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Hue Jackson press conference - 8/7

Head Coach Hue Jackson

Opening statement:

“As I told my team afterwards, that is how we practice. That was a very spirited practice. I had a great conversation with them last night after them being off, because there is a certain level that I want our team to achieve every day. Every day we have to keep getting a little bit better. I did not think that we hit that bar yesterday, but today we did. I think that we got after it. We still have a ways to go. We have a preseason game on Thursday night. Our guys are looking forward to playing. Again, we have another opportunity to practice tomorrow.”

On the report involving WR Antonio Callaway:

“Obviously, I am just now finding out about it. But obviously, I think you guys know me pretty well. We will have a very strong conversation about it. Let me find out all of the facts – everything that went into it – and then go from there.”

On Callaway not informing the organization:

“Again, until I know the facts, I really cannot say anything about anything. I want to know more about it. Obviously, I am disappointed in it, but I need to understand exactly what happened.”

On what he can do to help guide Callaway:

“We have kind of laid out what our expectations are. We said what we do and what we do not do. Like I said, my job is to make sure that I look into these things, understand them all, and then, the person has to deal with the consequences that comes with it. We do not take things likely, butt the same time, until I know everything about it, I do not want to make a strong comment one way or the other.”

On if it is too early to say if Callaway will play on Thursday night:

“Absolutely. I hear what we are saying, but until I know all of the facts and have a chance to talk to the young man – understand what is at stake here – I cannot comment on it.”

On how much he has talked with Callaway about these types of situations:

“Quite a bit. This is surprising to me. It is. He is a young guy. Here is something that had happened and we have to deal with it. To understand it first, before I talk about consequences or anything, is important.”

On if he is confident in the organization’s support system around Callaway:

“I am still confident in that. I want to understand it. What you guys have said and what it is might be something different. That is all I am saying. What (general manager) John (Dorsey) said is absolutely right. I support him 100 percent.”

On how surprised he is on finding out about the Callaway situation:

“That is what I am saying, I am surprised at this. He has been great. We have had no slip ups, no issues. This is a young player, who obviously made a bad decision or bad choice. I have to find out. Believe me, when we find out more of the facts, I will tell you straight out, exactly what it is when I know.”

On if this is ‘alarming’ due to Callaway’s past happenings:

“Absolutely. No doubt. We cannot run from that. Obviously, the red flag is up, because that is something that he has had. Let me work through it, see what it is and go from there.”

On the timing if the timing of the situation was bad, due to the recent trade of WR Corey Coleman:

“This happened today. Corey was traded a day ago. I am not going to say that it was bad timing. There is not good time for any of this, at any time. At the same time, I do not want to look at it based on Corey not being here and this happening. It happened. Let’s deal with it and move on.”

On if he will give OL Joel Bitonio extra reps in the game:

“No. I think if you watch who he practices against every day, he is getting a lot of reps, a lot of different ways. I just think we have to continue to work it, because I do not plan on giving him anymore reps. This guy is a starter, has played in this league and knows what to do.”

On if he has disclosed the quarterbacks playing time:

“I am close – (QB) Tyrod (Taylor) is going to start the game. (QB) Baker (Mayfield) is going to play and then we will make a decision around the fourth quarter on who else is playing and kind of go from there.” 

On how much time Mayfield will play:

“It probably is going to be two, for sure. Then, we will see where it goes from there.”

On how he deals with players:

“Oh, no doubt. Well, we have not had any issues that way. We have been fortunate over the last couple of years. We have not had things pop up. I truly believe in our process, how we go about it and how we talk about things. So again, this is something – I am glad it is happening now, so we can deal with it and move forward. I think our locker room understands how we handle business. This young man will definitely understand how we handle business, too.”

On when WR Josh Gordon will return:

“I do not know that. Josh is still doing what he needs to do. And again, he will be back at some point in time.”

On if he wants the first team offense to get a certain amount of plays in:

“It is a number of plays. I need them to be out there together and experience some things. Hopefully, have some success moving the ball, find some chemistry amongst the group and let them play.”

On if he is excited to watch the rookies play tomorrow:

“Well it is different for me. We have a lot of new players. I am looking forward to watching Tyrod orchestrate our offense. (TE) David Njoku in year two, (RB) Carlos Hyde, (RB Nick) Chubb, (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) and obviously, (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and the rest of our guys play together. On defense, (DL) Myles (Garrett), (DB Denzel) Ward, (LB Christian Kirksey) Kirko and (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.). Watching these guys play together – defensively, offensively and special teams – the goal is to go and evaluate our football team. I think we all know that is what we are trying to do. I want to see Baker play. And yeah, I want to evaluate our team and in order to do that we have to put them out there and let them play.”

On DB Jabrill Peppers getting two picks today:

“Awesome. That is what we want in the game. Make those plays and get the ball from the other team.”

On if he will play the No. 2 offense, even if the No. 1 defense is still playing:

“Yes, because I have an idea of what I want to see and there is a time for it. But again, you know how this thing goes. You are there, you think the numbers are going to be that and all of a sudden the other team keeps the ball longer or something like that. So we are going to play through it, work it out as we go, but I have an idea of what I want to see from our football team."

On if fans will get a better idea via Hard Knocks on how the Browns run the team from an everyday standpoint:

“I hope so. I think Hard Knocks is going to tell a story about a team that comes to work every day, works hard, has a vision and has a purpose with everything they do. Everything we do is toward winning and this group has their heads down and are working. We know we have a long ways to go. And hopefully, that story will be told.”

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