Hue Jackson press conference - 5/12


Head Coach Hue Jackson:**

Opening statement:

"I'm good. To be on the grass, practicing with a lot of talented players and watching guys take a step today, having them in meetings last night and having them come out on the field today, it was fun. It is exciting. It is an exciting time. It is a good class. It is a talented class. We have a lot of work to do, but I thought it was a good first day."

On DB Jabrill Peppers not participating in practice:

"There is one of these participation agreements that needs to be signed. We are in the process of getting that done. Those things happen. They happen throughout the league. I think we will get that squared away here soon."

On the disappointment of not having Peppers:

"It is. I'm sure it is disappointing for the young man, too. That is just part of it. We will work through that. We will get him up to speed. He did a great job in meetings last night. He is chomping at the bit and ready to go so we will get him out here soon."

On his first impressions following the first practice:

"We have work to do. We have talented players, talented skill players, talented big guys. I like the size of our new guys. They fit our profile. They are very talented players. They have to start to learn how we play football here at the Cleveland Browns, and I think they will. That is why we drafted them so it is exciting."

On areas he is working to improve with QB DeShone Kizer:

"Consistency. He is a very talented player. He is a big guy with a big arm and very bright. He has a lot of upside, but he has a lot of work to do and I think he knows that. You said it – it is just one practice. We are not going to get too high or too low. We are going to stay really consistent about what he is doing. He just has to keep working at it."

On his hope and instruction for this year's rookie class with their transition from college to NFL:

"For this class, I hope we don't get any soft tissue injuries. We wanted to make sure these guys came in in better shape. I could refer back to one guy on our team now who came back in really good shape. I referred that to this class that we didn't want to come in and all of a sudden be behind the eight ball from a conditioning standpoint. This class heeded that warning, and I think they in pretty good shape."

On first impressions of DL Myles Garrett:

"Athletic, fast, big, fun. He is very talented. He is going to have to earn the right to be what we think he can be. We are not just going to hand him anything. He understands that. He has to put his head down and work."

On Garrett stating he wants to prove he is the best player on the field this weekend:

"It is exciting, for me, because that is what he should aspire to be. I think he gets that. We put a big chip on him. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with that, and I think he gets it. I think he will work to be that."

On first impressions of TE David Njoku, who seemed to catch everything in practice:

"Yes, he was. He is a big, fast guy, right? He looks good. He can run. Again, it is not just him, I thought it was all of the guys that were drafted. There is a lot of talent. I go back, and our executive staff, led by (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown), I give them a lot of credit. The guys that we are putting on this team are going to help us get this organization turned. We are not there yet – I'm not saying that – but I think we understand that we have to continue to add more talent to our roster, like the guys that we've brought in, to have a chance to get to where we want to go."

On Garrett stating he skipped a Cavaliers game because he needed to have a second workout:

"He is committed. He is committed to being everything that I think we want him to be on and off of the field. It can't just be the button goes on on the field. You have to do it off of the field to be able to do it on the field. I think he gets that. He is as fine of a young man as I have been around. He is as fine a worker. Now, he has to transform into playing and playing at a high level the way we think he can play. I think he will."

On Garrett's quotes on taking down QBs like Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger in the NFL:

"I'm not scared of them. If he is not scared of them, then I'm not scared of them. I support our guys whole-heartedly that way. This is a game of competition. I want us to channel some of those. Let's earn the right to do that and say those things, but he said that at a time when questions were asked. Sometimes the emotional part comes out, and I think that's what you saw. I think he wants to be really good. I think he wants to have that kind of thought process throughout the league, but I think he gets that he has to earn that."

On how Kizer is taking to instruction and coaching:

"He is taking it. He has to (laughter). He is very bright, that's not an issue. You have to remember he was a young man playing in the shotgun probably 90 percent of the time and had not played under center and had not played really in a sophisticated pro-style offense. I thought he did some really good things today, but you have to do it again and again and again. The consistency of playing quarterback in the National Football League at a high level is a challenge. We will see if we can get him there. Today is just the first day."

On his first impressions of DL Caleb Brantley:

"He is talented. I think we all know that. Obviously, the things we are dealing with, we don't want to deal with those things and we are working through them, obviously. It is in the judicial system, and it will run its course. Again, we feel very comfortable about the things we know and about the young man. That is why we drafted him. Hopefully, everything works out the way we see the possibility of it being. He is talented. He did some good things out there today. He has to make sure everything he does from the last time, from whenever the incident was to that day forward, he has to do it the Cleveland Brown way, and I think he will."

On if WR Josh Gordon would be welcomed back on the Browns if he is reinstated in the fall:

"Honestly, for me to comment on that – he is not back so I don't even really want to get into that right now. I wish Josh well. We will cross all of those bridges when we get to them."

On if he laughs at the shock to the system that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams brings to the rookies:

"Oh man (laughter). Oh, I laugh really hard. I have been in a couple of the meetings and I probably fell out to be honest with you. Obviously, as I said before, I am very happy that Gregg is here. He is a tremendous football coach. He has a way of getting guys to do what he needs to do. I think our players are really going to benefit. I think the defensive side of the ball will really benefit from his tutelage and the knowledge that he has and how he gets them to do it. It is exciting."

On if Williams is a great fit to motivate a player like Garrett to be the best:

"Oh, there is no question. Gregg has proven that he knows how to get the best out of men. That is the challenge of every coach is to get the best out of every player, especially the really talented ones. We are all after that. I know I am diving in there with him, too, trying to get this whole football team to take this next jump, and I think we will."

On if he sees 'wheels turning in his mind' of what the offense could be when seeing Kizer complete passes to TE David Njoku:

"Yeah, I do. It is so early, but they are talented guys running around in shorts right now, throwing a pass here, catching one there. That is exciting. That is the most we can do right now. We have a long way to go. I caution all of you. We have a long way to go with some very talented players. I won't run from that. They are talented. It is our job to coach them up to where they need to be so they can contribute to our football team."

On the rookies' athletic ability transferring to the meeting room:

"I think they get it. What I am trying to do right now is to get them to understand the coaching that is here and what they are going to come into and truly have them understand that they are just a piece of the puzzle and that they have to come in and truly embrace the veteran guys and understand how they do it. In order to do that, we are going to kind and indoctrinate the next three days and try to give them an idea what it is going to be like when the other guys are here because they have to earn the right to be in that locker room. I don't care who it is, whether it is to Myles Garrett or the last guy we drafted. They have to be able to do that because that is the only way the locker room is going to accept them now. They have to show and have their talent and ability show on this practice field and in the meeting rooms in order for those guys to accept them. I think that will happen."

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