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Hue Jackson press conference - 8/2

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

On having intense, physical practices early in training camp:

“It is something that I totally believe in. You have to get that in practice. You have to build that foundation through training camp. Hopefully, it can sustain you during the season. We did some more situational stuff today. For the most part, our players competed well. There are still some things that we have to do better. We will watch the tape and go from there.”

On it being nice for OL Greg Robinson to return to practice:

“Yes, absolutely. Hopefully, we can get some more of the guys that have been down a little bit back. That will help us. We had a couple of the guys today with a few things. We will keep going. It was training camp. Those things are going to happen.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance with more reps, given QB Drew Stanton had a veteran day off:

“He made some plays. We are going to watch the tape a lot closer. I think that there were a couple of situations where he could have thrown the ball in two minute that he has got to grow from. Those are the things that as a young player you have to make sure that we are coaching all of those details. I know that our coaches are, but at the same time, he has to protect the ball in those situations as far as not taking sacks.”

On if TE Darren Fells can be more than a blocking TE in the Browns offense:

“He can catch the ball. He has the ability to do a lot of different things for us. That is why he is here. He can block. He can catch. He knows the routes that we run, and he can run them. He is a veteran player. I think that he is really good for that room.”

On Fells’ performance in training camp:

“I think that he has done well. We are starting to load up and run the ball more. I think that is really going to show up in his favor. Also, as you see, when we throw the ball, the quarterbacks are not afraid to throw it to him because he will make plays.”

On his grasp of the new rule regarding initiating contact with the helmet, given meetings with NFL officials today:

“I am going to get a better grasp as we go. I brought it up to the team before we ever started putting on the pads because I thought that I needed to make that an emphasis. It is going to be different. Tonight, the officials will talk to the team and really give them an idea of exactly what they are looking for. Obviously, there is a tape that came before the officials got here and that is what I showed the team, but at the same time, I want the guys to really understand it. We really need to dig into it when we have this meeting tonight so that we have a clear understanding of exactly what they are looking for.”

On if the new rule feels like a significant change:

“It could be. There are some things that are still kind of gray for the players about leading with the head. If I am a ball carrier and someone is coming at me, how do I protect myself? If I am on the sideline and I turn back into a player, how do I protect myself? I think that all of those are real questions that have to be answered, and I think that we will get some answers tonight.”

On the Browns’ performance during the live tackling period:

“Dominated by the defense. Dominated by the defense. They whopped them. That is just what it is. If I am the offense, I am mad, I am going to go back and the next time that we have that period, I am going to come back and show that we are there.”

On QB Tyrod Taylor having interceptions after that period and if Taylor is still trying to learn the offense:

“Come on. If the ball gets tipped… There are a lot of different reasons for why that happened. The other one, (DB Terrance) Mitchell made an outstanding play on the ball. That is exciting for me to see. I have not seen us pick balls off like that. Those things, we do not want to see happen, but at the same time, I get to see the defense do something that I am excited to see. The tipped ball is going to happen every now and then. Tyrod is doing well. Just because those two balls went the other way, I am not going to put a damper on it. Do we want that to happen? No. At the same time, he is doing great things, and I think that our defense is doing some good things.”

On OL Joel Bitonio’s second day at LT:

“He is competing his tail off. (DL) Myles (Garrett) is bringing it. That is the best look he can get every day. I think it is really fun to see, but (OT) Joel (Bitonio) is not giving up anything. It is a battle. He is doing well. We are the second day into it, and we will keep going.”

On OL Kevin Zeitler not participating in practice today:

“He is going to be OK, but he is going to be down for a little while. It is a calf. It is unfortunate, but we will get him back. We will be back and ready to go hopefully in the next couple of weeks or so. Those things do happen in training camp.”

On how being longer and more athletic in the front seven helps the secondary:

“It complements each other. When you are longer and faster up front, the secondary has a chance to get their hands on balls because the rush is good. Like you said, we are a little bit longer and little bit rangier than what we were. I think they all complement each other by the secondary being a little bit bigger and longer give those guys up front more of a chance to rush and get home.”

On preference for OL Spencer Drango to play guard compared to LT, where he started multiple games last year:

“As you know the year before, he played at left guard the entire year so his versatility has shown itself since he has been here. He has played left guard, he has played left tackle and he has been on the right side before so he has been all around. That is a comfort that we have. He has to continue to get better like the rest of our guys, but he is competing.”

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