Hue Jackson press conference - 11/29

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"It has been a great day. We had a special guest today. Anybody know who 'Big Shot' is?"

Response: "Former NBA PG and SG Chauncey Billups"

"There you go, yes. Big Shot is here. He came and had the opportunity to speak to our team, which I thought he was outstanding. Boy, what a message, just hearing his story and what he has been through in his career. Seventeen years playing in the National Basketball Association, wow, that is kind of amazing.

"We had a good practice, a good spirited practice, real quick one. We got a lot done, a lot accomplished, and now the guys will get out of here. As I said yesterday, the message is we need to get everybody back here and be safe. I am not going to put up with any foolishness when guys leave here. We need all these guys coming back. Represent yourself and this organization the right way and get back here. We have a big practice on Monday. We need everybody back. This is a time for them to get away from football a little bit. It has been a tough season up to this point, I think we all know that, but they do deserve some downtime as we as coaches continue to go through our self-scout and find out where we can get this football team better."

On reports that QB Robert Griffin III has been fully cleared by medical staff:

"That happened late last night. That is true. As I told you guys yesterday, we were working through that process. That did happen late last night. Robert is cleared, and he is ready to go, and I will make a decision about which way we are going as we go through the week. Just because he is cleared does not mean we are just going to walk back out there and play. There is still practice and there are still things we need to do and see before I decide to stick him back out there."

On how much time Griffin may realistically need to get ready to play in a game again:

"It could be a week's practice time. He has been doing football. We all know that. It was just this was the other piece of it to make sure physically that the contact part would be OK, and now, we found that out so that is good. That is a good thing."

On what Griffin needs to show the team:

"Practice. Just practice, getting back in rhythm, playing quarterback in our system. As I said before, he had not taken a lot of reps with the offense because we have had to get the quarterback who is playing in the game ready. I think you guys know, it is not like training camp. You prepare for a team. We just have to see how that is and get a feel for exactly where he is and then we will kind of go from there."

On if Griffin would be assessed for next season if he were to play in the Browns final four games:

"I am always looking to see who is going to be on the team as we move forward every game we play. We are still evaluating our team, too, as we go through it at this point where we are. So yeah, we are looking. If he plays quarterback, yeah, we are evaluating him to see if he can be the quarterback. No different than (QB) Cody (Kessler), (QB) Josh (McCown) or (QB) Kevin (Hogan). All those guys, if they play, they are being evaluated."

On if Griffin's injury history factors into the decision of when he will play:

"Oh, no question. Yeah, all that. You have to throw everything in the pot and then make a decision, but the guy has played, what? Amounts to four quarters, not even a whole four quarters for this football team in a regular season game. If we put him back out there, there will be a chance for him to go back out there and play, and if we don't, we don't."

On if it is fair to call it a QB competition for the Browns:

"No, no not at all. It is not a competition. Absolutely, if we put him out there it is because we want to – it is no different than any other player that we put out there – we want to see what they can do for our organization, for our football team so we get an honest evaluation on a player. That is what it would be."

On if Griffin returning to the play would allow him to operate the Browns offense in the manner he wants, given Griffin's preparation during the offseason and preseason:

"It might, but at the same time, we are trying to defeat the other team. Right now with the players we have and the systems we have had in place, we have gotten further along in the year of playing the way we have played. I have to play to the unit. We will always play to the quarterback, but we have to play to the unit's strengths and what they can and can't do. I am not saying we are too far along to where we can't go there. We will always try to find ways to move the football, but we have to be kind of who we are right now as we move forward."

On if the Browns' offensive struggles are not entirely related to the QB but rather dependent on a lot of other factors that need to be fixed:

"No, I think obviously we all know it starts at quarterback. You have to have a guy that is playing consistently week in and week out at a high level to give yourself a chance. Then it is all those other pieces. It all starts with the quarterback, and then obviously the offensive line, we have to have consistency there. Then you want to identify a runner that is consistent, that can play and receivers and all that, but it does start with the quarterback."

On if Griffin's injury has affected his throwing:

"No. Not at all. No, he can still throw the ball."

On if Griffin's velocity and accuracy was impacted by the injury:

"That is not an issue. He can throw the ball."

On the timing being ideal for Griffin to be cleared with the bye week approaching:

"This one worked out right in that sense. I wish we had one earlier, but this is the one we have so it does work out in our favor in that situation. That part is good."

On if the Browns will reconfigure the OL during the bye or if that will happen on the practice field when players return:

"Obviously, it has to happen on the practice field, but also the thought process to it happens now because you have to get a unit playing. Like you said, we have a game coming up so we need that unit to work together so they have an opportunity to play together."

On QB Josh McCown missing practice today:

"Just sore. I want to take care of Josh. Josh has done a good job. You get beat up a little bit around there. He is doing good. I hope he has a good break with his family."

On how long TE Randall Telfer will be out of practice:

"I think Telfer will be back practicing on Monday. I do not sense that there is anything major there."

On the circumstances of Billups speaking with the Browns today and his message to the team:

"The circumstances was it is – it is not 'Rookie Success,' it is really the…

Vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste: Bye Week Educational.

"There you go, educational training. His message was basically he was really taking our guys back through his career and the ups and downs and how to stick to it and how to work, how to grow, how to learn in this process. Even when things are not going great, how to still find some good in it all because there is good in this.

On if the NFL provides a speaker for every team during their respective bye week:

"I do not know that, but I know in the past I think that is true."

On if Billups spoke about the time Cavaliers SF LeBron James scored about 30 points in a row on the Detroit Pistons:

"(Laughter) No, he did not mention that. No, he did not talk about that. He did not talk about that. That was really good for our guys. I thought his message was well received and the way he gave the message I thought was outstanding because I think anytime you can have someone come in and be very honest and upfront with guys and can connect with them because he gets it, then I think that is a win for everybody."

On examples of how the Browns' culture has changed, given Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown's comments that it has changed:

"The ultimate change of the culture will be wins and losses. The other thing that I am most proud of is how the guy work. They come to work every day. They understand our process. Our guys work extremely hard in the classroom and on the practice field. That is all I know. When people say that the culture has changed, I am glad to know that. I don't know try to compare it to what has gone on here in the past. I just know that is how we are going to do it, and we need to even do that better. The way we interact with each other, the way we are throughout this whole building, hopefully, I think maybe that is what Sashi is talking about. Those things are outstanding. Those things are extremely good. That is beneficial as we move forward. At the same time, the culture that I want to get changed as fast as I can is really the wins and losses.

On if receiving unwavering support from Browns leadership has made it easier on him and helped eliminate potential distraction:

"I am not distracted by what my fate will be because I never would have taken this job if I thought it was going to be anything other than me being here and seeing this through. That part has never been an issue for me. Being 0-12 is hard on anybody. That is hard, period. I don't like to lose – I have said that before – and I don't like being in this situation, but I know we are going to fix it. How we are going to fix it is together. We have to do it brick by brick and step by step. I know we are in the midst of doing that. Like I said, we have great discussions and I know we will act on the things we need to do to get this place where we all want it to be and we know it needs to be."

On how to dismiss past Browns head coaches who were let go after one and two seasons:

"I have trust in the people who hired me. Those questions have been asked. I wouldn't be standing here. You have to ask those hard questions. I feel very comfortable that they are committed to what we are trying to do. They haven't been anything but committed that way. Continuity is a huge piece of this. They told me that from the outset and I knew it. Now, did I know we were going to be where we are today? No, I didn't and I don't think anybody did, but this is where we are and this is our reality. There is no getting around that. This is not where any of us want to be so we just have to fix it."

On if he asked some blunt questions during the interview process:

"Absolutely. You have to. I know the history here. Trust me, I don't need you guys to tell me. I know it extremely well. I get it. I do not like our organization being the brunt of jokes and what has gone on here, but if this is what we have to go through to get to where we want to be then so be it. I am not going to tell you it is not hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in football in my career. I have never seen this. I have never imagined this. I never could have said it would be like this, but if this is what it is to get where we want to go then so be it. It is worth it."

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