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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 9/18

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Short week. This is good. I am sure that you guys are happy, too. Get a little break on the back end of it.

"It is a quick turnaround. Obviously, we wanted to play as fast as we could after this past weekend. I think our guys are excited to get back out and play. We had a little practice today and are in meetings now. We want to get back out in front of our fans and get back into our stadium, our surroundings, the Dawg Pound and the rest of the people that support us and go fight like heck to go get a win this weekend. The Jets are playing good football. Obviously, they are a 1-1 football team. They won on the road so they know how to do that – won at Detroit earlier in the year and lost at home this past week. They are a talented football team – a young quarterback, a very talented defense, a very talented skill guys on offense. It is a challenge every week for our football team.

"From an injury standpoint, (DL) Emmanuel (Ogbah) will not make the game this week, but we are getting closer, which I am excited about that. Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey), we will see how all of that unfolds. (DB) Damarious (Randall), we will see where he is, but Damarious did not practice today. We will see where we are. Outside of that, there is nothing else to really report form a medical standpoint. All of the other bruises that we had, I think we will be fine and be ready to play. I feel good about our team. Our team is excited, hungry, disappointed, anxious – all of those words you want to use, but they are looking forward to playing at home on Thursday night because it is another opportunity for us to go out and get a win."

On if he is feeling pressure to win on Thursday night after being close the first two weeks of the season:

"I do now know if it is the pressure; we just need to do it. In the fourth quarter, I am not saying, 'OK, what is going to happen here?' Nothing like that. We just have to make the plays. Like I told our guys this morning, we have to make the plays that win games. We were not able to finish it last weekend. We were not able to finish it the weekend before that. If we get the opportunity, we have to nail it shut when they show up. That is what we have to do."

On NY Jets QB Sam Darnold:

"Talented quarterback. He has thrown for a lot of yards in two weeks. He has turned the ball over a little bit, like most young guys will, but he is playing well for them. He is playing within their system. Obviously, they trust him. They are throwing the ball a lot with him. He is able to make plays outside of the pocket with his legs. He has some good guys to throw it to. He is making progress, I am sure, in their system. I am sure that they feel very comfortable with him being their quarterback. He is 1-1 right now. He has an opportunity to come in here Thursday night and make it a tough night for us."

On value of QB Drew Stanton and NY Jets QB Josh McCown assisting the development of young QBs:

"I think that those guys are invaluable. I am sure that Josh can advise him on the Thursday night game. That is a different process for a young quarterback. Josh has played here, knows the environment pretty well and knows kind of how I think a little bit. He has played against (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams before and played against us here last year and won. I am sure that he will impart all of that information that he can to Sam. The beautiful part about it, whether it is Josh or Drew, is those guys are not playing. The players have to play. They can give them the information, but those guys have to go out and play the game."

On WR Antonio Callaway:

"He is making strides. Obviously, the catch to tie the game last week is a confidence booster for any young player. I think that he was always coming on. We were not trying got push him to fast, not give him too much too fast. Now, he has to take it all. It is time. I think that he will do well. He has always competed hard, and he always works at it. It is another step for him. This Thursday night will be good for him."

On if Callaway's play has been a confidence booster for offensive coordinator Todd Haley and him:

"Absolutely. You want to see someone other than the people that you know that is going to start to elevate himself and start making plays for you. He was able to do that. That was a huge play. I am sure that you guys went back and watched it. For him to go and track that ball down like he did, wow. He can run."

On if the specialists are developing a chemistry together with the signing of K Greg Joseph:

"Yes. I got a bird's eye view today. The snap looked good, the hold looked good and the kick looked good. As you guys know, you have to do it on Thursday night. What we do right now really does not matter. We are working at it and working through anything that potentially could be issues, but it has to be right on Thursday night. That is what pros do. That is what we have to do."

On if Joseph will kick at FirstEnergy Stadium before Thursday night's game:

"We have not decided that yet. We definitely are going to talk about that today. We will do whatever we think that we need to do to make sure that he is ready to go. He came over to me and said, 'Coach, thanks for the opportunity.' He had a big, bright smile on his face. He is excited about being here, excited about having the opportunity to kick. He has that mindset – 'Put me out there, Coach. I will go win the game if need be.'"

On if Darnold made the Browns' decision with No. 1 overall draft choice difficult:

"Yeah, all of those guys did. We did a good job as an organization of really working through all of the guys from top to bottom to be very honest with you. We spent time with him and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected (QB) in Baker (Mayfield), and I am sure they do with him. He is a fine prospect and is going to b a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too."

On if the Browns will use their draft evaluations of Darnold to prepare for Thursday's game:

"We are going to use every piece of information we can. You can believe it. We have an idea of who we are playing, there is no doubt. He is a tough, competitive young man. He is not going to shy away from anything. He is going to stand there and try to make plays if need be. He doesn't get rattled much. We will use all of the information we have to our advantage."

On if he watched Callaway's touchdown and was awed by the play and athleticism:

"I did about five times because each time it was like he was getting faster at the end. The burst to go get the ball was phenomenal. It was good. Obviously, it was a heck of a play. Hell of a throw and a heck of a catch."

On if he knew the ball was going to Callaway:

"The trajectory of the ball, I knew he was throwing it deep, but they both were kind of running in the same plane. When the ball was let go by Tyrod, I knew because he was throwing it high because normally the ball inside to Jarvis you got to throw on more of a line so I knew it was going down there somewhere. It is just when he threw it, I thought, 'Oh my.' I did not think we could get to it to be honest with you. All of a sudden, I see this guy go vroom and he runs right under the ball. What a play."

On the Browns defense forcing eight turnovers in two weeks and if it is a realistic expectation:

"That is the plan. That is what we want to do. We have got to keep it going. As I say every week when I talk to you guys, that is what we needed to do heading into the year. That has been an emphasis for our football team to get more turnovers on defense and do not turn it over on offense and be on the plus side of this thing. It is the key to our victory. It truly is. The plan is to go in and do everything we can to make them give it to us."

On Williams is excited to face a rookie QB after facing potential Pro Football Hall of Fame QBs in back-to-back weeks:

"Gregg gets excited going up against anybody, trust me. That is just Gregg. He is competitive. Obviously, we earn our reputation in this league by slowing down the great quarterbacks and beating the really good defenses. Gregg is Gregg, and he is excited about playing whoever we are playing. He has not left this building. We all feel that way. Here is an opportunity for us to play another good team here at home in front of our fans, and we do not want to disappoint anybody. We need to go play well, improve and keep getting better."

On how much turnovers was discussed this offseason after not creating many last year:

"That is something that is really important to me as a head coach. We needed more. We needed to help our offense more, and the offense needed to help the defense more. We can't hurt each other that way. We can't turn it over and put our defense in tough situations to stop teams backed up on our side of the field. We can't not get turnovers. If you look at last year, we turned the ball over way too much and we did not get enough so that has been a huge emphasis by the staff. I think that is bearing fruit for us right now."

On if he believes some players have a nose for turnovers:

"Oh, I do. I think my man T- Mitch (DB Terrance Mitchell) has shown that. Money Mitch has gotten the ball out. He has a knack for it, for ripping the ball out and giving us a chance. (DB) Damarious Randall getting his hands on the ball, I think that is outstanding. Our defensive line is rushing. We are getting our hands on quarterbacks to force some other fumbles. I think we just have to continue to do those things and then we will look back at the end of the year and see how well we have done, and obviously, the win-loss record will be the most important part of it."

On if there has been discussion on how to get RB Duke Johnson Jr. more playing time and touches:

"Yeah, obviously, he is one of our better playmakers, and he has to touch the ball. Duke is a tremendous player. We are glad he is here, and we have got to put him position to make an impact because he can. We will continue to look at different ways of getting him involved, but we will. We will get Duke going."

On NY Jets RB Isaiah Crowell:

"He is a pro. Crowell is a good back. Obviously, he is averaging over six yards a carry right now. He has done some good things for them. He brings quickness, suddenness and speed. I think he is a tough, competitive person and a competitive player. We have to tackle him on Thursday night. They are going to give it to him, that is for sure."

On if this is a crucial game for the organization, especially given it is on national TV:

"You can look at it that way. I think every game is crucial. It is not just because we are on Thursday Night Football. I just think anytime we are competing against another organization and another team, we want to be at our best. We have not done that in a lot of tries, two this year. We have come a long way. We think we are headed in the right direction as an organization and as a football team, but the only thing that can validate that is winning. I do not care if it is Thursday night, Sunday or Monday. It does not matter. I think when we play, our goal is to go out and play well enough for four quarters to secure victory, and that is all we need to do."

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