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Hue Jackson press conference - 11/4

On who will start at QB on Sunday:

"I knew that was coming. (QB) Cody (Kessler) is going start. Cody Kessler will start at quarterback and that is where we will go, and we will go from there."

On selecting Kessler to start:

"I want to continue to get a chance to look at him with our team and see if he can continue to put together good drives and execute our offense and see if he can help us get to where we need to be."

On if it was tough to tell QB Josh McCown he would be the backup QB on Sunday:

"Absolutely, but I think Josh understands the situation we are in. He has been doing this for 15 years, and I appreciate Josh. I know what Josh means to our football team and to the guys in the locker room. At the same time, as I am evaluating our team as we continue to move forward, there are a lot of things I want to find out and know. The more I can see guys play, the better decisions I can make as we move forward. It is tough because Josh has done some great work for me and for this team and for our offense. I keep talking about the long-term picture for myself and our organization of knowing and seeing and making sure of where we are. That is really important."

On if Kessler's poise is above a standard rookie QB:

"He has some uncanny ability. He has some moxie, some poise and he has demonstrated that. He has done some good things in games, but you have to do it over a number of opportunities to really know that it is truly in there. That is why I need to keep playing him to evaluate this and to know what we see is right and for sure. I will not get to know these things if I do not play him. It is best to let us find out. We understand the situation we are in. The beautiful part about it all is our team does not look at it as if our coaches are not giving ourselves the best chance to win. We feel like he will help us, and then we have a very capable guy in Josh, if something was to happen, that can go in there and play as well. I feel good about where we are right now."

On if Kessler is the quarterback moving forward:

"Obviously I have made the decision today to play him so if you want to look at it like that, then that is good. I do reserve the right that if something is not going the way I want it to put the other guy in the game."

On keys to Sunday's game, given the Cowboys' running game and time of possession:

"You have to make plays. You have to make plays on defense and try to take the ball away from them. We have to be good on third down. We have to get them off the field. You said it, they are one of the better time of possession teams because of their ability to run the ball. We know the run is coming. We have to get it stopped. On third down, we have to do everything we can to force them to have to punt. They have been good at what they have done all year. Hopefully, we can exploit some of that a little bit this weekend."

On facing the Cowboys OL and disrupting the run and pass game:

"What is important is you play fundamentally sound. You have to do your job. Don't get caught trying to someone else's job. You have to do yours to the best of your ability, every play to give ourselves a chance. Just like on offense, me being an offensive coach, every play is designed to make yards or score touchdowns or make plays, every defense is designed to stop the opposing offensive football team. Our guys have done a good job this week, but you have to do it on the field on gameday. I anticipate our guys will go out and play extremely hard."

On if he can acknowledge that the Browns need to learn if Kessler can be the team's long-term QB, particularly with two first-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft:

"I can acknowledge that. I think that is a fair assessment because that is why he is playing because I need to know. I don't want to just say if he does great, that does not mean we are not going to draft a quarterback because I am one of those guys that thinks you have to always have quarterbacks. You have to keep taking shots until you have the guy that you feel is going to do what you need done, but you need to know what is on your team. The more I am around guys, the more I see them in different situations and play under duress and stress and pressure, the more I will know about them. This is an opportunity for Cody to demonstrate that, but more so than that, it is the opportunity to go out with his teammates and help them get a win, more so than anything."

On if the Browns are seeing good progress from the OL:

"Yeah, there are. I will be the first to tell you, just like this situation with Cody, I am going to keep searching for what I think is right for our football team as we move forward. I feel really good about where we are at left tackle. Obviously, he is one of the best players that has played here and played the game. As we move forward everywhere else, I will continue to find what I think is best because it is important for me to know – not that I do not – I am just saying, we have had a lot of injuries that you have mentioned and that has kind of been in a flux. We have had this combination and that combination. It is really important over the next eight weeks to settle on a group and let them play. It would help with the improvement of our offense entirely. Hopefully, we can keep guys healthy where they can be out there every day and practice together because playing line, I do not think people know what goes into that. There is a lot of working together, playing off of each other, playing off of communication and all of those things that go on and that takes time. When you are interchanging people all of the time, those things can get a little discombobulated a little bit. If we can get a group together, that is what I plan to do and just let them play, and we will work everything else out in the end."

On if OL Cameron Erving will be available to play Sunday:

"I still think he is. That will be something that I will determine, too, as we continue to move forward. I have to make sure I take a great look at everything so that we feel comfortable as we go through the years we move forward that we have the right pieces in the right places. Cam is a very important part of our future. He is playing center now, and hopefully, that is where he will stay, but if that is not the right place for him, then we will make that decision, too, because it is important as we move forward that it is very important that we get some things in concrete that this is where guys play and this is how we do it. That is what I think is going to be important."

On if Erving could ultimately move to OT since he also played the position in college:

"He has, but again, if you are saying if he cannot play center that is where we will try him at, there is no question. Right now, he is the center of this football team. There are some things that he has done good and there are some things he needs to improve at, but I am not down on Cam about this season. You just said it, this is his first opportunity at doing this at a high level week in and week out. If he shows that is not him, then we will find someplace else for him to play. Right now, I think what we have asked him to do he has done exactly what I anticipated, and can he improve, yes, and I think he will."

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