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Hue Jackson press conference - 6/9

Opening statement:

"Sometimes you hate to see the offseason come to an end, but I can't be happier with a group than these men. I'd be remiss – I have so many people to thank just to get to this point: obviously, we've got a long way to go, but I go back to my hiring from Dee and Jimmy (Haslam), Sashi (Brown) and Paul (DePodesta) and the environment that we've been trying to create; obviously the coaching staff, the staff that I was able to hire to come here and assist me and help our organization to become better; then (director of high performance) Adam Beard and his staff, they've done a tremendous job of preparing our players and getting them out here in shape and able to go as hard as we ask our players to go. Adam is a great find. To everybody else within our organization, just the support they've given me, just up to this point, has been outstanding. Now, like I said, we haven't played a football game or anything like that, but you have to lay the right foundation and I think it has been laid. When I talk about our players, obviously, I'm really excited about so many of our players and just the potential that's there. I say potential because you don't know yet until you really play football what they can be and what they will be as a football team. I know our guys are working hard to become the best team that we can. I couldn't have asked for a better group or for a better opportunity for myself. The guys have done extremely well."

On if he will spend a significant amount of time in the coming weeks building a specific depth chart before training camp and if it will be a much different process than for the offseason program:

"Probably not. Again, everything has kind of got to play itself out. I think you guys kind of know who I am. We just kind of go out there and put our head down as a group and work. Again, we don't play for a couple of weeks prior to get back here to go to camp. That won't be my first concern. It will be to getting those men back here safe and happy and healthy and excited about what it is we have got to do ahead of us. I'll kind of worry about that when we get back here. If you're asking if some of the pieces in my mind are coming into focus, then yes, somewhat. Still, until you put on pads and grind it out every day and work like I anticipate this team working, will I know really know about these men in tough conditions. That is something that I am still left to find out."

On QB Robert Griffin III completed minicamp in a strong fashion today:

"Yeah, I think he's gotten better. I said it yesterday, and I've been saying it for a while – I know he gets highly scrutinized for a lot of different things – he has gotten better in a lot of areas. It goes back to the same thing. These men are allowing the coaching staff to coach them, and we are doing the best job that we ca to put them in the right environment so that they can get better. There are a lot of guys that have improved. You know, from Step A to where we are today. We also understand that we have a big hill to climb. We're just going to keep climbing until we get there."

The Browns took to the field to finish the three-day veterans' minicamp.

On his message to the players prior to their departure:

"I told them very clearly that I expect them to come back ready. We don't want to go backwards. I'm not going to let them go backwards. It's really important that the men in this locker room don't let this team go backwards because they have established a really good foundation and a really good work ethic. What is really important is that they come back ready to hit the ground running and understand that we are here to get some business done each and every day. I think they will, I really do. To a man, I would be very surprised if they don't come back here in tip top shape, ready to practice and ready and eager to get going."

On if this is a nervous time, given players sometimes get into trouble when they have free time:

"Yeah, it is. It's like you have a bunch of kids away from you. I told them, and I do, I love each and every one of them, and I sometimes things happen, but my phone is always available. They can call me. I don't care what time of day, whatever it is. They have to understand the routine is now different. It's a different routine so they have to handle that right. I expect them to handle that as pros so that they can get back here. That's part of being a professional is handling that down time, or whatever you want to call it, the best way, the right way so that you can be a part of this football team."

On if he has changed his mind about waiting to name a starting QB:

"Absolutely not."

On if there is an open competition at the start of training camp at QB:

"I mean if you want to see it like that, then yes, it is. I'm being very honest with you guys. As I have told you, I haven't even come close to letting my mind go there. I'm just trying to help our football team improve and that position improve as much as I can. That is what really is important. As we start getting closer in training camp to getting ready to play as I've seen more things, and I'll go back and evaluate all of this, but I can assure you guys that there will be no earth-shattering announcement between now and training camp or anything like that. You guys go on your vacations, have a good time. Don't worry about it. Nothing is going to come where you guys go, 'Wow, he didn't tell us this.' It's still a ways away in my mind, but I feel good about where we are and I feel good about the process that we've been in for those guys."

On WR Corey Coleman:

"He's a tremendous player. He's going to be pretty good. I ride him pretty hard because he has so much ability and I want to get it out of him. He's really shown why we drafted him in the first round. He is a tremendous talent. If he keeps working like he is and stays as humble and he has great desire to be a great football player, I think that's going to happen for him. He's still got to earn it. He's got to work for it. He's got to go fight for it to go get it. I think he will."

On the offensive line and replacing two starters from 2015:

"They've gotten better. They really have. They're battling. (OL) Joe (Thomas) is the leader of that group, and he's done a great job. I told them in front of him, we're going to get on his back and we're going to ride it. We're going to ride that group to wherever we are going to go. They're kind of the backbone of how we do things. The quarterback drives the train, but the line is what makes us go. I think the group is starting to take its shape and form. We have some young players that are very interesting to me. I know (OL) Spencer Drango shows up every day. He's very competitive and I like him. I think he's getting better. I think (OL) Cam (Erving) has really improved. I think the rest of the veteran guys of that group – (OL John) Greco, (Joel) Bitonio – I think Bitonio has the potential to be one of the better players in this league, bar none. It's a good group. We still have got to put ourselves in a position to do the things that we want to do as an offensive football team, but there is some talent there. We just have to keep molding it and getting it the way we want it to be."

On if Griffin feels natural in the pocket:

"He looks natural to me. He's checking the ball down, throwing the ball down the field and throwing the ball into tight spaces. He's improved. We all have seen that. Let's be honest, he has. There's another step. He's just getting better every day. He's just got to continue to chase that. If he does, we'll just see where he gets to. He's talented, but there is still work to be done."

On what makes senior offensive assistant/wide receivers coach Al Saunders the best WRs coach in football:

"No question. He's an unbelievable teacher, and he's a great leader of men. He knows how to get guys to play and play at a high level real fast. It is probably one of the most improved units on our football team – the receiver position. That's a credit to him and (offensive quality control coach) Bob (Saunders). They've done a great job of molding those guys. They have great expectations. I knew what I was getting when I asked him to come here. I knew that I was getting one of the best coaches to ever coach in this league. That's what he's doing, and that's what he is exhibiting every day.

On where Al Saunders' energy comes from:

"I just think that is what he is. That's what he's always been. It's really funny, I laugh sometimes because when I was a little younger that's who I was (laughter). He's tremendous. He's competitive. He wants those guys to be good. He cares about them. He truly cares about those players. They play for him, they really do.

On if the Browns will bring Earnest Byner back to coach during training camp:

"We'll see. We'll see how that unfolds. Earnest has been great."

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