Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 11/6

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Let me first start this off, I know (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) addressed you guys earlier today so I am going to leave that at that. I am not going to take any questions about anything that happened here last week. You may try; I am not going to answer, I am going to be very honest with you. What I want to talk about is our football team. We have eight games left to play. Myself and our coaching staff, we came here to win, and we are all accountable to getting that done, trying to win. That is what my focus is and what my staff's focus is – let's go find a way to win a game this week. We are playing Detroit and that is what is the most important thing. I think the bye week was good for our players. They had a chance to get away and really think through the things that we need to do to get better. I think for the coaching staff, it was good to go through everything. We went through everything from A-Z, offensively, defensively and special teams. There are some things we have to do better as a coaching staff. There are some things we have to do better as players. We get it. We know what our record is and we own it, but what we are going to try to do is finish this thing off the right way starting in Detroit next week. Huge game for us. I think our players are excited. They were in the building, very excited about being back and we are looking forward to playing."

On if he felt the need to address the trade discussions for Bengals QB A.J. McCarron with QB DeShone Kizer:

"Again, I really don't want to even get into that. DeShone is fine. DeShone is our starting quarterback. He is well and I don't think there is any issues at all."

On if the team has worked out any Ks:

"That is a good question. I think again, we would like to have our young guy (K Zane Gonzalez) do better. He understands he needs to play better, very inconsistent right now. He has to take the bull by the horns that way and get it done. We have not brought anybody in, if that is what you are saying, to compete with him at this point so he has to go get it done. This is where we are and he has to go be consistent for us."

On WR Josh Gordon stating in a Q&A that he used drugs or alcohol before college and NFL games, as well as that he was harassed by Cleveland fans:

"Well, I haven't talked to Josh. I think Josh gets in later on tonight, first thing in the morning. I will sit down and have a conversation with Josh. Obviously, I think when guys go through what he has been through – I am not privy to that conversation or seen any of that, but obviously, that is what was said, and I think when guys come out of cleansing and those things, things get said. I think they let it all out. I am sure it wasn't something that somebody said, 'Hey Josh, you need to understand this is what is going to go everywhere,' but I will have a conversation with him. I think, again, we are accepting back into our organization. We are going to give him another opportunity. He has done everything right to get himself into the National Football League, and that is where I have to leave it at this point, but we will discuss things that were said."

On the Browns acquiring players with certain characteristics and 'not putting up with nonsense':

"Absolutely, and I won't. That is not going to change, but again, we are talking about something that has gone on in the past. That wasn't during my watch. Hopefully, that part for Josh is behind him and we have to move on. Obviously, those things are said, and we have to address them and we have to move forward from there."

On if the team will not be 'scared off' from welcoming Gordon back, given his comments in the Q&A:

"No because that is the past. That is not during my time with Josh. I think he was letting things out if that is what was said. I think he was cleansing himself of his past, and I get that a little bit, but again, I think he said what he felt he needed to say."

On the report that Gordon did the interview immediately before meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

"Oh, OK. Yeah, again, I cannot answer that right now."

On his impressions of Gordon as a football player:

"A really good player, very physical, very fast, strong, could catch, run every route that we have in our system and can contribute to our football team."

On if Gordon's comments will change the team's mind to give him another chance:

"No, that would not because again, I think that is something that has gone on in the past. I want to see exactly where Josh is. We have talked on the phone, but we have not delved into the past. I think what we all have to do is respect his privacy. Obviously, he put a lot of things out there. I have not seen all of this. Again, that is about the past. If it is about the present, then I think that is a different story for everybody, but I think we have to let him get out what he feels like he needs to get out. I am sure this is part of his rehabilitation, as well, to be able to say certain things that you have done. I think that is kind of good because you have to put it behind you as fast as you can."

On feeling assured Gordon is not trying to 'talk his way out of Berea':

"I don't think he is trying to do that. I do need to feel comfortable that he is not. If he is coming back to play football, I think he knows he needs to play football here. There is no other place that he can do what he needs to do in the National Football League, I am talking about as far as playing. It is right here. Let's see where we are. Let's have this conversation about him a few days from now after he has been here and been in the building and we have had a chance to talk to him and see where he is and go from there."

On if he wants Gordon on the team:

"Do I want him on my team? Right now, he is on our team. Yes, I do because he is a guy that has an opportunity to move forward in his life. Do we want to have all the other things that come with it? I think hopefully that is behind him. We don't – let's just be honest – we don't want those things, but as we move forward, if he can do the things that we do as football team members and conduct himself the right way in the community and handle those things, Josh Gordon is welcome back here."

On handling multiple off-field distractions and trying to win games:

"I'm going to say it again, I came here to win. From the first time you guys met me, I said I came here to win. I came to turn this organization around and make it better. For whatever reason, we all are accountable to that. Not just the coaching staff, the front office, we all are. It is a top-down deal. We have to get that done and we haven't gotten that done. I think that is the most important thing that I'm grappling with that I think we all are. We want to win. Until we do that, that is what it is going to be and I think people are going to keep asking these questions.

On injury updates for the defensive players who missed the London game:

"They practiced today. It was good to have (DB Jabrill) Peppers back out there and (DL Larry) Ogunjobi back out there. I think every guy that missed the game was in a part of practice today so we will see exactly where they are as we go throughout the week, but it was good to have everybody back out there and contributing. We even had (WR) Corey (Coleman) out there running routes today so it was good. It was a good first day to have everybody back."

On a report that the Browns called the Patriots in late October about QB Jimmy Garoppolo:

"I said earlier when I started, I'm just not going to address any of those things at this point."

On if he is comfortable with the relationship between the coaching staff and the front office:

"I'm not going to talk about any of those things. I think Sashi addressed all of that. What I'm going to do, like I said, I am going to focus on coaching this football team and getting this team to win, getting our coaches better, getting our players better and find a way to win football games."

On how Coleman looked in his return to practice:

"He looked fast to me (laughter). He looked fast. He could catch. He can run. Sometimes you forget how talented he is because he hasn't been out there in a while, but it was good to have Corey back out there. Hopefully he will do a little bit more on Wednesday, do a little bit more on Thursday and hopefully, we can get him back out there next week."

On evaluating the team during the bye and where he expects improvement in the second half of the season:

"When you look at our team, when I looked at the bye, offensively, it was the turnovers. It was the turnovers, the penalties and the missed opportunities in the scoring zone that we have to continue to get better. We are going to work at that and continue to identify the things that we do well and not try to do the things that we don't do as well. Defensively, we have done some really good things. We have stopped the run. Obviously, in the scoring zone, we have to do a better job in some areas. (Defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) is really putting emphasis on that for our defense. Hopefully, we can get better there. They have done a great job. We just want to hold people to field goals and not touchdowns. The communication back there from time to time needs to get better. We have worked on that and we are going to continue to work on that. Special teams wise, you saw a big kickoff return last week. We need to continue to make a contribution to our offensive and defensive football team special team wise. I think we can. I think the young guys special teams wise, the core guys are starting to really understand the system and what Coach (special teams coordinator Chris) Tabor wants and you see those guys improving. There are some things we are going to hone in on offensively, defensively and special teams that we are really going to focus on these next eight games and see if we can get to winning around here."

On clarifying if Coleman can return to action next week:

"Yes sir. Hopefully, against Jacksonville."

On if OL Spencer Drango will remain at LT:

"Right now, we have, yes. I think he has earned the right to go back out there and play at left tackle. We have worked (OL) Shon (Coleman) there a little bit. Obviously, we worked (OL Joel) Bitonio there. We have done our due diligence that way, but we know that we have some candidates that if something doesn't go right that we can put over there, but Spencer is definitely going to start over there."

On who will decide if Gordon can ultimately return to and stay in the Browns locker room:

"I think it is conversations that we have with Dee and Jimmy Haslam. This is their football team. I think they are all open ears about what we want to do and what is right for our football team. We want guys who want to be good players, guys who want to contribute and be great teammates and guys who want to do great in the community. I think you guys know me, I'm not for any of that shenanigans stuff. We are not going to have that. I think Josh knows that. I think if Josh is back here, he is going to conform and do the things that we need him to do to be a contributing member of this football team."

On how well he got to know Gordon during his time with the Browns last year:

"Pretty well, I did. We had some individual meetings and spent some time. Again, when he was here with us, he was outstanding. What happened and how that process worked for him, good, but again, I just know this, he ended up being away from us for a period of time, too. I think that is tough for any player when you are going through what you are going through. I think a structured system is good for people in those situations. Hopefully, he will be here and he will do what he needs to do, and we will continue to support him and help get him to where he needs to be."

On how shocked he was when Gordon entered rehab last season:

"Very. I was because that was not the player that I saw and got to know, but those things happen. Again, we are talking about a very serious problem. Those things do exist. We know they exist not just for football teams, they exist throughout the world so it is an issue."

On if he has talked to the Haslams about last week:

"I'm going to say it one more time, I am going to focus on coaching this football team and getting this team better. That is all I can be concerned about right now. We have eight games, and we have a big game this week."

On senior offensive assistant Al Saunders not being at practice:

"He is excused. Very honestly, and you guys know how close I am to Al, his wife's father died so he ended up in Bakersfield for the funeral. That is where he is."

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