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Hue Jackson press conference - 8/30

On if the Browns have decided how long the starters will play Thursday:

"No, I think I'm going to think about it tonight, but they are going to play obviously. I haven't thought through exactly how much, but they are definitely going to play.

On if DB Joe Haden will also play Thursday:

"It includes anybody that is a starter on our team. We are going to let them play and we will get them out of there soon enough, but they need to play."

On if the Browns are pleased with Haden's play in his first preseason game:

"Oh yeah, I think Joe is rounding into form, but I think it is good for him to get out there and play and get back in the game. He has had some good practices and had a great practice today. I'm sure he will go out and play well."

On if the Browns trading P Andy Lee to the Panthers was affected by his play Friday and their conversation following a punt-return TD:

"No, that had nothing to do with it (laughter). No, not at all. Obviously, we see an opportunity to better our situation here for the future. I totally support our team as far as making those decisions. It is probably unheard of to get a fourth-round pick in that situation for a good player. He will go back to Carolina, and I'm sure he will help that football team, but there are also some punters out there that we liked that we are going to put on our team to also give us a chance to still be successful in that area."

On the timing of the trade creating a perception that the play and trade are related:

"No, it wasn't. I can guarantee everybody that wasn't it. Obviously, I was disappointed in what happened at that time and I told him so, but that had nothing to do with the decision that we made yesterday."

On if the Browns' personnel rotations may slow the team's short-term development with a focus on long-term dividends:

"Honestly, I don't know that it has. I don't know that it hasn't. As I've said since Day 1, our head is down. We are just working. We are going to continue and we have to continue to mix and match, and we will. Hopefully, we will trot out a team that we feel very comfortable with and go play well. My job as the head coach is to make sure that we are in the best position to win offensively, defensively and special teams. If that means we have to keep doing that until we can make it right, then that's what we'll do. I'm very comfortable with where we are. I know what we are doing and how we're doing it. I know what it may appear to look like, but I'm not concerned about that. I'm concerned about this team getting better over the course of this week and as we head into the regular season."

On if a replacement for LB Paul Kruger has become clearer after two practice days:

"Obviously, the guys I mentioned yesterday. Exactly who the starters are going to be, that will be revealed obviously on Thursday night, but we have four candidates (LBs Cam Johnson, Nate Orchard, Emmanuel Ogbah and Joe Schobert) that are going to go out there and play, and we are going to play them all and give them an opportunity to go out there and show what they can do. That is what the game is for so guys can showcase their talent and ability. We will see exactly how that unfolds Thursday night."

On the importance for WR Josh Gordon to finish the preseason strong, given his suspension, and his preparation for Week:

"Absolutely, I think it is really important. He has been off to a pretty good start. If you can score a touchdown a game and catch the long ones, that is pretty good. He needs to stay in it. Obviously, he won't be able to be out there with the team out at practice, but he will be able to be in the building, which I think is a huge plus. We really appreciate the league allowing him to do that. I think he will be able to kind of follow along with where we are and stay in it from that standpoint. That is really all he can do and just make sure he is on top of things and really understanding how we game plan, what our process is. As far as getting ready for a game, he will get a chance to see that first hand."

On if the Browns have determined how many WRs will make the 53-man roster:

"No, we haven't really gotten into that yet. I'm sure myself and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta) and (Vice President of Player Personnel) Andrew (Berry) will have that conversation here pretty soon. There are some very talented young men in that room, and obviously, all of them can't stay so someone is going to get some really good players. At the same time, I know we will make sure that the guys we keep are the guys that we need to keep here that have a chance to help our football team."

On if it is a point of emphasis for QB Robert Griffin III to vary how he distributes the ball and not just rely on deep passes:

"I'm not going to say it's really important for him to distribute. It is really important just to run our offense. I know your meaning because last week… What it has been is long ball heaven here. We do need to move the ball around a little bit. I think everybody knows we can throw it down the field, but there are a lot of other things we can do, too. We just have to continue to keep improving."

On what the Browns want to see from QB Cody Kessler on Thursday:

"Just keep completing the ball. He was 5 for 6 last week and had a good completion the week before that. We know he knows how to complete the ball. It is just running our offense and understanding where the ball is going and just understanding the National Football League game, just how fast it is, and how things change and how defenses work. It is just the experience. He needs to get the experience, and he will get an opportunity to play and probably play longer than he has this week all year. That will be important for him."

On takeaways from WR Josh Gordon's performance against Tampa Bay, given comments earlier in training camp about Gordon needing to get in shape, knocking the dust off and competing against NFL-caliber players:

"All those things you just mentioned, he is pretty close to being there. I think he is in better shape than he was obviously. He has lost weight. He looks like Josh. What I have learned is that he is a really good football player that can do a lot of different things. He is just another tool that we will add to our arsenal once we get him back. We will continue to keep growing him. I think you guys all know what he is. I do now. I'm looking forward to getting him back."

On what the Browns would like to see from WR Corey Coleman against Chicago:

"He needs to go do it. I think he's getting back to the grind of it because he has been consistently in practice. Anytime a player can practice, I think that is the most important thing for young players is they need to practice in order to have a chance to play good. He has been very consistent in practice. He needs to go out and play the game this week on Thursday and then prepare himself for next week because the intensity and how things are played in the National Football League in the regular season is much different than preseason. I think we all respect that. He has some big challenges ahead of himself, but I think he will be up to the task."

On San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem:

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion and freedom of speech and all that. I try not to get into any of that. Colin is on another team. I'm really not even supposed to be commenting about a player on another team. What I'm trying to do is win a football game and try to get our team better. I know that is the big story that is going on, but I'd rather just kind of stay away from all that at this point."

On how many roster spots will be determined by players' performance against Chicago and if specific position groups are of interest:

"I'm going to watch everything, along with our executive staff. We are at the stage of trying to put our best team together. How many spots, what the numbers are, I'm not sure of that, but obviously, we all know there are some. There are 53 that we have to make sure that we have here so we will work at it and we will see how this thing shakes out."

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