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Hue Jackson press conference - 8/5

Opening statement:

"We are through the midst of a night practice and scrimmage and going through that process and then having a little mock game today. I thought it was good for the guys to get back out and run around after all of the plays last night. It was good. They handled it well. We have some work to do – we understand that – but we are going to keep pushing forward."

On if there was film of the Orange & Brown Scrimmage:

"Oh yeah, there was tape (laughter). You assumed right. Absolutely."

On the Orange & Brown Scrimmage after watching the film:

"I saw some individual things. On defense, our defense played a lot of shell coverage, which was good. (DB) Jabrill Peppers showed up last night. (DL) Myles Garrett showed up last night, (LB) Tank (Carder), (DL) Desmond (Bryant) and our first group. Watching (DB) Joe Haden compete and play and tackle and break up passes looked like the old Joe to me. On defense, obviously, (LB) Jamie (Collins Sr.) running around. There was a scary moment there, I am not going to kid you. When I saw (LB) Christian (Kirksey) go down, my heart stopped a little bit, but just the look in his eyes, I knew he would be OK. We dodged a bullet that way, but as a whole, I watched our defense compete and do some good things. On offense, we were really spotty. We can run the ball, I know that. We need to throw the ball better. Throw the ball better and throw the ball with more urgency and throw the ball in better spots, but we have to get open, too. It is a combination of both. There were some good things in the passing game. There were some things we missed and some things to work on. We are not supposed to be perfect yet. We are just fine-tuning some things, but I saw some opportunities there that we missed so we have to keep growing that way. Special teams-wise, it was just good to see the back and forth. During special teams, there was no live tackling, but to watch guys catch, control the ball and do those things was good. Overall, it was a good first outing for the scrimmage. Today, we kind of tied some of those other things into it. I saw the ball go down field a little bit more, which was good. It wasn't like the real football of last night, but there was improvement of that today. We will keep growing in those areas and keep getting better."

On LB Jamie Collins Sr.'s interception returned for a touchdown today and not wanting the offense to turn the ball over:

"I still don't like turnovers (laughter), but we got a chance to score. That is going the other way. That is a huge swing. We have to protect the ball, especially down there, but it is a heck of a play by Jamie. Jamie is a good football player. He is smart. He is heady. I like to see our defense do good things, but I want to make sure our quarterback is not tipping their hand that way. We will keep growing from that one as well."

On WR Jordan Leslie's status after being hit by two players:

"Yes, he did. We will check him. Anytime a guy gets hit in the head like that, there is a possible concussion there. We will evaluate that and see exactly where he is."

On if having three touchdown drives in the mock game was encouraging:

"We are on the field to score points. Last night wasn't fun that way, but I wasn't making it about that. There was nothing that I was trying to see. I was really trying to sit back and evaluate it all until I saw a couple of things I didn't like, and then I thought I had to jump in the fray there a little bit. That is kind of who we are. We are going to make some plays that way. As I said before, we are going to run the football. When we throw it, we have to make some plays. I saw some receivers step up and make some plays. The quarterbacks made some throws, and that is what you look for."

On if his feelings about potentially changing the QB rotation are different after today:

"I will. I'm sure I will. I want to go through the weekend, go through last night and go through today and really sit down and make what I think is the best decision for our football team for Thursday night. That is what is important. I will keep stressing that Thursday night may be different than what the regular season may be. If it is, it is. If it isn't, then it isn't, too. My job is to make sure that I put the guy out there who gives us the best chance to score points and help this team win. That is what I'm going to do."

On specifically what the QBs need to work on:

"I still think learning. What I have done to them, which is kind of unfair, is they are playing with a lot of different people. We haven't established a real pecking order of who is the starting quarterback so you can play with a unit and play with a group. They know everybody they throw to, but I would like to get them comfortable that way and kind of know who they are going to be playing with when you are playing against an opponent. We will kind of narrow that down this week. Just working through progressions, understanding and knowing you teammates, knowing where guys are going to be on every play, we have the whole spectrum from the veteran player who knows how to play to a young player who is still emerging and learning how to play the position. There is a lot of growth that needs to happen over the next few weeks, but nothing says that we can't do that, either.

On if he will meet with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta when determining the QB order:

"Absolutely, I will definitely meet with Paul and Sashi and talk about it, just to kind of see where we are. I would love to have their input. I want to see what they have seen and how they feel about it, and we will go from there."

On if he will meet with them tomorrow:

"It could be tonight. It could be here in 20 minutes. I don't know (laughter)."

On if the QB decision will be made by the group rather than just him:

"I try to do everything within the organization as an organization. I'm always going to inform them of what I feel. I love to hear and collaborate with them on the things that they feel, because I think that is important."

On if winning preseason games is important:

"Absolutely, I do – I want to win them all if I can. You said it. I do not want to go 0-4 again. I don't want to feel like that. I don't think this team deserves that. We need to go out and play good in front of our fans and go win. I don't care what we are playing. I just think that has got to be our mindset. I think the mindset is different than what it is. If we are going to play, we need to go win. Everybody, like you said says that, but I mean it. We need to go win."

On balancing the need to see QB DeShone Kizer's ability without giving him too much to handle:

"I think that is kind of a feel. You have to make sure that you know when you put him out there what is it that he can do and what he can't do. We are asking him to do things that he can do right now. We are not asking him to do things that he can't. He has done a good job. I think we all have known that, but he is growing. He is getting better. I think last night was eye opening for him. He shared that with you all. I think it was a great experience for him, though. He will grow from that experience really fast the more he plays, just because being in that environment with your teammates in front of fans in a different stadium, it is different. We will have to get used to that."

On Haden 'looking like the old Joe' and his development after coming off an injury:

"It is way different. He is stronger. He is bigger. I think Joe has put on seven, eight pounds. He is running extremely way. We have done a great job, our medical staff coming up with a plan. As I have mentioned to you guys all earlier before we started of just making sure that we keep all of our guys pretty healthy. He is one of those guys. I think his body needs that rest. I think he has handled that well. When he has practiced, he has practiced extremely well. When he has played in competitive situations, he has done that very well. It is good for Joe."

On if the QB decision is based on who can score points and win or the person that 'can handle something more than they are handling now':

"I think it is a little bit of what you mentioned, but it is also a feeling of who I think can be the guy and then kind of going in that direction, first and foremost, but leave the door open. We do have candidates that can play. Who knows? That guy might go out there and not play as well. I don't want to shut the door that way, but I also don't want that guy looking over his shoulder, as well, because you have to play. That is why I say that it can kind of be a little bit of both. This is a tough situation to be in but a good situation to be in because we have good candidates. It is just a matter of making a good choice of who I think is best for our football team, and moving forward."

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