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Hue Jackson press conference - 9/19

Opening statement:

"Still disappointed by yesterday's result. I think we all understand that we started off really well, like I like for our team to start in two phases and really all three phases to begin with. In order to be a real successful team, you have to finish. That is something that we can learn as a football team. We didn't finish so at the end of the day, we didn't get the result that we all desired. That was disappointing for our football team, for our fans, for everybody involved. At the same time, there were some very encouraging things. The start was how you want a team to start. We ran the ball better than a lot of people anticipated. I knew it would be tough sledding, but our guys really did a great job in the first half up front. I was very encouraged by our run defense. Early in the game, we did some great things in the run game versus their offensive football team. At the end of the day, we didn't finish. If we could have mustered one more opportunity to score, it would have been a different outcome. At the same time, we had the ball last with a chance to win it and that just didn't happen. The message to the team today was just about finishing. Like we do every week, whether we win, lose or draw, we are going to turn the page. We have a big game coming up in Miami, and we have to get ready for it. We can't sit and worry about what happened yesterday. We can learn from what happened yesterday, but what is going to be really important is that we move ahead and get ourselves ready for the next battle.

"Obviously, we had some injuries in this game. (OL) Cam (Erving), as I think you all know, is out of the hospital and home and will be week to week with his pulmonary contusion, whatever name they give that thing. I know he will be chomping at the bit to get back as fast as he can, but more than likely, we will not have him this week. There is IC (DB Isaiah Campbell) who has a hamstring issue. (TE) Randel Telfer is fine. I'm trying to think through them all.

"There is obviously (QB) Josh (McCown). I know Josh is the next question. Josh is going to be out this week, but Josh will be week to week from there on. It is unfortunate. It is something I told our team, 'We have to do everything we can to protect our quarterback.' It is tough. This is a tough sport. When those guys get hit, it is hard, but he is one of the toughest human beings I've seen play in a long time. He is always out there battling. He showed tremendous grit yesterday hanging in there and playing the way he did. There are some throws I know he wishes he had back, but at the same time, I think he played as well and as hard as he could."

On McCown's injury:

"It is a shoulder/clavicle issue right now that he is working through. That is what we are going to call it. That is what we are going to term it."

On if McCown's shoulder is broken:

"I want to get the right words for you guys. I know it is in the shoulder/clavicle area. I don't know that it is totally broken. I don't think that, but I know that there is something that is not right. I think it is more of a deep sprain at this time than anything, but I don't think there is anything totally broken."

On if QB Cody Kessler will start this week:

"There is a good chance Cody will start this week. There is no question about that. I would like to go through the week and practice and really start a gameplan. We haven't even gotten to the gameplan part of that yet. This is exactly where we are. I know this much: we will do anything and everything we need to do on offense to fill a team and a unit that can go out there and play."

On the Browns' other options at QB, other than Kessler:

"Me. (laughter) No, just kidding. It would be Cody, but what I meant by that is until we get the gameplan going and those type of things. Obviously, he is the next guy up. Cody will be out there playing. There is no doubt about that. I would like to go through the gameplan, see where we are and watch a lot more of Miami and see what we need to do in order to put together an offense to have a chance to go out and compete, to have a chance to score points and win."

On if the Browns will sign a veteran QB to have more personnel at the position:

"I think that is where my point was coming from. We will do everything we can to see if we can help the position first and foremost. Obviously, Cody has to be the guy, but we are also going to keep searching around and making sure that we cross every T and dot every I and see if there is somebody else out there that can help our football team."

On if the Browns would like to bring in a veteran with playing experience:

"You would like that. You said it. You would love to have that luxury, but sometimes, you are not afforded that so we will do whatever we need to do as we go forward."

On if QB Kevin Hogan will be moved to the active roster:

"That is a possibility. That is why I was saying I really want to get through this day and kind of see where we are and see what else is out there before I even say this is exactly what we are doing. That is what I was trying to summarize. That is not anything towards Cody at all. I think we all know you have to have a couple quarterbacks on your football team. We are going to see if we can go find someone but also understand that Kevin here, as well. He has only been here a few weeks, but Cody will definitely get a chance to trot out there and go play."

On the difficulty starting Kessler early in the season:

"It is not difficult for me because that is what I talked about game planning. I tailor a game plan around him. It would be his first start in the National Football League in a legitimate game, not in a preseason game. I'm sure there is anxiety to that as it is, but if I know Cody the way I do, he will be ready to play. He is probably in the indoor right now tossing the ball around trying to get ready to play. That is just the way he is made. He likes that part of it. He will be ready to go."

On if Hogan or WR Terrelle Pryor would play QB in the event something happened to Kessler:

"I think it is too early to make that decision. We will do what we have to do. Somebody is going to play under center there or we are going to get in the single wing, one or the other. We are going to figure something out, I promise you that. We have to snap the ball and have somebody get it and hand it to somebody. We are going to do that, but we will figure that out as we go."

On who will play C, given Erving's status out:

"(OL John) Greco will go over there and play. Greco will go over and play at center, and (OL Alvin) Bailey will go play guard. I feel good about that combination. Greco has done it in games before so I think we will manage that part pretty well."

On his comment last week that situations haven't 'rocked his world':

"Still hasn't rocked my world yet. I'm still sitting here. As long as you guys still see me sitting upright, I am going to be fine. This is pro football and these things happen, maybe not to this degree any place I have been, but I have been toughened before. I have been in the abyss – whatever they say, the bad abyss before – I've been there. We are not getting drug under, I promise you that. We are going to keep fighting and that is what I told the guys. We are not going to get caught up in this. This is so early in the season. This is Week 2. I would probably feel a little bit different and I might be hanging from the rafters up here is this was Week 14 or something and all this was going on, but it is early. Our football team is getting better, and I think you all could see that yesterday in a lot of different areas. We didn't finish it and that was disappointing, but what I saw was a team that showed some grit, some determination, some passion and some energy in the beginning of the game. What I have to do is make sure that we do it all the time. It is a young team and I think we all know that, but it also a team that has some talent, that has some veteran players and veteran presence. What we have to do is just keep fighting and keep working at it."

On if he ever felt that he needed to get McCown out of the game yesterday:

"There was a part of me during the game where I said I need to protect him. As a play caller, when you are trying to protect the quarterback, sometimes it is tough. You might lose your rhythm a little bit with your football team, but at the same time, it is important that he was there in the end to give us the chance to win. I thought he did everything he could do. If I felt like it was going to truly damage him, there is no doubt I would have taken him out in a heartbeat. He was able to finish and wanted to be out there with his guys. There does come a point when you say, 'No more.' There is no question about that."

On DL Carl Nassib's status:

"Carl broke his hand. He will definitely be out this week, and he also will be week to week."

On if Nassib's injury will require surgery:

"Yes, he will."

On if Nassib would be potentially able to play with a cast after surgery:

"Yeah, put on a cast. Yes sir."

On Erving's pulmonary contusion occurring late in the game, given reports he had difficulties earlier in the game:

"No doubt about that. That happened way later in the game. That wasn't something that happened early. I think our medical staff is as good as there is. They were definitely on top of it. I think he was riding the bike to keep his rhythm flowing or whatever it is as he went through the game. That had nothing to do with the injury."

On the Browns potentially signing a backup C:

"That is a possibility, as well, absolutely. We are up against the wall a little bit, but if I know our staff, our executive staff, they are working extremely hard right now so we can get this problem solved, and great, it is Monday. We have a little time to get this right before we play a game on Sunday."

On what McCown means to this team:

"A ton. Josh is extremely tough, passionate. He has been doing this for a lot of years, and I think he has great respect of his teammates in the room, one because of his toughness, his determination and his grit and the fact that he wants to be out there. I think to a man, everybody is a little disappointed we didn't protect for him better to give him a chance to stay out there. He has the complete trust and respect of the locker room because of what he does and how he goes about it. He will fight to the bitter end. I think we all know that and that is what this sport is about. You have to be a fighter and you have to be able to get up off the ground every now and then and keep playing. There is a difference between being injured and being hurt. He demonstrated that up to the best he could. Until all of a sudden, we see things a little bit different so we will move forward."

On if the play when Ravens players jumped on McCown after he gave himself up:

"It is football. He is not declared down until he is declared down. If it was a penalty, they would have thrown a flag. They didn't. If we get a chance to tackle somebody else's quarterback, we are going to do the same. That is the way it goes. That is this sport."

On the taunting penalty called on WR Terrelle Pryor:

"Again, I am not going to get into it. It was called, and for me to comment on it, it is not going to change it."

On accounting for breakdowns on special teams and if it is due to the team's youth:

"It is just not good enough. We are not good enough right now. We have to get better. We do have a lot of young guys over there, but we have expectation for those guys. We have to get it done. We are not letting anybody off the hook, whether it is coaches or players. We have to get better and we have to get better fast in order to accomplish our goals. It is not where it needs to be. We are not where we need to be in any unit right now. When you lose, there are always things, and even when you win, there are things that you have to get better at. There are several things that we have to keep working at in order to improve this football team."

On if he will submit a tape to the NFL for clarifications on officiating and if the tape will be longer than usual

"Absolutely."

On a silver lining for the Browns being an opportunity to evaluate Kessler, even though the situation is not ideal:"I would not want it to be this way, but it is going to be good to get out and see him play. At the same time, it has been two weeks and two different quarterbacks going down. Like I said, pretty soon maybe I'll be playing. I say that in fun, but at the same time, you don't want it to be this way, but that is the nature of this sport. Sometimes, things just do not go your way. We have to fight like heck to get it back our way. We are going to get a chance to see Cody play. We wish it was not like this, but this is how it is."

On having a young team and running a two-minute offense prior to the end of the first half:

"Our quarterback is not a young player. Our quarterback is a veteran player. We are up 20-2. We threw a completion to (TE) Gary Barnidge on the right hash. We had a play on second down where we had a chance that might have gotten us close to field goal position and we turn the ball over. Whether we handed it off or threw it, turnovers can happen. You don't want them to happen. They can happen. I don't think that would have been team protecting if I just turned around and handed off the ball. The same thing could have happened. To me, you call the best play, and we did. It is unfortunate the ball got turned over and away we go. I don't look at it that way. I don't see the point in just saying, 'OK, don't throw that pass.'

On not sitting on the football prior to the end of the first half:

"Sitting on it means going to tell the quarterback to just take a knee. I thought we were playing well, and I thought we were making plays. You go back and look, we had made some tremendous plays. Why not? I think our team would have looked at me a little differently and said, 'Hey, look Coach, you said you were going to be aggressive. Let's keep going.' I thought it was a very safe call and a chance that we could complete it. I think there are a couple plays Josh wishes he could have had back, and I think that is one of them."

On what the Browns have seen from Kessler in practice and the preseason:

"I have seen him do some good things. I have seen him do some things that he needs to improve. I have seen him have a string of completions up to 10, six, eight. We have all seen that, but I haven't seen him play live. I don't think you really learn about players until you really play them in these real games. We will find out a lot about him this weekend."

On if it could be detrimental for Kessler to play when he may not be ready:

"Sometimes, it doesn't matter if you are ready or not. You have to play. This situation right now, you have to play. It doesn't matter if you are ready or not."

On if Kessler playing when he may not be ready could stunt his growth:

"I don't know if it could stunt his growth (laughter). It is either going to improve it or do something to it, right? No, I understand what you are saying, but something is going to come from it, something good or something bad. One or the other, we are going to figure it out this weekend, though."

On if QB Ricky Stanzi is a potential option for the Browns to sign:

"I don't think at this point we will."

On how DL Carl Nassib broke his hand:

"He was in on a football play and I think he was trying to make a move and all of the sudden, he ended up hitting somebody and 'bam.' He probably didn't even know it happened when it happened. You don't normally know about those things until you come off to the side and are kind of guessing when it happened. I am sure it happened in the line of play."

On his comment to Browns fans to trust him when selecting Kessler:

"You are going to trust me this weekend (laughter). Here we go. Here we go. Trust me. Here we come. Here we go. We will see what that statement was all about."

On if the Browns will have to wait to determine how much time McCown will miss as it relates to personnel decisions:

"We know he is out this week, and we know right now on our roster we have one quarterback. We have another guy that is on the practice squad. Regardless of how long or what the situation will be with Josh, it is important that we get another arm on our football team as fast as we can. I don't think what the diagnosis is going to be after a week would say don't do that. It is too important and too many things can happen this weekend."

On if McCown's timeframe would affect the Browns trading for a QB compared to signing a free agent:

"I can't answer that right now until we totally know more and understand what is out there."

On if the Browns have scheduled a QB for a workout tomorrow:

"That is a good question. I am sure we are going to have somebody in here to work out. We will definitely work some guys out and see where they are."

On which Browns DL players will have additional opportunities, given Nassib's injury:

"We have (DL) Gabe Wright and we have some other guys who are there that have a chance. Some other guys, maybe their play reps may go up a little bit more than just promoting another guy. We might need a little bit more help on offense now per se than on defense. There is going to be somebody that has to step up. It is the next man up mentality for our football team. We are not going to all of the sudden change it. I think we all know we are not going to go out and find a whole bunch of new players and put them on our team, whether it is offensively or defensively. I think our answers are in our building. These are the guys that have been with us the whole time. That rotation over there probably changes a little bit – some guys that have been playing a little less will be playing a little more – but I don't think it is going to be anybody [outside of this building]. To answer your question, I know you weren't saying it and you were asking who are the guys on the team, I just don't want anybody thinking it is going to be anybody we are going to go get off the street to put on our football team to take over that side of the ball."

On if doctors have given an indication that it may be only one missed week for McCown:

"What it is, any of those things when you deal with a shoulder can be week to week. Some people heal faster than others. Some people can tough certain things out. We will just see where it is. We will evaluate it after next week, see where he is and then go from there." 

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