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Hue Jackson press conference - 6/5

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

On QB Baker Mayfield practicing with the second team offense:

"I just mixed it up. There is nothing behind that. I just think that I want to keep tinkering with that a little bit. I made the decision this week with the staff to make him second and get some reps there. That is just going to go as we go. There is nothing to it. Nobody should read anything into it. It is an opportunity to go out there a little sooner than he has. That is all."

On how the QB rotation will go during training camp:

"That is to be determined. I have not talked to (offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley) or (quarterbacks coach) Ken (Zampese) about that just yet. We will talk through it and do what we think is best for all of our players and for our football team."

On if Mayfield is getting more reps in practice by being with the second team:

"Honestly, he was getting the same. That did not change. That part did not change, the fact that if he is third or second. He is still getting the same amount of reps. It is just now you are throwing to a different group of receivers because I think that he has to have that chemistry with all of those guys. It was good for him to do that. He did some good things today."

On the Browns signing LB Mychal Kendricks:

"It was very exciting for me. He is a really good football player. Obviously, he brings a unique skillset to our football team. He can cover. He can rush. He can play the run. He can play the pass. He can play at all three different [linebacker] spots, which I think is very good. His versatility is outstanding. As I said last week, if we have chances to add really good football players to our team, then we will. That is what we have done."

On which of the three LB positions Kendricks will be positioned first:

"I think we will start him out in the middle (linebacker) and also, start him out on the outside. As you know, (defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) plays a lot of different packages so he will be a little bit at every place. I think he is very bright. I think that he can learn it all. When he walks out there, I think he will start to move."

On adding Kendricks into the mix of an experienced LB group:

"It is called competition, right? That is what it is. It is competition. I think that our players get it. Our job is to put the best football players on the team and then let that take care of itself. There is nothing wrong with that. I think that our guys welcome that. I do not think that anybody is upset because we put better football players on the team."

On if adding Kendricks give Williams the capability to use four LBs at a time:

"You know how Gregg is. Gregg is creative that way. I think that if you are a good football player and you can make plays for us, Gregg is going to find a way to get you onto the field. It is a good problem to have. Like we said, if we can keep adding good football players to this team – again, kudos to (general manager) John Dorsey and his group for continuing to add good players to our football team."

On Kendricks not practicing today:

"We just wanted to – you guys know how I am – slowly ease him into this. I am not sure of everything that he has done and what he has done there. Obviously, I think that there is still a little ankle soreness. I do not want to push him too far too fast. We will get him up and running here soon."

On LBs Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert playing every defensive snap last season, and if that is 'too much or whatever works':

"I am OK if that is what it calls for and if those guys can handle it and make the plays. They did that last year. This is a new year. We will go into this year and figure out what is going to be the best packages that gives us a chance to win this year."

On if 'there will be enough snaps' for all four of the LBs to play:

"I think that there will be. As you guys know, we did not have (LB) Jamie (Collins Sr.) for a lot of the year. Things happen. I just think that we are covered in all of those different areas, too. God forbid anything happens to anybody on our football team. It just feels good to have that depth and those kind of players on your team."

On if the pace of developing a rookie QB like Mayfield is different to last or others season, given the team has QB Tyrod Taylor on the roster:

"Absolutely. We have a starting quarterback. Tyrod still has to get those reps. Those reps are really important. He is the starter. He goes with the ones all of the time. With Baker, we are bringing him along. We are teaching him the National Football League. He has done an outstanding job working hard every day and making the most of his reps, but it is comforting for our team that we do have a starting quarterback."

On why WR Antonio Callaway did not practice today:

"It is still the groin. We are working through that. Hopefully, we will get him back before it is all said and done. He is working through it. We are not going to put a guy out there if we have a chance to have a setback. We will just take out time and get him back out there soon."

On if Taylor will be able to play like an experienced veteran despite being in his first year in a new offensive system:

"No doubt because it is still football. The terminology is different from Buffalo to here, but Tyrod has been around enough systems and played in enough games that he can know how to play and how he should play as an NFL quarterback. I do not see [a player who looks like he is in his first year] out on the field. I see him really picking things up fast, making great decisions with the ball and making plays."

On if the acquisition of Kendricks is related to insurance in the event Collins does not return to full speed as quickly as expected:

"I do not think it was about that. I think it was a chance to add another really quality player to our football team and put him out there. You can't have too many playmakers, too many guys that can pay football at a high level. We were the other way in the past. We did not have enough. Now, I think that it is good to have these kind of problems. We have to make decisions on who plays. That is OK. I think that is a good problem to have."

On Williams' decision for DB Denzel Ward to play with the first team defense:

"That is still our decision, too. There is nothing that happens on this football team that I do not approve of or know about. Ward being out there is because he is earning it. He is working at it. He is doing good things. He plays a position that we think we have been needing a gut to step up. We see things of him improving each and every day and doing the things that we are asking. He needs to continue to do that to continue to be out there, but we know that he is very talented. That is why we drafted him. He has displayed that since he has been here."

On one area where Mayfield and Ward each have improved most:

"For Baker, it has been playing under center, because that is something that he has not done. I think as you have seen, we have not had any balls on the ground. There is no wood to knock on. He has done a good job in that way. For Ward, for me just watching him, it is just all of the things we do and the different types of receivers that changes from play to play and who he has to go up against, learning a complicated system that we have on defense. I think that he has handled that pretty well."

On expecting a competitive training camp:

"Absolutely. I would expect nothing less. We are going to have some really tough decisions as we go because there are a lot of good football players on this team. That is the way that it should be. I think we have improved every position group on this team. I think we will have some tough decisions, and I do not think you would want it any other way."

On DL Chad Thomas not practicing today:

"He also has a groin. Just a groin. You get these young guys that come into your system and they start practicing, and we practice a little bit different. We kind of go. That is different. Their bodies have not done that like this at that time. We will work though those things, but I am glad that they are happening now so that we can get them out of the way and get these guys back, whether it is minicamp or training camp, and get them going."

On where Mayfield is from a development standpoint:

"I think he is right on schedule. I think that he is doing good. The game is not too big for him. He demonstrates the ability to throw the ball and make decisions with the ball in his hands and learning our system. I think he is on schedule, but is he a finished product? No, he is not supposed to be, neither. He has done everything we have asked him to do. There is still a lot of work to do, a lot of work ahead of him. I think that he gets that and I think that he is excited about that."

On OL Donald Stephenson not being at recent practices open to the media:

"I will tell you what, we will talk about that at another time. He is just not here right now. He is taking care of some business. We will definitely address that at the proper time."

On Browns players' helmets not having stripes:

"Earn it. There is a certain way that the Cleveland Browns have to play, and we are going to earn our stripes. The guys that put them on their helmets and get the chance to wear them, it is going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we are looking for in Cleveland Browns players. That is the way that they are going to play, that is how we are going to conduct ourselves and go out and win football games."

On if 'earning stripes' will continue through training camp:


On when the stripes will be worn:

"As we get towards the end. Obviously, if you are on the team, you are going to have them. That is for sure. If you are not, you won't. It is that simple. It is pretty simple. Kind of cut and dry."

On if there has been any 'fallout' following the Lake Erie event:

"Fallout? No. Nobody got sick. I do not think that anybody has gotten any issues. People were cold, needing towels. Other than that, I think that everybody was OK."

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