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Hue Jackson press conference - 8/29

On the Browns' decision to cut LB Paul Kruger:

"It was an organizational decision. It's what we thought was best to do so we could move forward."

On who will step in to fill Kruger's position:

"Obviously, we have a lot of young guys. We have (LBs Joe) Schobert and Emmanuel (Ogbah) and Nate Orchard is still there and Cam Johnson is still there so we will work through it with those guys."

On the Browns not having any proven pass rushers:

"We have to coach what we have and get those guys to play as well as we can get them to play. I don't want to elaborate on decisions that were made by our staff. We are just going to move forward, coach what we have here and get these guys better."

On reports that DB K'Waun Williams has been waived:

"That's accurate."

On the challenge for Ogbah to move back to OLB after transitioning to DE:

"I think he will be fine. I think it gets down to what we are asking him to do at that position. I think (defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton) has done a great job of evaluating what the characteristics are now for what it is going to take to play out there. Obviously, we will have to do some things differently, but we feel very comfortable with the guys that we have there."

On the Browns' decision to waive Williams:

"I really don't want to get into that. Obviously, we have released several guys today and we are just moving forward. We had to get down to 75 (players). That is the league rule. That is what we have done, and he was part of that group."

On releasing Kruger potentially adding to the public perception that the team is planning for the future and not to win this season:

"Let me say this about anybody that we let go – we let people go because there is a performance that we want, not so much just him, I mean everybody. When you let players go now, you give them a chance to catch on at other places. I think the respectful thing to do if you don't see a guy having the potential to make your team, I think the right thing to do is to move forward and move on, and I think that is what we have done. I can't worry about perceptions and what everybody thinks. Our team is getting ready for a game on Thursday against Chicago, and then next week, the season starts. What we are going to do is keep working. As I have said before, we know we have a lot of work to do, and I think that is what our focus is and to really coach the guys that are here and try to get these guys better." 

On if the Browns wanted to get Kruger into camp to see how he was going to produce because he could potentially help the team:

"Absolutely. Anybody who came to training camp had an opportunity so it is not like we had already made a decision that we were letting these guys go. These guys had opportunities in games to prove themselves to earn a right to be on our football team. Like I said, the guys that went today, we felt like we needed to move on from them, whoever they were."

On if Horton will make schematic changes because the defensive front and OLB personnel are young:

"I think Ray will tweak some things. I think we have to. I think that is pretty obvious to get those guys the best opportunity so they can have success. At the end of the day, myself along with the rest of the coaching staff, our job is to put our players in the best position to have success. That's what we're going to do. That's the job at hand, regardless of who it is out there. We have to make sure we do a good job of giving these guys a chance to be successful, and that's what we plan on doing."

On if K Patrick Murray is now the regular season kicker or if that is still being determined:

"He is our kicker. He is our kicker and we are going to move forward with him."

On if it is too late for WR Ricardo Louis and DB Trey Caldwell to keep roster spots after missing time due to injury:

"Never too late for anybody as you know. We will see. I don't know if those guys can participate on Thursday, but we would love to have the opportunity to evaluate them further and see where it goes."

On how difficult it would be to give a spot on the roster to players that have been injured or unable to participate for the majority of training camp:

"It is still the body of work. The guys were here through OTAs. We would love to see them in a game. That would give you a little bit more clarification of what they are, but at the same time, we have a pretty good idea of who they are and where they are. Will it be tough for them to earn a spot? That is yet to be determined. We will figure that one out."

On if the Browns OLBs will still be competing for starting positions once the regular season begins:

"It could feel like that. Hopefully, we will settle on a group and let them play. I think that is what we have to do. Whether it's fight or flight, we just have to put them out there and let them play and then coach the heck out of them, all of them, and give them a chance to have success."

On if the Browns have someone in particular in mind to play in Kruger's position:

"We are working on that. That is what practice was for today to again make sure that we have the right people in the right spots. We will practice again tomorrow, and Thursday we will trot them out there and go at it."

On if the Browns' projected OLB starters will play in the upcoming fourth preseason game:

"Absolutely."

On if other Browns starters will play in the fourth preseason game:

"We are going to play our guys. You asked the question, we are going to play our guys. I feel comfortable that we need to play our starters on both sides of the ball. Now, how much they play, that is yet to be determined by me, but I think we are going to play them because we need to play. We need to get better as a football team as we continue to move forward."

On what areas the Browns need to improve in most:

"Obviously, since we made several changes on defense, we want to keep on looking. I feel pretty good about where we are offensively. I just think we need to fine tune some things and get better at some things. Obviously, there was a starter that was removed from our defensive football team. We are going to look and I need to make sure that we are doing the things that we need to do to be successful over there on defense."

On if the starting safeties have been determined, given DB Derrick Kindred split time with DB Jordan Poyer at Tampa Bay:

"The regular season is a week away. I know it may look like that. I feel very good about all three of those guys (Kindred, Poyer and DB Ibraheim Campbell). I don't think it really matters who walks out there first. I know quote-unquote people want to know who the starter is, but I think as much nickel as we see – I'm talking about three wide receivers in the National Football League, two tight ends, all that – all of those guys can play at any time. What is really important is that we are beginning to feel comfortable with three guys that can go in there and play. We will determine who the starters are here pretty soon."

On DB Justin Gilbert's position with the team, what he has shown and if he can do more:

"Right now, he is in concussion protocol. Until he is out of that, can he do more? Obviously, he made some plays in the last game, and there are some plays he wish he could have back. I think he has improved and I think he needs to continue to get better, just like our whole football team needs to continue to get better. I don't think there is anybody here that is just lighting it up just yet. We are an improving team that has a lot of work to do. Our process is going to be the same. We are just going to put our head down and keep working."

On if DB Tramon Williams is part of the Browns' plan moving forward, given his contract:

"Tramon? Oh yeah, Tramon is. Tramon, we are just waiting for him to get over his little thing that he has with his foot and we will get him back out there. I'm excited about him. He is a pro. I like what he has done, and obviously, we need to get him more opportunities out there on the field."

On the importance of getting a win during preseason:

"I think you can check my last record in preseason. I think I was 0-4 at Oakland. I like to win. I will be the first to tell you that. I didn't think I was going to be 0-4 then neither. I don't like being 0-4. If this was going on my tombstone, I would be concerned about it. It is not. Nobody is going to ask me about the preseason games. They are going to ask to me about the regular season. Even though I like to win at everything that I do, I do understand that there is a process that we are in right now.  Now next week, you ask me that, it might be a different story. I might be up here throwing things. What is important is that we keep evaluating our team so that we can ensure that we have the best team here as we move into the season."

On trading LB Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots:

"It was the right move for everybody involved. Mingo here, some things weren't happening for him. I understand that. He is a tremendous young man. I really enjoyed my time with him, but we didn't see a fit for him. We tried to move him to a lot of different spots. He played outside backer. We moved him inside. It is unfortunate it just didn't work. It was an opportunity for him to be in a better situation and an opportunity for us to get better, too. I think it was the best opportunity for both involved."

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