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Hue Jackson press conference - 9/12

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"It was good to get back on the grass with our guys today. Obviously, we have a big game in Baltimore against a good football team that is 1-0 in the division and played really well in Cincinnati. It is a tall task for us, but we are looking forward to it. I thought our guys came back out with a lot of energy, a good practice. We will have good meetings tonight and get ready to do it again tomorrow."

On the impressiveness of Baltimore's defense:

"Very. It is one of the best defenses we will play all year. Their front seven is as good as anybody. (Ravens LB C.J.) Mosley is playing as good as I have seen him play. (Ravens OLB ) Terrell Suggs looks like he has found the fountain of youth all over again. The two inside tackles are as good as there is in football. The corners are good. The safeties are good. They have a really good football team, but as I say it every week, we are going to play teams that are kind of built that way. That is the National Football League. We are looking forward to going down and accompanying the challenge that is going to be laid before us."

On how Suggs has been able to sustain success:

"He is guy that takes care of his body. I think he understands himself, first and foremost. He loves football. He always has. In my time around him, he was sensational that way. He loves to play the game. He is a team leader. I think he is one of those guys that doesn't want to let his teammates down or the organization down. That is just what he is built of. That is just who Terrell Suggs is."

On Ravens QB Joe Flacco having a lower winning percentage after winning a Super Bowl:

"He is a Super Bowl winning quarterback. That is what he is. He is a good player. He has been a good quarterback. He has that status in the National Football League because he has won a Super Bowl and he has won playoff games. Joe knows how to play, and he knows how to lead that team."

On if WR Kenny Britt needs to show something during this week of practice in order to start on Sunday:

"No, we will just go through the week. All of our guys, there are some things that we want to see them do better and we will work through that this week and make decisions about where we are as we get closer to game time."

On OL Kevin Zeitler is expected to play on Sunday:

"Yes, I do. Obviously, Kevin had a procedure on his thumb. I think he will be right back out here very quickly, hopefully tomorrow or Thursday, but I think Kevin will  be up and ready to go."

On if Zeitler will have to wear a protective cast over his thumb:

"He might have to wear some protective piece over his hand, but he is not going to miss any time. I do know that."

On LB Joe Schobert's performance against Pittsburgh:

"I think he did a great job. I wish he would have got just another finger on that ball, but he has done an outstanding job. I saw it in training camp. I told you guys that before. He is not surprising to me. He fits the system that we are running on defense and I think it is the right fit for him. He is demonstrating that."

On if Schobert is still learning the MIKE position, given his comments following the first game:

"I think there are some things he is still growing at, but he has been very productive for our defense and leading our defense. Our middle linebacker is our quarterback. He has done a great job of getting guys in the right play calls defensively for our defensive unit. Is he still growing? Yes. That means there is a lot of good football ahead for him, but he has done an outstanding job in my opinion."

On if Schobert is faster since losing weight during the offseason:

"Oh yeah, to me he is much faster. He is more fluid. He looks like a big time linebacker. I think the sky is the limit for him if he can keep growing and keep getting better within this system."

On the Cleveland Indians' 21-game winning streak and if he wants that for his football team:

"Oh, absolutely. I just said, 'I will take that.' I will take half of that right now. They have done an outstanding job and my hat is off to them. Everything they have done, they are on their way back again. They have great management. They have done a great job acquiring other players. They are what it is all about. This city is rocking now, there is no question. We have had the Cavs, we have the Indians – Come on Browns, let's go."

On if he is at the facility when Kizer arrives at 5 am:

"You better know I am. I can't let him beat me in the building (laughter). Absolutely. He is here. (Quarterbacks) Coach (David) Lee is here. We are all here. This is part of the process for him. I guarantee he wasn't a crack-of-dawn guy before, but that has changed. He is a stay-late-at-night guy, too. He is working at it. This young man is really coming on. He is getting better. I see him getting better in a lot of different areas, and that is what you look for. Now, he has to go play well, play well and consistently week in and week out and give this team a chance to win."         

On if it is typical for young players to arrive at the facility that early:

"Not a little bit earlier than normal if you play for me. That is just part of it. This is your job. It is what you do. There is a process to it and we work through it. There are things we do early and things we do late. It is just who he is. This is going to become who DeShone Kizer is, and he understands that. That is the commitment you have to make to this football team and this organization."

On when he arrives at the facility and if he sleeps at the office:

"No, I'm not a sleep at the office guy. I kind of duck out when I can. I don't need too much sleep to be honest with you. I'm one of those kind of guys. Whatever it takes. As I tell our staff and our players, there is no time. I do have a watch. I don't look at it very much because you can't. The time is now. Whatever it takes for us to get better, that is what we have to do."

On if he will decide on a backup QB as the week goes on:

"Yes, I will. As we go through this week, we will have a pretty good idea of where we are."

On advice for Kizer regarding his first career road game:

"They are coming (laughter). That is the biggest thing I can say to him. This young man is going into uncharted territory for him. Going into Baltimore, the stadium where it will be loud, a good defensive football team, on the road, division game. There are a lot of subplots here, but the biggest one for him is preparing and being ready for whatever comes at him. My job is to create the environment for him along with Coach Lee and the rest of our offensive coaches. I think we will do that, and then he has to go do the work. If he is what I think he is, then he will rise up to the challenge and play the way I know he can play. I think his teammates will help him do that."

On OL Joe Thomas' streak of consecutive snaps approaching 10,000:

"He is amazing. You guys know how I feel about Joe Thomas. What he has done and how he has done it is remarkable to me. We are talking about a guy who has never missed a snap. That is kind of unheard of. I see guys come out for things where I go, 'Whoa'. Now, it amazes me if anybody ever comes out of a game having been around Joe Thomas and seeing what he has done. I think our players see that, too. I think a lot of that rubs off in our locker room. You talk about a guy who is an iron man? That is a true iron man. That is truly what it is all about."

On how differently he treated Ravens QB Joe Flacco as a rookie compared to Kizer:

"Joe probably wouldn't come in at 5 (laughter). He probably fought me a little bit on that, but, no, Joe came in early just not as early. He stayed later. They were just on different football teams at that time, different areas. I hate to compare guys. They are different players, different people. Some people need certain things and some people don't, but Joe was really good, very bright, worked extremely hard. Like I said, we are talking about a guy who won a Super Bowl. He was a hard worker when he was with me."

On if everything he experienced with Flacco as a rookie help him coach Kizer:

"Absolutely, even more so. Watching Joe in this division and playing against, like you were saying, just the reverse, 'OK, let's go play Pittsburgh.' We played Pittsburgh three times that first year if I'm not mistaken and having to go through that with him and how difficult that was, but there were lessons in there that I'm sure he used later on to get to where he is today. DeShone is going through that now. He played Pittsburgh last week. Here we go again on the road against Baltimore. That is not an easy task. The scheduling sure isn't nice to us, but that is OK because the growth that he will get out of these two games and growing as a football player, as a quarterback, as the leader of this football team, as a guy in the locker room and as a guy who is the face of this organization, this is what it is all about. This is how you build a quarterback."

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