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Hue Jackson press conference - 4/19

Opening statement:

"Obviously, it was our first opportunity to be out on the field. It was exciting. I think it was exciting for our staff and for our players, I think for everybody in the organization, because finally I think our players got to see two weeks of being in the weight room and working extremely hard and being in the classroom and paying attention to detail, and then having a chance to go out on the field and test that a little bit. I think the guys are working extremely hard. They're working at it. They're doing exactly what we, as a staff, have ask them to do. I think that part's exciting. Obviously, it's one practice and we have a long way to go, but I truly enjoy the enthusiasm, the camaraderie of the players, their focus in exactly what we're trying to accomplish. I think the coaches have done an outstanding job of trying to prepare them to get ready. Again, for a first practice, it was one of the better practices that I've been around, but we understand that it's one day. As I've said many of times, we're just going to kind of keep putting our head down and grinding at this thing because we have a long way to go and a lot to do. It was fun again to get our players out on the grass and having a chance to evaluate our team in a different setting other than the weight room and the classroom. Truly today is what we really do which is play football."

On his first impression of QB Robert Griffin III:

"I've said from Day One, it's really the same. Robert's very talented. Obviously, he did some good things, but he has a lot of things just like a lot of our players do to clean up. It was one practice, but again it was a good start. It was a good start for all, not just him but for all of the quarterbacks and a lot of guys on our football team today."

On OL Joe Thomas not being at practice:

"Joe Thomas is a new dad. He should be the one to tell you guys all this, but he just had a little boy. He's holding his brand new infant right now. He has every reason to be gone, the right reason to be gone. I wish him and his family the best. What a great experience to be having a young son."

On what his thoughts are about the quarterbacks coming out in the draft and the outlook going into the draft:

"I'll leave that one to (executive vice president of football operations) Sashi (Brown). I'm sure later this week you guys will have a great conversation with him. I feel real good about where we are in our draft process. I feel real good about the guys that are on our football team and the potential to add players to our football team. Obviously, there are some talented players in this draft. We're still in our process and still figuring out our direction, but again, Sashi is a person you can really talk to about that."

On his reaction to the trade between the Rams and the Titans for the first overall pick in the draft:

"Again, those are the things that are going to happen. I don't think I reacted one way or the other because so many things are probably going to happen before the draft. We just kind of stay true to our process and keep evaluating and keep working. Again, our focus is not really about what other teams do, it's about what we do and how we're going to continue to put this team together. Sashi and (vice president of player personnel) Andrew (Berry) and (chief strategy officer) Paul (DePodesta) and our organization have done a great job. We're still in our process and we'll continue to do so until that time comes."

On why signing Griffin doesn't impact what the Browns will do in the draft and if there is anything that Griffin could do to impact the Browns' draft plans:

"No, because this time right now is truly about evaluating the players that are here, and the draft is something separate. I think everybody will be excited once the draft day comes and the players we have the opportunity to put on our football team. I know everybody is talking about Robert, but there's (QB) Josh (McCown) and there's (QB) Austin (Davis) and there's (QB) Connor (Shaw). We have four guys here that we're going to continue to give reps to and evaluate. I don't think it's truly about just one player. As I've said before, I don't want to make this always about Robert. He is a very talented player, and he'll continue to get better each and every day. But like you've said. I don't think that's going to determine what we decide to do in this draft. This draft is going to kind of take care of itself. Like I said, what I'm excited about is when the draft day comes that we'll have an opportunity to add some really good players to our team and continue to get better."

On if he has spent enough time on the quarterback draft prospects or if he feels he needs to set up more visits:

"I feel very good about where we are, about where we are in our process that we've done enough to have an opinion when the time comes to make one. Again, there are good players out there and there are going to be very worthy candidates, but that's still two weeks away. We're getting closer, but we're still a little ways away from having to really nail it all down."

On if the Browns feel better about specific areas or discovered more areas of need through recent offseason workouts, including today's practice:

"I feel better about our guys being on the field, running around and competing a little bit but taking care of each other and practicing. I think those things haven't changed. Again, our football team has one thing on their mind -- trying to improve. My No. 1 job is to improve the players that are here first and then to help assist in the draft the best I can with Sashi and the rest of the group so that we can continue to get better. Collectively, we need to get better everywhere. I just think that is the No. 1 goal. When you look at the record that we have had in the past, there is nothing to sit there and say, 'OK, it's perfect.' We all know that. I think our players understand it, and our coaches do, too, and our organization does, as well. We are trying to get better at every place as we continue to move forward, but first, as coach of this team and getting this team to understand what it takes to win -- I will keep saying it because I tell them all the time -- our No. 1 goal is to win. We are going to do whatever it takes to continue to work to win. I think our guys understand that."

On if the LA Rams take who the Browns want at No. 1 overall following the recent trade:

"Then they do because we can't stop it. At the end of the day, the Rams are going to do what they feel they need to do, and the Browns are going to do what we feel we need to do. Again, there is no exact science, as you guys know, to all of this. It is going to unfold as it is going to unfold. If I know Sashi, he is prepared and ready for anything that can happen over the next couple of weeks up to and through the draft. That is just the way you have to be and that is how you have to play it because we don't get to truly control our own destiny that way. You have to go with it a little bit, understand what is happening and work from there. I am sure we will do that."

On determining who receives reps at QB during voluntary veteran minicamp:

"We have a plan in place. The goal is about evaluating everybody and just seeing. Every quarterback out there took reps. We are going to give them all reps. Again, this is a voluntary minicamp. It is our first chance to see them all. I have been very forthcoming with our players that we are going to give them all an opportunity, and we have done that. I am not so much worried about who goes out there first, who goes out there second. It is too early for that. What is most important is that our guys keep working and doing everything they can and be prepared in practice as well as they can play. This is just another evaluation process for us right now."

On signs that provide confidence OL Cameron Erving can start at C and take over for Falcons and former Browns C Alex Mack:

"It is a little too early. Obviously, Cam has some ability and some characteristics that we love. We are going to continue to coach him and get him better. He has worked his tail off to come back here prepared and willing to accept the challenge. I am sure if you talked to our players, each and every one of them is going to tell you that they are just going to put their head down and work as hard as they can, and they are not going to get worried about what is 'this' and what is 'that' right now. It is way too early to worry about those things, but I think all of our players understand to be a part of this organization and this football team that you've got to compete and you have to become the best that you can become at your position."

On whether the coaching staff or individual players prompted an individual player's offseason efforts toward their weight goals, specifically LB Barkevious Mingo, DL Danny Shelton and Erving:

"Our job is to assist the player and to help him be everything he can be and to help them come up with a plan. At the end, the players have to do the work, and the three guys you mentioned, they have worked extremely hard. There is a long road to go. There is a start and a finish to everything. I think they have gotten off to a good start. They have to continue to grow and get better and continue to work at the things that they are working at. I give all the credit to the players because they have spent the time doing the work. Our job is just to try to create the environment and give them the necessary resources that they need to get better in those areas."

On the differences in the opportunities to select a potential franchise player at No. 2 overall or trade down in this year's draft:

"Again, I'm going to let you direct that question at Sashi because he is the best to answer those questions. Collectively, we have a lot of different thoughts, but we have a very singleness in purpose of how we are trying to go about our process, and that is where we are."

On if the Browns have reached a consensus on which QB to select, if the team determined it wanted to draft a QB at No. 2 overall:

"I think it is still early. The draft is still a little ways away. You guys can appreciate and understand that you do all of the work you can up until and through [the draft], and there are still things that you will find out and know more about as you go. The one thing I really appreciate about our executive staff that way is that we are searching high, low, under, over and everywhere we can to get all of the information we can to make the best decision for our organization. It is not just about hurrying up and doing this or doing that. We are going to work this every angle that we can so that we can do the right thing for our football team and our organization."

On WR Terrelle Pryor in practice today:

"He is big, tall and fast. He did some good things today. He really caught the ball better. He looks a little bit more natural playing receiver than what I would think. He is just learning. You guys are probably going to hear me say this a lot: he understands that he has work to do. He is just putting his head down and working. That is kind of a theme of ours. There is nothing to talk about right now. It is really about work and working hard. He is one of the young men who have really dedicated themselves to really trying to improve himself in an area to give himself the opportunity to be a part of this football team."

On what he is looking for out of the players during this camp:

"Improvement. Keep putting good days together because that's what it's truly all about. You have to get better every time you walk in the classroom, every time you walk in the weight room and every time you walk out on the field. It's about getting better. That's what we are looking for. You had a starting point in the weight room and we think we've gotten better. We had a starting point in the class room and we think we've gotten better. We had one practice today and hopefully we can stack another good one on top of that. That's all we can do right now."

On what is different about this draft:

"For me? The approach is because I think we really spend the time dissecting it all. Normally there is an executive area and they make all of the decisions. You don't know. You come at the last second and they say, 'This is how it is,' and you go with it. I think what's different is that we've done a great job of collaborating and talking it out. We've spent a lot of weekends here, a lot of time together and that's the fun part of it. There are some great questions and things that come up and Sashi has done a tremendous job of taking input and listening. Part of being really good at what you do whether it's the head coach or any leadership role is being able to listen. The thing I love about him is there is no ego involved. It's all about what's best for our organization and or football team. That's where everybody is right now. I've said it before, we are all joined at the hip because we have one thing in mind. It's trying to get this organization better so we can win. At the end of the day, that's truly what it's all about, it's winning."

On if the Browns have reached a consensuses on who the team believes the Rams will take:

"No. Again, you don't know. We can all put names in a hat and draw them out and hope it comes out that way. You really don't know until they make the pick. Hopefully as we get closer somebody will say who they are taking but that's not our concern. They are going to do what they are going to do and we have to do what we do. As you know, you've got to play a lot of scenarios on how this can go, how that can go but those are discussions that you start to have as it gets closer. I am sure we will have them. Sashi will be on top of everything when the time comes to make sure we make the right decision."

On the league denying WR Josh Gordon's reinstatement:

"You said it, they denied it. Me talking about Josh at this point is not beneficial to us. It's still in the league's hands. We all know he is a very talented player and we wish him well. We want him to do what he needs to do to get his get his career back on track because of his talent and the type of person he is. I don't think Josh is a bad guy at all but I think at the same time, he has to do what he needs to do to get himself back of the good graces of the National Football League. When that time comes, hopefully we will have an opportunity to sit down and talk to him about what his future could be."

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