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Hue Jackson press conference - 12/14

Opening statement:

"Before I talk about our team in Buffalo, I wanted to take an opportunity to congratulate (Lorain High School Head Football) Coach (Dave) McFarland for being our (2016 Browns High School) Coach of the Year and everything he has done with his high school program. He has grown that program from 20 kids to 130 kids and started off the season 0-2 and went on to win 10 games. We wish some of the magic rubbed off here. What a tremendous job by him and his staff and his players. He is our Coach of the Year, and we are going to honor him by sending him to the Pro Bowl. It was a great opportunity for me to meet him and talk to him a little bit. That is a tremendous accomplishment. I hope he can do that while he is still there, and I am sure he will."

"Now, back to the Bills. Obviously, our guys are excited about playing another game as the season winds down. The one thing we talked about today, as I told our players, we really have six more practices, [three] more Friday walkthroughs and three more games. My message to them was we want to finish strong. We need to get better. There is more in there from players, coaches and everybody. My challenge is to our whole organization. Let's rise to a whole other level, whatever it takes over these three weeks to continue to get better. This is a time of the season where I have been around some teams and heard of teams who do not finish as well.  That is not where we want to be. As I said last time, hopefully, in the future, we will be talking about opportunities to play longer and earn the opportunity to play longer. That is what we want to be. We don't want to talk about the end of it, but at the same time, we need to do the things it takes to put our self in those positions. How you do that is you play good football during the year and you play championship football at the end. There are a lot of areas that we recognize we need to get better at. It is all a mindset and an attitude. That is what we talked a lot about today and that is what we will talk about for the rest of this year.

"We had a good practice. We started outside, and I took a fall and got up and said, 'OK, we are going inside.' That was kind of the way it worked (*laughter). *The players, they did a good job. They handled it. Nobody blinked about being outside in the beginning and I just determined that the field was not in the best shape for our team. We went inside. We would have liked to be outside in the elements as much as we can because that is how we play and that is where we play. They handled the change of the day extremely well. We are off to a good start. We have to finish this week with a strong practice and then go up to Buffalo and play big time Browns football."

On if the Browns do not employ a conventional run game, particularly given changes on the OL:

"I don't think that is who we are right now because of a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it is the teams you are playing, and sometimes it is kind of who you are, your personnel and personality. We are a little bit of everything right now. There is nothing that we have really, truly hung our hat on yet because of the changes. At the same time, I was excited that we were able to do some things in the running game better than what we have. We just have to keep chipping away at it and continue to get better. Hopefully, as you just mentioned, we can just line up and over power people that way and do it the way we want to. We are not there."

On if OL John Greco had surgery this week:

"He did. Everything was perfect and went great. I was able to text with him before he had it. I think he is excited about getting back and getting ready to play."

On if Greco's surgery was for a Lisfranc injury:

"I do not know exactly the term, but it was something that definitely dealt with the foot."

On how QB Robert Griffin III and running a zone read helps the run game:

"You have to account for everyone who potentially could touch the ball, but I don't want all of you to think that it was just zone read. There was more to it than that. There are a lot of different things that we did. I do not want to give away all the secrets. We finally ran the ball for more than 40 yards or whatever it was. When you have a quarterback who is a threat, the defense has to account for him. There is potential that he can carry the ball so maybe people get out of position a little bit. You end up having some creases that maybe you would not have had. We will continue to grow in some areas and get better at it. We still have a long ways to go."

On if Griffin's passing accuracy in practice today was better than Sunday:

"Oh yeah, they did. They looked more accurate last week in practice. I am going to say it again, he hadn't played football. You are playing a live game for the first time in three months or two and a half months, whatever it was. You practice a little bit and then you go play. You are playing against a good defensive football team. Those things happen. He is not the first guy that has ever suffered that. What I do not want to it see happen is to see it this week. There needs to be a jump in performance. I can understand last week. Last week, I tried to temper this whole room that it may not go well because I know that could happen. Now this week, I can't say that. You have a game under your belt. You have practices under your belt. Now, you need to go play well. I expect that everything will be better from that stand point."

On how Griffin's injury impacted the Browns season:

"It impacts everything. When you go into training camp, you start down a road, and you name a quarterback and you play to his strengths. The offense is built to his strengths. After the first week, it changes. Now, somebody else is playing. You have to adjust and adapt. Then after that week, somebody else was playing. Then we had to adjust to them, too, three weeks after that. It just has been the nature of how it has been. I said a long time ago, I don't think we have really truly played our offense yet. We are not even close yet. I don't think we can be or we will be. That is OK. I don't expect anybody to feel sorry for us. That is just the way it goes, but I think now people can see different aspects of what we can potentially do and how we can grow from some things. My job is to make sure, regardless of who is playing, to put an offense out there that can play. There have been a lot of different injuries. That is not an excuse. That is fact. Continuity is a huge thing in the National Football League when you are trying to play consistent football. We do have to continue to get better. We need to fundamentally get better and get better in a lot of different areas, but having a consistent quarterback and playing in a system that you think you are going to play all year is one of the keys to success."

On messages to motivate Griffin to improve this week:

"It is just being consistent and just being consistent in all that you do. It is fundamental football at its best at that position, whether you are handing the ball off to how you drop, where you put your eyes and how you go through your progression. It is not different and you have to do it like that all the time in the face of people coming at you a thousand miles an hour. That is his job. I think it is the toughest job in all of pro sports. I really do. Guys that can do it and do it well, they are very special. That is where he is trying to get to. That takes a lot of work. I think he is willing to do the work, but I think you have to go through a little something before you can get there. Last week, hopefully, that was the start of that. Hopefully, this week, he will be a lot better."

On how back-to-back weeks as a starter will help Griffin:

"When you play in a game for the first time in 11 weeks that in itself is different. Practice is not the game. We don't put on full pads and go after each other. They were going after him. It was real. That is different. The stress and managing that for the first time in a long time is different for anybody, especially at that position. Now, he has been under that trial by fire, per se, and been through it and know what that is like again. He has gotten tackled for the first time in a game. Again, you are coming off an injury from a game tackle that you have to go through that thought process. There are a lot of different firsts that were occurring for him in this last game that I think we all have to recognize and understand. That does not mean you give him a break from it. He is a pro player. He has to get it done. I get it. Here we come to Game 2. Hopefully, those things are behind him. No quarterback is going to tell you that when I walk out there, I have to work through all these different things. They are going out there to play and he is no different than any of the others I have ever coached that way. You want to go out and play well, but at the same time, I wanted this room to understand that those things that happened this past week could happen and they did. I just do not want to see them happen again."

On if the Browns are reluctant to 'give up' on Griffin because of the commitment to him in the offseason and preseason:

"I am not giving up on it. I am going to work through it and see where we are. That is the whole part of him playing so we can evaluate where we are and have a good feel about it when the season is over."

On if the Bills are a good running team because of Bills QB Tyrod Taylor's ability in the zone read:

"You guys love the zone read *(laughter). *I think they are a good run team because they use all of their personnel. You just said it, they use their quarterback, their backs, their receivers and tight ends. A lot of people touch the ball. They are the No. 1 rush team in football. I think they are averaging 156 yards rushing. That is pretty good. Anytime you can use different personnel to throw at the defensive football team, it is tough on any defense. What they do are a lot of different things, and they do them well."

On how the Browns run defense has improved:

"It is getting better, but it is not where we want it to be. They have improved throughout the year from the start to the finish. We are playing blocks better. We are recognizing blocks better. We are getting off blocks better. We are tackling better. We are swarming the football better. There is still another level for us to play at. There is another level for us to get to and to be better than where we have been."

On Bills RB LeSean McCoy:

"He is special. He is special. He is hard to put a hand on. The guy is like lightning in a bottle. He is. He can do things with his legs and with his body that a lot of people cannot do. He is very talented. You might think he is there one minute and he is somewhere else the next. He has that ability. It is special. He is a really good player."

On WR Corey Coleman's comment that he has let a lot of people down this season:

"It makes me know that it is important to him, that he wants to perform better and that he wants to wear the crown of being the go-to guy. I respect that. He is a young player with a lot of football ahead of him. He has to continue to grow and get better, but he is very talented. I think Corey Coleman is going to have a great career here. He just has to keep working at it. All these young guys, they have to keep growing and keep getting better. Pro football is not easy. Sometimes it is not what you think it is when you walk out there. It is rough. It is a hard, grinding business. I think he is recognizing that. That is why I keep saying, there is another level for all of these guys to play and to get better, and we have to continue to push them there."

On some people writing Griffin and his career off after Sunday's game:

"I do not believe that. I would challenge a lot of those people getting under center for the first time in a long time and try to do what he was doing. It is tough. Very few can do this and play this position at this level. There is no question about this. I do not think you write people off if things do not go well right away. I just do not believe in that. It was unfortunate. Again, he is playing for a team who is trying to chase a win so everything is evaluated. At the same time, we have to be very realistic of where people are. If I had not pre-warned you, then I would have been remised to do so. That is why I did it. Now, this week, I can't say that anymore. I think let's go through this week and see where he is and see if he improved or not before we just write him off."

On the season's results and young players growing as comparable to a development structure of minor league baseball to provide a year or two of development:

"I am sorry, but we are playing football. You gave me a baseball question so I can't answer that. We play football. We are not playing baseball. You asked me about baseball and the way baseball is. I do not want to get into that. We play football. I will say to you again, we are not going to be in this situation a year from now. I understand how everybody feels. Do I think it is good? No, I don't think it is good to lose in anything. It is not good to take Ls at all. We are taking them. That is the end of that."

On if he has spoken with WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.'s sideline behavior:

"We have talked. Terrelle understands. We have common ground. I support Terrelle 100 percent, but there are certain things that he knows I want our players to emulate. It is not that. We will move from there and grow from it. Terrelle's passion is one to win. It does not come from a bad place. He is not a belligerent man or anything like that. I just think sometimes that energy gets directed the wrong way and energy needs to stay on the field and do what we need him to do to be successful."

On having that conversation with Pryor more than once:

"I will have it several more times if I need to until we get it right, but there is a line and he knows that we are not going to cross it. We get it and we know where we are and he knows exactly what he needs to do. I feel very comfortable that the more he grows the better he is going to be. He is playing a lot of football in his career in the National Football League. There are a lot of different things that these young men go through as they matriculate into pro football. It is not easy. I am going to keep saying that. This is not easy in a lot of different ways, and they have to grow and understand how to be pros. We have a bunch of young guys teaching young guys how to be pros. That is unfortunate, but we have to do it, and we have to learn from it and we have to get better at it."

On if he has experienced other teams' QBs and DBs target a WR verbally before:

"Trust me, (former Bengals WR) Chad Ocho Cinco, before it was Chad Johnson, every week had somebody chasing him, and they were bigger, meaner and tougher than him. He would always ward them off by being nice to them before the game started, but I am not going to tell Terrelle to be nice before the game starts. In all honesty, I think we just need to play and not get caught up in social media and all those things. The most important thing is that we play football to the best of our ability and let our play do our talking. The bottom line is we have not won a game so we do not have anything to say. There is nothing we can say so we are going to be very quiet and just play ball."

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