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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 6/13


Opening statement:**

"I am good. Obviously, we got through it without any major injuries, and I think that is the most important thing. I think we learned a lot. I know that I have learned a lot about our team, our players. It is good for our coaches to get a chance to evaluate them all. Obviously, we will know a lot more about our football team in training camp. That is where getting everybody back, even some of the injured guys – the (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.), the (WR Antonio) Callaways, those guys – we will get them all back, get to training camp and keep working on our football team. We have a lot of work to do as I said yesterday and even today. I feel good about where we are. I feel good about everything that we have done up until this point. Obviously, it has nothing to do yet, but we got a start. That is all you can ask for. Our guys have done that. Now, they have got to get away from here and train like a son of a gun to get themselves ready to go when we come back for training camp to have a chance to earn a right to be on this football team. There are a lot of good football players out there. We are going to have some tough decisions as we go through training camp. That is a part of it. At the same time, I like the makeup of the team. There is talent at a lot of different positions. That talent has to play well every week to give us a chance to win."

On vocal leaders emerging on the team:

"On offense, obviously, it is the quarterback. (QB) Tyrod Taylor I thought has done a really good job. (WR) Jarvis Landry does it by his playing, catching the ball and doing those things for the team. (RB) Carlos Hyde has been a great surprise for me. Our two guards are as vocal as anybody right now – (OL) Kevin Zeitler and (Joel) Bitonio. There are more voices, I know that for sure, on offense. When I look at the defense, it is still Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey). He is still the guy. How he has gone about this offseason has been great. (DB) Jabrill Peppers always shows up. He is very loud. I think that Jabrill loves to talk, and he is talking about football and dominating, those things so it is good. Obviously, I think that (DL) Myles (Garrett) does it with his play. I think that everybody is counting on Myles to do what he does. He will not do it probably verbally, but he is going to do it by action. Everybody leads a little different, but I think that we have more leaders on this football team, more now than we have ever had, which is a good thing, and we need more. We have got to keep developing more guys to step out, let their personality show and play good football for us."

On why RB Duke Johnson Jr. did not practice today:

"He has just had a hamstring, a little tweak in the hamstring yesterday so I decided to keep him out."

On FB Danny Vitale exiting practice early yesterday and if it is a serious injury:

"No, nothing serious."

On what WR Jarvis Landry brings to the receiver room:

"He is a guy that has made a lot of plays in the National Football League. I think they respect his ability because he has some skins on the wall. He has made plays. That is what you look for. Coming here with Tyrod and that group and having (WR) Josh (Gordon) in there, the talent starts to stack itself. I think that he has brought a different attitude towards that group. You have to make plays. You saw (WR) Corey (Coleman) make some tremendous catches in one on ones today, which was good to see, but that is what is expected out of that room. I think that is the mentality that he brings. Everybody has to step up and match that."

On if bringing experienced players to the team who have had NFL success 'takes some weight off' of the coaches:

"In this job, the weight is never lifted. For any of us as coaches, we get that. That is what we do. It is the hat we wear, but it is refreshing to have veteran players who know how to do it play in and play out and understand what the expectation is over a 60-minute game, just what that is going to be like, the grind of it and how on it you have to be every play just to give your team a chance to win. We have more of those guys in the fold, and that is good. At the same time, we have not played a game so we have yet to see those guys do it in real time."

On if there has been any preparation work on the Pittsburgh Steelers for the season opener:

"Yeah, we have watched videotape. You have to. You cannot leave this building as a staff not knowing who the opening game is. We do. We are very familiar. Obviously, that is one of or rivals and a division team. Yeah, we have seen a little bit of Pittsburgh."

On if that prep work is earlier than normal for his teams:

"No, that is the way that I have always done it. As a matter of fact, we have looked at the first three teams that we play because I think that is important. You have to have an idea. When you go away for vacation, the mind starts spinning. You have to be ready for that because that is going to be upon us here pretty quickly."

On WR Damion Ratley making plays in practice:

"He has made some plays. He is still a young guy who is learning how to play, learning how to line up. Again, that is to be expected right now, but I think that he has talent. He can catch. He can run. I think once he figures out that part of it of where to be and when to be there, then his athletic ability will show."

On TE David Njoku's development in the offseason:

"I think that he is making the jump. We will not know much about that until the pads come on. I think for a young player that plays that kind of position week in and week out of blocking those outside linebackers and defensive ends, you wear down towards the end of the year. If anything I can say for David, that is what I saw. Just the grind of playing a lot of football, a lot of minutes, that you look back and say, 'Wow, this was tough.' I think that in Year 2, I expect to see a huge jump. He is very athletic. He can catch and run. He is going to be one of our playmakers."

On if there will be changes to the OL before the start of training camp:

"Probably not. I would say not when we start training camp, but as we go in to it… As you see, we have been as a staff kind of moving some guys around. We have to put the best five guys out there. We have a very tough schedule. We are going to play some tremendous rushers. It is my job to make sure that we have the right people in the right places. I think that we have the right people. We just have to make sure everybody is in the right place. When we start back in training camp, that will be the same line that started off here. Could there be some adjustments as we go? There could be. We will work through that as we go."

On QB Baker Mayfield's progress and his message to Mayfield before minicamp breaks:

"The biggest message I send with Baker is keep working. I just think that is who he is first and foremost. I think that the day he walked out here, there was no question about the arm talent. His ability to adlib plays and throw the ball around the field. I think it was being under center, the terminology, how fast he is going to be able to say the play in the huddle, communicate all of this information to the whole offensive football team. I think that he has handled it well. You guys all know Baker, he is one of those guys that is always itching to be the best at what he does, and we like a guy like that. He is now shying away from anything. He wants it every opportunity that he can get. He is going to keep improving. From Day 1 to where he is now, I think that I have seen a lot of improvement. There are a lot of things that we ask of our quarterback, and he has handled that stuff well. Now, he has to go have a good offseason. I am sure that he will continue to train, continue to work through the information and come back and let his ability show."

On if he has noticed the game slowing down for Mayfield:

"I have because again, that is what you expect. When you start to understand what the terminology means and how the defenses are trying to attack you, then all of a sudden, the game starts to slow down. I think that we are starting to see that a little bit."

On Mayfield's throwing ability:

"He can throw a football, there is no question about that. He can really throw a football, whether it is short, long, tight spots, all of that. He has arm talent."

On if OL Shon Coleman's performance last season at RT gives an indication he can succeed at LT against top NFL pass rushers:

"We will see. We have not played a game with him over there. Shon has done a good job. Shon has worked extremely hard. He deserves the right to have this opportunity to see if he can be the left tackle. We will know more about that once the pads come on and it is an everyday get after it session. I think him and Myles, every day he is finding out because those are the kind of guys that he is going to have to block at that position week in and week out."

On Coleman's false starts last season:

"I think [the penalties were due to it being] first year on the field. We played a lot of young players. I think that you get some of that. You hate it, but you get some of that. That is not what you want, but he has worked through that. He has done some good things. Last year was what it was with him. Hopefully, we will solve all of that."

On if there are positions other than LT on the OL to be decided:

"No, I am very comfortable from our right side to our left. Obviously, we are talking about replacing one of the best players to every play that position (former OL Joe Thomas). I would be not a very good coach if I did not try everybody over there first before we made that decision. We do not have Joe Thomas here anymore. We have moved on form that. We have to make sure that we have somebody that is comfortable that can play that spot that gives us a chance to win games."

On QB Tyrod Taylor working with Mayfield and setting the tone to keep Mayfield in the right spot and Taylor establish himself as the leader of the team:

"I would not say that he is trying to keep Baker in a spot. I just think that Tyrod walked in here, I made a commitment to him and he has held up his end of the bargain with not just the way he works but the way he plays and the way he leads. He has earned the right to be the starting quarterback here. I know that it was given to him in the beginning, but he still has had to do the things that we going to let him be the starting quarterback here, and he has done that. I see a side of him that I don't think you guys really get to see. He is competitive out there. A couple of times I have called a sack, and he says, 'Coach, they would have never have gotten me.' The defensive players were woofing a little bit, and he told them, 'I saw your tape so you would not have gotten me.' Trust me, there might be some things going on in the locker room right now (laughter). He has been a real good find for us. He is very steady, very competitive. I think that he has really taken to the way that we coach him. I think he likes the system that he is playing in. We just have to continue to support him to be the best that he can be and to keep growing all of our players."

On if the Browns will have the OL personnel to run block and run the football as desired:

"No question. When I watch us up front – like I said, from our right side to our left – we have some guards that can play. We have a center (OL JC Tretter) that we feel real good about. We have a right tackle (OL Chris Hubbard) that I think is going to be a really, really good player. We have some backs that I think can really play, starting with (RB) Carlos Hyde to (RB) Duke Johnson (Jr.) to (RB Nick) Chubb, the young runner that I think is very talented. It is going to be fun to watch that. In order to win in this league, you have to be able to run the football. I am sure that we will set out to do that, but all of that will start happening once we get to training camp."

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