Hue Jackson press conference - 12/5

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"How is everybody? I am good – a little cold, a little dark, but a cover of darkness practice, I like it. It was pretty good. We should try it again. The guys, it was good to have everybody back. It was a spirited practice, first time being back out there, guys competing, moving around, running around so that was good. It was good to get everybody back. Everybody is back safely. That is the most important thing I think about as a head coach is when the guys are gone just that they return safely and everybody is OK and there are no late night phone calls or anything like that. There were not any of those. It is good to have everybody back. We have a big game this week, starting preparations today. It was just good to get back on the grass after being gone for a little while."

On if there are any updates on who start at QB on Sunday:

"Not yet. No, it is too soon. I will let you know that. We were out there for an hour so we were just knocking off the rust from being gone. We have to get game preparations this week, and I will know more then."

On what stood out from the Browns' self-scouting during the bye:

"A lot. A lot. We are not where we need to be right now. Offensively, defensively and special teams, we have some work to do in all three phases. Offensively, we are not running the ball as well and not protecting the quarterback, and that is a unit issue. It is not just the line, I will the first to tell you that. That was very apparent to me watching the tape. We have to do some things better that way. Our defense has improved over the last several weeks. They are doing a good job of people are still kind of moving the ball on us but we are forcing people to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. That is improvement. The secondary calmed down more. The ball was not going over our head. We still have to take the quarterback down. We are not doing that, as well. We have to get more turnovers on defense. There were some things that were very glaring on all three sides. Our special teams, (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) has done an admirable job back there returning punts, but there is more to get in that phase. Obviously, we have had some disappointments with some of our kicks. We have some tremendous work to be done, and that is the challenge to our coaches. The coaches did a good job during the time of self-scout and seeing where the issues are, and we are going to set out to correct them over the course of the next four weeks."

On if WR Corey Coleman may return punts this season:

"There is potential that can happen, yes. Corey is very talented. We would love to see him go out there and catch them, but again, he is such a huge part of what we do on offense. I would like to get him back there before the season is out just so he can do it."

On identifying which of those areas it is possible for the Browns to significantly improve during the final four weeks:

"Honestly, it is just play consistently, consistent football down in and down out just as a unit in all three phases. Sometimes, it is this guy here or that guy there and for different reasons. It is part of the game. Our mantra as coaches is we have to play as a unit. One guy makes a huge difference to how the play looks or how an outcome will be or any of that. Everybody has to just do their job better from top to bottom. I am sure that was echoed in every meeting today and that we have to continue to raise the bar a little bit. It does not matter what the situation is. This is pro football so when we walk out there, we have to be our best all the time. Not that I do not think our guys are trying their best, I just think technically, and fundamentally there are some things that we can do a little bit better to have the opportunity to have the outcome better than it has been."

On the Browns sustaining another injury to the OL and making additional changes and 'feeling sorry' about the multiple injuries:

"Do you feel sorry for me? No (*laughter). *No, don't [feel sorry]. That is just part of it. I appreciate you saying that, but at the same time, it has been what the season has been. You can't worry about it. You have to just stick the next guy out there and fight like heck and try to get better. The guys that walk in there, hopefully, they can do the job and they will accept the challenge. I know our guys are going to try their tails off, and that is all that you can ask for."

On DB Derrick Kindred not practicing today:

"He has a foot issue that he is dealing with. We will know more as we go."

On if he took a step back from football during the bye:

"A day and a half (laughter). No, not very much. What I reflected on was the self-scout. It was not very pretty. I have not had one of those kind of self-scouts in a long time. I do not know if maybe ever. There are some things that we need to do better, and we have to do them better fast to kind of have the result that we want. It is very obvious why we are not where we are and we have to continue to strive to get there. My charge was to try to find a way to get us there as fast as we can. I spent a lot of time here by myself with some other guys, some other interns that were up there walking around and a lot of time in my office trying to find a way. I think I found some answers to some things that I needed to find out and I think we can get better. The biggest thing from an offensive stand point that I have been remised in making sure we do better is the turnovers. We have way, way too many turnovers. Obviously, we have gotten our quarterback hit a lot. That is not just the line. Everybody has a role in that. We have to do that better. I have not been a person where the quarterback gets taken down that much. For whatever the reason is, we are dealing with that now. We have to get better. There is no excuse for it. We just have to protect better, and we have to do some things fundamentally better. Then on defense, I see improvement. I see us slowing the run game down a little bit. I see us not having the ball go over our head as much. That was very apparent to me watching the tape as much tape as I watched. Special teams, I watched consistency in some places and some inconsistency in some others. I spent my time trying to figure out how we can put band aids on some things and do some things better. I give a lot of kudos to our staff because they did a lot of the work. I just had to do a lot of the watching so that was tough."

On the number of sacks allowed over the past two games and if that creates any hesitancy to playing QB Robert Griffin III in the final four games, given his previous injury, number of reps and that he might not play as fast:

"All of that goes into it. Until we practice and start truly working toward the gameplan do I have a sense of that. Will all of that go into consideration? Yes, it will. I think everything is open for discussion. We want to protect all of our players as much as we can, and we do not ever want to put a guy in a situation where he is not ready to perform. Hopefully, if it is Robert, he is ready, and if it is Josh, if it is (QB) Cody (Kessler), (QB) Kevin (Hogan), all of them, they will be prepared and ready to play. We will know more about that as we go through the week."

On reports about the Browns holding a meeting about continuity with ownership, executives and staff:

"I am not going to really go into that. I am surprised those kind of things get out, personally, but that is the way of social media and the world I guess right now. I think whatever was said was said, and I am going to leave it at that."

On if the meeting was a positive thing for the Browns:

"Anytime you talk about your vision and what you are trying to do, I think all of those things are positive, but obviously it is in a negative situation right now. We are not doing as well as we would like. We are a 0-12 football team. It is the reality."

On OL Jonathan Cooper and if there is always a hope that he will progress in his opportunity, given where he was selected in the NFL Draft:

"Absolutely. That is what he is here for to get another opportunity and we will see if he will go out there and do what he is capable of doing. That is what this league is about – opportunity, a chance, and when you get one you have to make the most of it. Hopefully, if that is his opportunity this week, he will go out and play well."

On if he has been providing the same amount of support throughout the season to Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals record compared to expectations:

"No, he has a lot of years under his belt so he is on his own with that (laughter). Obviously, we have been there for each other. He is a tremendous football coach, a great friend. Sometimes these years happen. It is unfortunate. I am sure they wanted better, expected better, but there are in the situation they are in, too. Mine is more dire than his so I am more worried about myself than him right now. That is for sure."

On if Lewis was one of the people he mentioned about having to delete texts after noting how many he had received throughout the season:

"Oh no, I will always answer his. I want to give a shout out to my man (Vikings Head Coach) Mike Zimmer. I know he is going through a tough time right now with the retina situation, and we have talked and exchanged text messages and pictures. I hope he is doing good. He is a tremendous football coach, and it is tough whenever you see any of your colleagues go through certain things. Hopefully, he will be up and running again. I heard he is back with his football team. I am sure he is because there is no other place he would rather be than doing that so hopefully he is doing well."

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