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Hue Jackson press conference - 9/26

Opening statement:

"I had a chance to look at the tape and there were some good things. I'm probably more determined than I am discouraged, but I do get that we will be judged by wins and losses and not by anything else. That is the way it should be. That is how this business is. When I look at our football team, I really like the resiliency of our guys. I like the grit. The guys fought hard. At the end of it all, we had a chance to win the game and we didn't. The truth of the matter is we have to finish. That is something I talk to the group about. We are not even through the first quarter of the season. We have played three games. We talk about quarters, and this weekend will really be the ending of the first quarter of the season. Our record is not what we want it to be, but at the same time, we know that we are still working at trying to get that first victory. As I told the guys, as we continue to work and we get one, then you get that feeling and start getting some confidence about what you are doing, and who knows what could happen? What we have to do is stay to it and keep working at it each and every day, don't get discouraged, be careful what you let go under your ears and keep working at it, and I think this group will. We have some tremendous veteran players who understand the process that we are in, who will push through and teach the young guys how it is done. I will be the first to tell you that I don't like our young players experiencing losing. I don't like taking Ls because that is what they start understanding, and I don't want that in our building. It is a fight, and we have to fight the fight to get over the hump, but I don't want anybody to ever think I'm discouraged by what is going on. I see. I know exactly what is going on. There is still work to be done in a lot of different areas to get us to where we need to be, but I don't think anybody can question how hard this team fights, their grit and their toughness because I have watched it improve week in and week out. There is still more to give from coaches to players and from players to coaches. There is still more to get, and I think we will get that.

"Coming from the game, there were a couple injuries that we sustained. Obviously, (DB) Tramon (Williams Sr.) has an AC joint in his shoulder so that will be day to day. We have a chance to see how he is when we get back to work on Wednesday. The other one is (LB) Nate Orchard. He had a high ankle sprain, suffered the last play of the game. I think he will be out for a little while, and we will kind of go from there. We kind of got out of there relatively healthy, being in the heat playing our guys. The effort, I can't say enough was outstanding. The finish for the last two weeks is just something that we totally need to do better."

On telling players being 'careful of what they let go in their ears':

"We are not going to get caught up in this, 'You are losing.' We are not about that. That is all everybody talks about is the past and what has gone on here and this, that and the other. I'm not interested in talking about the past. I'm interested in creating a new future and a better future. That is what we are going to talk about, and that is what we are going to be about."

On comments that the Browns are 'tanking' the season:

"I don't care. You said it. No, let me say this because I don't want to keep saying I don't care what our fans say because I do. I do want everybody to know we are not tanking a season. If that was the case, then we wouldn't be trying as hard as we are. I'm not after a first pick. I'm not after any of that. I don't think our organization is after that. We are trying to win as many games as we can win. It would make no sense to tank a season. If that is what I thought we were about, I wouldn't be sitting here today. I'm not interested in that. Our players are not interested in that. We are interested in winning. I'm interested in winning. That is all I talk about and that is all we are trying to become. Anybody who thinks these guys aren't working extremely hard or coaches are not working extremely hard to win every game is mistaken."

On balancing the difficulty of losing a game with the positives of the team improving:

"I think the positives are what you want to see because you want to see growth week in and week out. Let's make no mistake, this is football. Period. It is about winning and losing. It is not about anything else. We play a game, and they keep score. At the end of it, they say this one has more points than the other team. We have to get on the other side of the ledger. Have I seen improvement from our football team? Yes, I have. That is what I expect to see and that is what I tell our guys. I expect to see us get better. That means that they are in, they are working hard and we are creating the right environments for them. All that stuff is good, but it has to start leading to wins for our team."

On if the Browns plan to keep K Cody Parkey on the roster:

"Yes, I do right now. I do. That is a tough job. I challenge any of us to come in here on a flight late Friday night, wake up and meet the coach for a second and then get on another flight and head to Miami and not know really a lot of your teammates but some and walk out and kick in pregame and then go kick in a game where you attempt five of these field goals – not two, not one but five; that's a lot of pressure – and then here is a game-winner hitting you right in the face. I can't put that on him. That is a tough situation. Everybody says, 'Well, that is the kicker's job.' It is his job, but normally, a guy has a job, he has been around his employer a little bit and he has been around his teammates a little bit. It was tough. It was tough circumstances. It is unfortunate. If he would have made it, we would be celebrating right now, but he didn't. It is unfair just to dump it all on him. There are a whole bunch of other plays we left out there with some guys that have been here since OTAs since I first met them way back when that we could have made. There is blame to go all the way around, starting with me. It starts with me and ends with me so we have to get better."

On signing Parkey over a more experienced player, like K Robbie Gould:

"Because we made an organizational decision that that was the right guy for us. He was the right guy. We felt good about watching him kick on tape. We felt good about everything that he was doing. We felt he was the best of the group. We all made that decision together. I have heard that there have been different things said but that is so far from the truth. Any decision that is made here about our football team, we make together. I felt very comfortable. If there is anything that comes out of this building, it should come from me, OK? Not from anybody else. If I didn't say it, I guarantee that nobody else has any right to ever say anything about we should have had this guy or somebody wished we had that guy. We took the guy that we wanted. It was Cody Parkey. That is the guy we put on our team and that is the guy that kicked for us."

On the decision to take a knee before the FG attempt at the end of the fourth quarter:

"I thought we were in range. I didn't want to take a chance of having a ball… I have had that experience of handing the ball to a running back in a playoff game, and all of a sudden, we didn't get the ball back anymore. I felt pretty good about the quarterback just standing there under center and taking a knee. I thought we were definitely in range to make the field goal. They say hindsight is 20/20. Maybe next time I will do it differently, but I felt at that time, it was the right thing to do for our football team in that situation."

On deciding to kick to open OT:

"I thought our team on defense was hot. We stopped them the time before, and I thought we could stop them again, which we did. I just didn't think the punter was going to unleash one like he did that pinned us way back there. I thought I played it the right way, but I thought we would have better field position than what we did. We did get the ball back and we had our chance. We couldn't move it from there. They did a good job on defense, and we didn't do a good job on offense. I wouldn't change the strategy. I think it was the right thing. Now, if I felt differently about how we were playing on defense and how things were going, then maybe I would have reversed that thought, but I felt good about the decision at that time."

On if electing to defer or receive in OT is a game-by-game decision:

"It could be. It is based on who you are playing, who is the other quarterback, what elements are you facing. I think a lot goes into it. It wasn't just 'Let me just toss it up in the air and figure it out.' I thought through it pretty good way ahead of time. I had a feeling that was coming if we didn't make it. You are sitting there walking down the sideline in case you don't make the kick, and you are thinking through the different scenarios that could happen. I thought that was the best one for us at that time."

On if OL Shon Coleman's progress is further behind OL Austin Pasztor at RT:

"At this point, I think he is. Yes."

On Pasztor's performance:

"I think anytime a guy gives up multiple sacks and has a few penalties, I think everybody thinks that the guy is not playing as well. Were there some times that we could have helped him a little bit more? Yes, there is no question we could have, but I think Austin Pasztor is battling as hard as he can. I think he is still the right choice for us over at right tackle. Will I adjust our scheme a little bit to do some things to help him? Yeah, but I wish you guys could see some of the other things that he is doing to balance some of the things that he is not doing as well. I think he is fighting hard. It is easy to look at those sacks and those things and make determinations that maybe somebody else should be in there, but I think right now, he is the best we have or else I wouldn't play him there. He is battling hard. I'm very happy with some of the things he is doing. Are there some things he can do better? Yes, he can. Can I help him more? Yes, I can. We will continue to get better and go back to the drawing board."

On QB Cody Kessler's performance, based on the game film:

"Early in the game, I didn't like our start. I thought the anxiety of the situation, obviously, he had the jitters in the beginning. He calmed down. He made some throws. He made some plays. He made some tough plays. He threw the ball in there. The guy completed 21 33 for 244 yards and didn't turn it over. Not turning it over was huge, other than the sack fumble. He stood in there and I thought he played tough. He played with poise after that first series. That was his first game into the National Football League in the regular season. I thought there were some good things. Are there things to improve on? There is no question. Our whole team, there are things to improve on, but I thought for the most part, he battled as hard as he could."

On what the Browns coming back to tie the game says about Kessler:

"It was good. That is what we expected. He settled down and what he did was start playing within the structure of our offense and really start letting the game come to him. I have always told the guys, 'You don't have to do anything special. Just do your job and do it the best you can. The rest will take care of itself.' Once he settled down after that first series, he played some good football."

On if the Browns pulled Kessler off the field when WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. took direct snaps due to it seeming like the team only had 10 players if the QB was on the field in a traditional Wildcat formation:

"I never looked at it like that. There are still 11 out there. We have to put 11 on the field. I don't know that I look at it like you just said it. I guess when we say 'Wildcat' there is a quarterback out there. I think it is strategy more so than anything. I don't think I look at it that we only have 10 guys. You guys know Terrelle Pryor has been around me. I know what Terrelle is capable of doing and what he can and what he can't do. I just tried to maximize our opportunities on offense with him and to maximize his ability because he has a lot of talent. I don't know if it was because I wanted 10 or 11. Just 11 guys out there, let's play."

On if the Browns will expand on the Wildcat and use of Pryor:

"You never know. We will see."

On Pryor stating he was disappointed in himself despite his individual performance, saying he didn't do enough:

"That is what I love about him. Honestly, that is what I love about all of our guys. I don't think any man was happy with just getting close. We wanted to win the game. He did do some spectacular things. I know a lot of people are surprised by what they saw in Terrelle. I'm not. I see it every day on the practice field. I see it every day when he goes out and plays. Terrelle can do a lot of different things with a football. It is just having some imagination to allow him to do that and having a player that is willing to do that. He obviously did some good things, but he said it. There are some things he can do better. He is still a young receiver that is emerging and getting better each and every day. We are going to keep chasing and having him be as good as he can be. One thing I do admire about him is that he is willing to do anything we ask him to do. I think that is where it starts. There are some National Football League players I have been around, and I say I want you to try this and they say, 'I'm not doing that. This is what I do,' but not him. That is a gift, and I'm happy he is on our team."

On DB Joe Haden was a true game-time decision with his injury:

"It was a true game-time decision. I think it was the right thing to do for Joe and his long-term health and for the health of our team as we continue to move forward. I expect Joe to be back and playing and be back doing what he normally does, go out there and cover some receivers."

On if Kessler will start on Sunday against the Redskins:

"There is no question. Cody right now will be our quarterback this week unless something else from the medical staff is told to me."

On if Kessler's health status is in question:

"No, I'm not talking about Cody. I'm talking about we have other quarterbacks that medically are not up right now."

On Kessler taking hits in Miami:

"He is fine. I have to quit saying guys are fine because normally I come back and guys are down (laughter). Let me talk to the medical people and be for sure, but I saw him today in person. I think he is going to be fine."

On if the Browns liked their matchups in the passing game against Miami:

"Yeah, there were some things that we saw that we felt very good about. There were plays to be made. We didn't make them. Whether I threw it, ran it, whatever, it is on me. It is the decisions I made, and we didn't get it done. We will move forward."

On Pryor's improvement at WR, given his 144 receiving yards at Miami:

"That is all? He should have had more. He should have. There are some things that he has to continue to improve on and get better at. He is getting better. He will be the first to tell you there are some things that he wants to do better because the sky is the limit for the guy. The guy is big and fast and athletic. I'm not surprised by anything that he does."

On the Browns run game and using RB Duke Johnson Jr.more than the first two games:

"I think those guys deserve to play. I think they both ran extremely well and hard. We are running the ball a lot better than I think a lot of people think we could. We are going to continue to get better at it. We are just scratching the surface of what I think we can be. The fun part for me is there was a preseason, and now, I'm truly getting to know who are guys are in the season. Sometimes, you get an idea of who you are and you get an idea of who they are at practice, but when you start playing against other competition, you really start to see. Our guys are expressing themselves in different ways. (RB) Isaiah (Crowell) has and Duke has, the front guys have and I kind of have a pretty good idea of who we are and it is showing. We run the ball pretty good, but you can't just run the ball in the National Football League and be a very dynamic offense. You have to be able to do both. We have some growing to do in some other areas, and we will continue to do so. Our guys are battling up front and our runners are running. We just have to continue to stay after it." 

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