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Hue Jackson press conference - 9/12

Opening statement:

"Obviously, yesterday is not how we wanted to start our season.  Today, we get to look at the 'what and why' and why things didn't go the way we wanted them to. We get a chance to make some corrections and move forward. We are working through that process now watching tape with our guys, and I think it has been a good day's work with them that way in the weight room and looking at themselves offensively, defensively and special teams. I think we understand there is some improvement that we need to do. We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds on offense and defense, a little bit on special teams, but they are very fixable things. We understand there is a process to it and our guys are excited about the opportunity to get back out to practice and see if we can make due on some of those changes.

"Obviously, I'm sure you all have heard the news about (QB) Robert (Griffin III). It is really unfortunate because Robert worked extremely hard to put himself in position to be our quarterback, to be one of the team leaders and it is just very unfortunate. Please let me make it known, Robert did not get hurt trying to run into a linebacker or DB. It was close to the end of the game when he broke out when I think it happened, that he could remember. I think he broke out and was trying to scramble and trying to get out of bounds and I think (TE) Gary (Barnidge) was blocking the defender and the defender was really out of bounds. (Griffin) was trying to get there, and at the last second, he was being pushed in the back and as he turned to go out of bounds, the guy was standing there, hit him right in the chest. That is how that happened. It wasn't because he was trying to take on a defender doing a scramble or anything like that. It is just very unfortunate. These things happen in football and we will move forward."

On if there was consideration that that the hit on Griffin was not clean:

"No because I really couldn't tell. I could not tell how close it was to the side. I don't think it was bad. I don't think the guy was trying to hurt Robert, if that is what you are implying. I think the guy was out of bounds himself, and I think he reacted to here comes this player running at him at the last second. I think they both saw each other and it was just a reaction. That is why Robert kind of ended on top of him and they fell on top of each other. It is football. Those things happen. It is unfortunate, but it does happen in this sport."

On teaching that a QB has to protect the ball and protect himself and if this was an error in the second area:

"No because I think he was trying to protect himself. I think he was truly heading out of bounds. I think this is one of the times where it is unfortunate that he did not see the guy and I don't think the guy saw him because Gary was blocking him. At the last second, here is this guy that pops up. He is being pushed in the back as this is happening, probably lost control a little bit, but he was trying to do the right thing. There is no question in my mind about that."

On if it was possible for Griffin to slide to avoid the hit:

"No because I think his momentum was taking him out of bounds. He was so close to the sideline that you think you can run out and be OK. I don't think he saw the guy at all until the very last second."

On stating in the preseason that more yards is not always better:

"Yeah, but if you are heading out of bounds, you are heading out of bounds, right? You would think you could get out of bounds.

On if a slide would have been the right decision, given 'more is not always better':

"No, it was not. That's what I'm saying is the player was out of bounds. If you see the play, you will see it clearly that the guy was out of bounds when all of a sudden he tackled Robert."

On not being allowed to tackle a guy when the tackling player is out of bounds:

"Yeah, this guy was out of bounds and you should not be able to be out of bounds and tackle a guy, but I think when he saw Robert, he was trying to get his momentum back in bounds and I think Robert was trying to get out of bounds. Again, Gary was blocking a player and at the last second, this player appears. It is like a block and you feel like you can get out of bounds right before this guy is about to touch you, but then all of a sudden, you get pushed in the back and they are closer to you than you think and boom, you get tackled."

On if Griffin is out for the year:

"No, I think he will be designated for IR (injured reserve). We will get an opportunity to see where he is four weeks from now and then kind of go from there, but it might be a little while before he is able to come back out and play."

On if surgery is a possibility for Griffin once he is reevaluated:

"I do not know that. We will not know that until we reevaluate everything again. I think there is a chance that hopefully it will not be that, but I do not think we will know until we get an opportunity to reevaluate it again."

On how relieved the Browns are to have a veteran in QB Josh McCown:

"Very. That is why you keep him here. I said that to you guys a long time ago. You have to have quarterbacks on your football team that can play, and that is why we kept Josh here because he knows how to play and he has been in this league. He understands our offense and what we are trying to accomplish. It is unfortunate that this happened to Robert, but it is comforting to know that we have a guy that has played in NFL games and knows how to manage games and play the game and play within our system."

On the importance of getting Griffin back in the game on the last drive:

"No, I think he wanted to be out there with his teammates. I do not think anybody knew to the extent of the injury. Sometimes we are all tough guys. We go out there and play and we want to stay out there with our teammates and finish the game. That is a credit to Robert. I do not think he didn't not-want to be out there with his guys. At the time, I don't think anybody [knew]. Our medical staff is as good as anybody, and we would never put a player out there if there was a chance that there could be something serious. At the time, I don't think it was anything. If I am not mistaken, we just handed the ball off the last times he was in the game and finished the game. I thought it was a good decision for him to get back out there with his teammates and finish the game."

On the Browns' frustration that the team will not have the year to evaluate Griffin:

"That is part of it. That is part of this business. It is frustrating, but at the same time, I do get it. I have always been part of the saying, 'Next man up.' It is real in this league. It is unfortunate you have the injuries that you do, but you have to be able to move on from it because nobody is going to feel sorry for us about it. We have to move on to the next guy and keep going."

On if the Browns are looking to add another QB to the roster, in addition to McCown, QB Cody Kessler and practice squad QB Kevin Hogan:

"We haven't had those discussions. We have two guys. We have Cody (Kessler) that is here and we have Kevin that is here. We will look to our guys first, and then if we feel like we need to move on from there and find somebody else, then we will. Right now, we are comfortable with where we are and we will continue to have those discussions."

On what Kessler needs to do be prepared as the backup QB:

"He has got to practice. The times you saw him in preseason, he had not had an opportunity to have a lot of snaps in practice because normally the guys that played in the preseason were the guys that we were trying to somewhat get ready to play. If it turns into that, we just have to get him some more reps than what he had before. We will cross that bridge as we go through this week."

On if the offense will change with McCown at QB:

"I'm sure there are bits and pieces that will, but at the same time, he has been here through OTAs, training camp and the preseason. I know what he is capable of doing, and we will tailor things to him. I don't think we have to totally change our offense from what it has been."

On what went wrong during the fake punt based on film review:

"What had happened was like I said, I take total responsibility for it. There were some guys that needed to be in the game a little sooner than what they were. We did not get that communicated properly throughout. Again, I have the veto to say, 'OK, let's not do this,' and I did not call it off soon enough."

On if the Browns were a man down on the fake punt play:

"No, we were not a man down. We had 11. It was just about making sure the other offensive players, they were coming off the field and they had to go back. We had enough. I think they just snuffed it out once our guys started to go back and with (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) standing back there. The time of surprise did not happen the way it should have. They snuffed it out and made a great play."

On what went wrong during Eagles QB Carson Wentz's two passing TDs:

"One of them, he made a tremendous throw – the one with (DB) Tramon (Williams). Tramon was trying to play with outside leverage. The guy kind of took leverage away and made a play. The other one with (DB) Joe (Haden), the guy made a heck of a throw and the guy made a heck of a play. Our guys, obviously, both of our players understand they need to stay on top. It is a top-down deal. You do not want to get beat deep so it is something we have to improve."

On Griffin was playing well and showing good signs for the future throughout the offseason:

"He was. He had. He is improved. The one thing that has been an Achilles' heel throughout the preseason has been our third down percentage, and it showed up again in our first game. It is something that to me that has been an issue that I have to address because it is what is allowing our defense to stay out there quite a bit and allowing our offense not to stay on the field quite a bit. We can't be 2-for-10 on third down. We have to get better. That is when the quarterback and the receivers and the line have to be at their best, and we have not done that so that has been a problem. I have to, along with the offensive coaches, get that fixed."

On Griffin's injury and how it could affect the Browns' 2017 draft, given the team has two first-round selections:

"You said it best – I haven't thought that far yet. There is Baltimore right around the corner here and that is probably what is totally on my mind and just making sure that our players grow from the experience that we had on Sunday. I'm sure it will be a conversation here pretty soon."

On the Browns not using timeouts on the final drive of the fourth quarter:

"We were down by a ton of points. I forget exactly what it was. What was the final score, 29-10? So I think we're down by 19 points. Putting the offense back out there again in that situation when they were making a first down was not going to serve anything at that particular point in time in my opinion. That is why I made the decision that I did."

On if the Browns have had remorse for not drafting Wentz after his performance yesterday:

"No, we haven't. That is one thing I can tell you for sure has not happened. He did. He had a good game, a great game if you guys want to term it that, and I respect that. He is a fine young man and they have good coaches and a good organization, and he is going to do well for them, but that was one game. He played well. Like I said, we will look back and see where he is over a period of time, but the Browns have to get better. That is what we have to do. We have to play better, and I think we all understand that."

On if this loss 'rocked his world' a bit less than if he was a first-year head coach:

"Absolutely. Yeah, no my world had not been rocked yet. It would take a lot to rock my world this way (laughter). Am I disappointed? Yeah, I'm disappointed for our players and for the organization and for the fans. We want to put a better product out there. I think our players want to play better, and my job is to help them play better. I'm disappointed in that, but I'm not discouraged by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not. As a matter of fact, I'm more determined to get this fixed and to do better and have our players play better. That is what I told them today. I'm more determined than ever before to get this right because at the end of the day, that is what I came here for. I said it before, I don't like losing, and at the same time, I know in order to win you have to do the right things to give you a chance to win and we have not done that. Until we do that on a consistent basis, will we have an opportunity to win? That is what we're chasing."

On how Griffin is handling his injury:

"He has been outstanding. He has been through a lot so I think he gets it. He understands that it is unfortunate that it happened. He worked extremely hard, but he also understands that there is a bigger plan. Sometimes he is not in control of everything, and it is unfortunate that it happened, but I think he has seen enough situations and been in enough in this league to understand that things happen in due time and that you have to work through this and be prepared when the next opportunity comes."

On Eagles RB and KR/PR Darren Sproles' 40-yard punt return, considering many special teams players from last year are no longer with the Browns:

"We have to go cover. It is not about the guys that are not here. It is about the guys that are here. The guys that are here have to get it done. They are here because we believe they can do the job. We were trying to cover one of the premier returners in all of pro football. There was a time we had him pinned in a couple times and made some good plays, and there was a time that we didn't. Those times that we didn't, we have to learn from that and not give that guy that kind of space to make that kind of play. We have guys that I think are very capable. We just have to do it better. We have to do it better than we have done it."

On Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown's statement on Griffin being a long-term investment and developing him over time and if that holds true given the injury:

"I think Sashi made a statement and I'm going to let that one stay there. Right now, I'm not even thinking about that. It is unfortunate that here is this news this young man is going to be out a while. What is important for our football team is that we move forward and worry about the game that is coming up this week and this week of practice and trying to get ourselves ready to play a good Baltimore team that is coming into town." * *

On Browns coaches ensuring losing the starting QB will not 'suck the wind out of the sail' of young WRs:

"That can't. This is pro football. That can't suck the wind out of your sails. You have to go. Whoever is playing quarterback for us, you have to get in sync with him real quickly. That is the good part about Josh is he has been here. He has been around these guys and he has helped mentor not just the quarterbacks but also the receivers so he understands our rooms extremely well. I feel very comfortable that he will get those guys where they need to be and get them playing good."

On how many more chances OL Cameron Erving will get to improve his shotgun snap:

"That is a good question. I don't know if you get too many chances to keep snapping it over the quarterback's head (laughter). I think he knows that. It is unfortunate. It is something that can't happen in a game. It is embarrassing and it is not right, but at the same time, I think for the negative that Cam did he is doing some good things, too. Early in the game for the most part, our protection was flawless. We blocked them better than even what I expected early in the game. That is a talented front and I think we did some really good things. As the game wore on, I think the anxiety and pressure wore on, and we have to get better that way. Cam is working at it, I'm sure. We are going to do everything we can to help fix that. I don't want to coach the center and the quarterback snap, but if I have to take my jacket off and go down there and start coaching it, then I am going to."

On if Erving's height affects his snaps:

"I don't think that. You go back and check when I was at Oakland, the guy that played center for me the first game of the year at Tennessee, his name was Jared Veldheer and he is 6'8". (Former Raiders owner and GM) Al Davis thought he could be the center of the future so he played center the first game against Tennessee at 6'8". I have had a tall center before for a moment. Cam can do it. It is unfortunate the snaps show up, and it is something he has to correct. I'm disappointed in that but I'm not down on the player. He has to get that fixed and has to get it corrected. It will hurt our football team if it keeps happening. There is no doubt about that."

On losing a starting QB while coaching in 2011 and what he learned from that situation:

"I learned not to trade (laughter). Don't do that. Don't do that because they will tell you that you did it. I learned a valuable lesson in that situation. I was just having a little fun right there, but I learned that if the team has been around the guy who has the chance to be a quarterback, it is probably better off keeping a guy that you have there just because there is continuity. The guys know what to expect from that player and how he is going to perform and what he is going to do. That was the biggest teacher for me. This situation is different than that one – I hate to compare – but we have a very capable backup here, a guy that has played in the National Football League for a lot of years and knows how to play and understands the lay of the land here and what needs to be done so I'm excited about that."

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