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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 8/1

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

On OL Joel Bitonio getting reps with the first team offense at LT:

"With the offensive staff and myself, as I kept telling you guys, I am going to put the best five players out there. When we evaluated when we did not have practice, we took some time and really looked at the tape. We made the decision that maybe our best five right now is putting Joel out at left tackle, putting (OL Austin) Corbett at left guard and going from there. Not saying that Joel might be there the whole time. Right now, he is there. We know he is one of the best left guards in football. He has the versatility to go out there and play. Me knowing Joel, he is a team guy. A lot of people do not want to move away from where they have had a lot of success. I had a really good conversation with him. We are going to do everything we can to continue can to address that position. Obviously, there could be some people within our team that could play it, but right now, I think that he gives us the best chance to go out and play tackle and solidify the offensive line right now. Like I told him, we will keep working at it. I know that (General Manager) John's (Dorsey) group will keep working at it and looking for guys. We will keep developing the guys in our locker room. All it will do is make us stronger as we move forward."

On if the decision was made at this time so Bitonio could get reps at LT:

"Absolutely. It would be unfair to put him out there later on and say, 'OK, you have to do it without having any practice or any preseason reps in a game to see if you can do it.' Me knowing Joel, I think that he can do anything. At the same time, I have to give him a chance to be successful, and that is what we are going to do."

On if he anticipated moving Bitonio to LT and OL Bob Wylie saying the move would be 'Plan Z':

"I think that you guys ask the coaches way too many questions. I am just being honest. I make those decisions. Those are none of our coaches' decisions. Those are mine. I never said 'Plan Z' so here we are. We are going to play the best five guys. We have to get a group together. I think that the offense is starting to get a little identity to it, and I think that is important as we start to move forward."

On if it is 'full speed ahead' with Bitonio at LT and how OL Greg Robinson's return from injury may impact the situation:

"It is full speed ahead with Joel, but Greg will factor into that. He has not practiced enough. I do not know enough about him yet to say if he can or if he can't. We have to give him a chance to get out there, get back healthy and compete."

On the team's development and practicing situational football:

"I think that it is just a start. We were in the scoring zone, in two-minute and some other situations that we wanted to work on as a staff. All of that is really important. It is important that our players understand what to do in those situations and what we are trying to accomplish. Our coaches are doing a good job of giving them the message of what we want to have happen in those situations. We just have to execute better."

On OL Shon Coleman's work at LT and if the move is due to inconsistency:

"Shon is still a young player. These guys are trying to replace one of the best guys (OL Joe Thomas) who has ever played it. Shon needs time; it is time. I know that you are saying inconsistency. I think that there are a lot of things that Shon did well. When I look at it, overall for where we are, that position has to play better for us. This is the decision that I made."

On what Bitonio needs to show at LT to retain the role:

"I am pretty confident that he can. He has the right personality for it, but at the same time, he still has to go into games and prove it on a consistent basis."

On if Bitonio needs to change his playing weight for LT:

"No. I am OK with his weight."

On Bitonio competing against DL Myles Garrett today and how that will benefit Bitonio's development:

"I need to watch the tape. I did not look over there and see a whiff or this or a guy just bearing down on the quarterback. I saw some guys competing. I have great confidence in Joel. He is one of the best players on our football team. He can do it. He has proven himself to be a really good guard obviously, but I think that he has the versatility. I think that he is surprising himself that he can go out there and do anything. I have that confidence in him. I just thank him for when it comes to the team saying, 'OK, Coach. If that is what you want me to do, I will try it.'"

On OL Austin Corbett moving into the first team offense at LG:

"Over the time of playing guard and tackle, just the evaluation of it, I think that he is our next best guard on our team so let's put him there and give him a chance to play."

On if it is 'understandable' that the first team offense did not score during the situational two-minute series:

"No, it is never understandable. We have to execute better. We have to make some throws and catches and protect, those things. Whether it is before the half or at the end of the game, we have to be at our best. I am just glad that we got the process going. I want better execution from both sides of the ball, and I think that we will get there."

On OL Kevin Zeitler leaving practice:

"Just a calf. We will evaluate it and see where it is."

On if the two-minute drill will be in the practice plan each practice:

"I know that we have it in again tomorrow. We will have it again quite a bit as we go just to make sure that we continue to work at it. We will do it a lot. Is it every day? I do not know that. I can't say that off the top of my head, but I know that we do have quite a bit of it left to do."

On if he pulls defensive players aside if they make contact with the QB:

"I went to go talk to the defense. I do not think anything is ever intentional, but we just have to be a smart football team. We can't get that close. If you think that you are getting close, just pull off and go the other way. We can't take a chance of injuring any of our quarterbacks by doing things that are not good. We will work through that."

On if the Browns are growing mentally as desired:

"I think that they are getting there. I just think that it is still a working progress. I think every day these guys are going to get a little bit better in understanding what the coaches want, how we do it and how we go about it. This is a top-down thing. I am on the coaches, and the coaches are on the players. There is a lot more in this football team, and I know that. We just have to keep working at it. We have got to keep getting it out of them."

On if there was any hesitancy from Bitonio about the move to LT:

"Oh, yes. This guy is one of the best left guards in football. That is how he has earned his money and his reputation. I get it. The conversation was good. He got a chance to tell me how he felt. I told him how I felt. I gave him my blessing that I am going to do everything that I can to continue to get us into a positon where we continue to look for a left tackle, whether it is here or someplace else. I think that he trusts me. I said that I know that he can do this. He knows that he can, but I gave him a chance to say how he felt. Was he reluctant? Yeah, I would be, too. He plays a position, and he is really good at it, but for his teammates, for his coaching staff and for all involved, he knows that is the best place for him to be right now."

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