, as I have always said, come back and they come back prepared and ready to go and the mindset is right. We know we have a big game this weekend against the New York Football Giants. They are playing good football – 7-3. It is another tremendous opportunity for us to get some things right. Our guys are working extremely hard in the classroom and also on the field, really good energy and we are really thankful for the opportunity. Obviously, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we will practice, but we are very thankful for the opportunity to even do what we do and have the opportunity to represent this organization and go out and play a game that we all love this Sunday. What we are looking for is to improve as a football team, and we are working extremely hard to do that. We know there are some things that we need to do better to give ourselves the best opportunity to win. That is what we are working at. The focus of our team has been really good. Today was a good practice so we have to go put another one together tomorrow. Obviously, it will be a little different because there is always a distraction of family and friends, and that is something that I have talked to the team about. Let's come in tomorrow with the right mindset. We will let them out a little earlier after we have a good practice and then let them go on their way to spend time with their families. This group, they have been outstanding. I am very proud of them."

On QB Robert Griffin III returning to practice and how he performed:

"He did. He practiced and moved around. We will see today how he feels after practice. That is important because that is probably the first time he has done that much work. He was out there moving around. He looked like Robert. We still have some work to do. Obviously, he is not cleared medically for contact so this is the first stages of this. We still have some hurdles to jump, but we will get through them."

On Giants QB Eli Manning's 193 consecutive starts:

"He is very durable, very accountable. He is out there all the time. That is what gives you a chance to be 7-3 and where he is. He has done a good job. This is a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He knows how to play and knows how to lead his team. They have won a lot of close games this year, and a quarterback has a lot to do with that."

On if Griffin has not had the medical test he needs to be fully cleared for contact:

"No he has not. No."

On if Griffin could potentially play this week:

"No, I do not think we will have him here this week."

On if he wants Griffin to play again this season, assuming he gets cleared:

"(QB) Josh (McCown) is our quarterback right now. We will cross that bridge once I know he is totally healthy. To talk about that now is a little premature."

On Griffin remaining and engaged member of the team despite his injury:

"He has done a good job that way. I think he wants it badly, to be out there with his teammates. He wants to do the work and be a part of it and help us get to where we want to go. I have a great respect for that. He has been part of the grind the whole time. It is a good showing by him to show that he wants to be out there. Obviously, he could have kind of fallen off totally, but he didn't. That is a plus for him."

On who will be the backup QB on Sunday:

"It will probably be (QB) Kevin (Hogan) more so than anybody. Kevin has obviously played and played in games for us. He has been here, knows our system and knows what we are trying to accomplish. He has done a good job when he has played. Kevin will get the chance to be the backup this week."

On Griffin being excited to return to practice:

"He loves football. I have always known that about Robert. He really likes football. He likes everything that comes with preparing and getting ready for a game. I am not surprised by him being excited. When it is something you love to do, you want to be out there doing it. I think that is what you saw." 

On if DBs Derrick Kindred and Ed Reynolds II will remain the starters, given they played every defensive snap last week:

"Yeah, if they can. We are always looking for guys to take something over because if they can, then you have the chance to play a little bit better instead of interchanging guys. (Defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton) has done a good job of, again if guys are not getting it done, let's try somebody else, and at some point in time, what we are hoping is it would settle itself out. That is what it is kind of starting to do."

On Griffin stating that he felt he played better than before during Week 1:

"That was the first regular season game he played in a while. To think way back then, there were some good things. There were some things that he could improve on. Again, that was so long ago. Obviously, there are a lot of areas he needs to make up on over the next five weeks as he continues to get ready. First, in order to do all this, we have to get him through the medical part. Let's see if he can totally be out there and see what he is capable of doing that way in practice and those things before we make those kinds of choices and decisions." 

On if Griffin still has potential to be the Browns' long-term QB:

"Well we will see. It is still too early to talk about those things. I think everybody that is here has an opportunity. We will kind of go at it that way and see how that all shakes out."

On if RB Duke Johnson Jr. will become more involved in the offense, given his rushing and receiving averages:

"He is very consistent. I want to get all of our skilled players more involved. We have to play better, we have to coach better and play better on that side of the ball, you know. We have had some tremendous challenges over the last several weeks, and I think we understand that we have not played as well as I think we can. Defenses have something to do with that and we have something to do with that so, but Duke has been a performer for us as has (WR) Terrelle (Pryor Sr.), (WR) Corey (Coleman), (TE) Gary (Barnidge) and all of these guys. We would like to get our offense going and get them playing for four quarters. We have not done that in a while. We just have to keep getting better."

On WR Corey Coleman's toughness and his drops against the Steelers:

"It is unfortunate. Some of those things will happen from time to time, talking about the drops. He made a couple of tremendous plays. He went up and made a ball on the ball that I don't think a lot of people could make. He made it. Then the hit that he took to catch the ball across the middle, that is how you display toughness. There are a lot of people that will not get that ball, and he did. He is a competitive guy and likes playing. He wants to help contribute to his offense, to the team and to everybody. I like Corey. Corey has a bright future here."

On if it helps Coleman to play against Steelers WR Antonio Brown and Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr:

"Oh yeah, I think you get to. If you guys know Corey, he thinks he is the best player in football right now (laughter). It is because he gets to see how those guys preform. You are talking about some of the best receivers in the game right now. He gets to measure where he is to where he needs to be. That is a huge jump. I don't try to compare him. I think Corey is Corey, but do I think he has some of those characteristics that those guys have? Yes, I do, and I think he just has to keep getting better and his unit has to play better. Our whole unit has to play better to give him a chance to showcase his talent and ability."

On if the Browns gave up on the run too quickly against the Steelers:

"You can feel a lot of different ways. I have had thoughts of giving up too soon, did not give up soon enough. I have had all kinds of thoughts. We are not running the ball – I said that to the unit today – as well as I think we can. Now, I don't know that it is a surrender, but we have to do it better, I know that. It is something that I have always kind of hung my hat on. We are just not doing it as well as I think we can, and we have to get better at it."

On identifying the Browns' problem in the running game:

"Me. I keep telling you guys, I take responsibility for it. This is my offense and it starts with me. I take it all. It is all good."

On if OL Jonathon Cooper is not good enough to play, given he has been inactive:

"I would not say that. We have a young guy in (OL) Spencer Drango so he is going to be our future, and we are trying to see as much of him as we can and we have done that. Not that Jon has shown me anything that he can't do it. It is just that as we move forward, I think we know these young guys have a good shot at it to see if they can. We have five games left. Not saying he will be out there or he will not, we just never know how that is going to unfold."

On Reynolds playing a significant number of snaps and the media not previously asking many questions about him:

"That is good you are not bringing him up a lot (laughter). That means he is doing OK. He is smart. He understands how to play the position, how to get people aligned. He has been very vocal back there, and that is what has been needed. It has been a calming situation happening back there because he does a good job communicating with his other teammates. He has a chance to get people on the same page, doing the right things so that maybe we do not have the issues that way from a communication stand point. He has done a good job, and he has to keep getting better."

On if Giants CB Landon Collins stands out on film:

"Yes, he does. He is a good player. From the jump, he has made from Year 1 to Year 2 is eye opening. He is making a lot of plays for their football team."

On hoping to see production from the young WRs over the next five weeks:

"Yeah, I think we will. I think they will. The games, I am just being very honest, have been disappointing. We have not been able to stay out there. We have had a lot of third-and-longs and have not averaged a lot of plays over the last several games. In order to do that, we need to play better. The better the offense plays, the more guys will play, the more guys will have opportunities. We just have to do that as a unit to get better."
On what makes the Giants defensive line so good and what he will do to fix the Browns' protection:

"This is a week-to-week business you know. It does not mean that just because we had eight [sacks] last week does it mean we are supposed to have eight this week. We are playing a tremendous front. I think we all know that. No. 90 (Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul) is scary. He is good. He is a really good player and so is (Giants DE) Vernon (Olivier). They have good players. At the same time, I have said this before, we play good players every week, and every week we have not given up eight sacks. Can we fix the things that hurt us last week? That is that we are doing this week in practice and that is my expectation that we will do. Our guys will go and play their tails off, and our goal is to not let our quarterback get hit. It is a unit issue. It is not just one person. It is everybody. Everybody has to do their job and do it to the best of their ability to give us an opportunity."

On if Jimmy Haslam 'put on the full court press and did not let him leave' to accept the Browns job when he was about to interview for the Giants head coach position:

"No, he didn't. He didn't. I am being very honest. I just thought that this was the best place for me to be. I have been in this division. I know what it takes to win in this division. I feel very comfortable with the people here and made a decision that this where I wanted to be, and this is where I wanted to be. That has not changed. Even with the situation we are in right now, this is where I want to be. I want to fix this team, this organization more than anything I have ever wanted to do, and I will do that with the help of the rest of the people here in this organization. There is no question in my mind. I do not like being 0-11 just like nobody else would, but there is a reason why I am here. I am not running from it and I understand everything we are dealing with and we are going to get this right."

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