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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference - 9/6

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

On DB E.J. Gaines returning to practice:

"Yes, he did some individual today. He probably still will not make it this week, but obviously, it was good to have him back out there. We will see where he is after today's practice, but I do not feel as good about that one as I do the others."

On when he will announce who will start at LT:


On if he knows who will start at LT or if the team is still trying out players at the position:

"I knew a couple of days ago. It is not a tryout. I just wanted to keep seeing it."

On if multiple players have been practicing at LT:

"For the most part, no, I do not think so."

On how he will advise offensive coordinator Todd Haley and their respective roles during regular season games:

"He is the offensive coordinator. Obviously, I am the head coach. If there is something that I want to change, I will let him know and get it changed. He runs the offense. When I was an offensive coordinator, I did not want anybody screaming or yelling at me so I am not going to do any of that, but I would advise him in certain situations and with certain things that I see. Sometimes in the rhythm of the game, I might see a little bit different than him. I can give him those tidbits, but I trust him. I trust him to make good decisions to lead us offensively and get us points."

On if it will be strange to not call offensive plays:

"I have [not called offensive plays], all preseason, right? The strangeness is over now. Now, it is understanding the role and helping and advising offensively, defensively and special teams where I can."

On who will decide to attempt a fourth-down conversions:

"I will make those decisions."

On if he will make decisions based on situational football:

"Yes, and understand our gameplan and what we have in the plan."

On how many times a head coach would make a decision for him during his time as offensive coordinator:

"Once, twice, not many. It does not happen like that if your plan is good. Sometimes when things get off course, the head coach might see it differently. He might say, 'Hey, you might want to think about it this way. This is what I see.' Outside of that, if you have planned well all week and if you are in the plan with the coordinators, you will feel good about what you are trying to do."

On Browns players learning Haley's system and its verbiage:

"I think our players have done a good job. I think he has done a great job of explaining it and implementing it to our players. I think that the other coaches have done a great job of carrying the message. At the end of the day, it is still football. Guys sometimes relate things to other things that they have heard or guys start to put it together in their minds in different way, but I think that our players got it, for the most part."

On determining the right terminology and changing it with a new system:

"It comes down to the guy that is calling it. He has to be able to speak his language when you are calling plays. I could not call Todd's offense no more than Todd could call my offense. That is just verbiage. I think that is important. There was a language that needed to be learned. I thought that it was good for our players to learn something different and a little bit new in that way. They have done a good job in that way."

On how much a win would mean to Haley, knowing that it would mean a lot to the entire team:

"It would mean the world to him. You said it, we all want it. We all want it for him. At the same time, we know that we have to play really well to make that happen."

On comparing DL Myles Garrett to players he has known:

"I hate to compare players as you know. The closest thing that I have ever seen is (Pro Football Hall of Fame DL) Bruce Smith towards the end of his career when he was still really good to me. Being around him, just Bruce's work ethic every day. He was always competitive. Myles is like that in practice. Bruce still at his age could wreck a practice if he wanted to. Sometimes we have to temper Myles back because he could do that. I hope Myles has the career that Bruce Smith had, but Myles is just starting out. He has to go do it week in and week out."

On the difference between Week 1 this year and last year:

"It feels different obviously with a lot of new players. What we have to do is go handle the emotion of the game early. I kind of knew what the emotion of the game would be a year ago because I understood it all. I knew the players. A lot of these guys are new. We have to handle that, and I will harp on that as we go through the week. It is going to be exciting to see. Whatever that is, it is going to show itself on Sunday. I think it is going to be for the best. These guys are chomping at the bit to play. We understand who the opponent is and who they are about. We know what our job is on Sunday. We need to go do it."

On if the Browns have watched more film on Steelers RB James Conner, given Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell has not reported to the team:

"That is who has played a lot for them this preseason. You watch a lot of him. You still watch a lot of Le'Veon from the past years. The young Conner kid is playing well for them."

On if Bell and Conner are similar:

"They are different. The other guy is a proven, top of the line, one of the top players in the league. Not that James Conner is not that, he just has not done it to the level that Le'Veon has. For their offense, he knows how to play in their system. He is a good football player. He will make plays for them. We have to do everything that we can to shut down the run game, whether it is Le'Veon or whether it is James Conner. Just have to do our job on defense the best hat we can."

On if there is a need to help protect players from having a different mindset with Bell not yet joining the Steelers:

"They can beat each other up for all we care. It does not matter. Whatever comes out of Pittsburgh is in Pittsburgh. We know what the focus is for us. It is not about Le'Veon not being there or what their team feels or thinks. It is about what we do on Sunday. To me, we just have to go play. We are not going to worry about them in that way."

On the opportunity for QB Tyrod Taylor to beat a strong opponent with a strong QB at this point in his career:

"You said it, the key to his future will be these kinds of games. This will be what people measure him on. Here is an opportunity. I think our team relishes that, and I think that he does, too. He has worked extremely hard this week. His focus is good. He knows what needs to be done. The offense has had a couple of good days. We just need to keep working and play well."

On if he is monitoring the weather forecast for Sunday:

"Yeah, I heard that there may be rain. It was supposed to be raining out there today, and it did not. I know the weather is kind of tricky here. It probably is going to rain on Sunday, but hopefully, none of that will affect what we are trying to accomplish."

On if the team adjusts its gameplan depending on the weather:

"We do, but at the end of the day, we feel like we are a weather-proof offense. Whether it is rain, sun, mud or whatever, you have to be able to line up and play. I think Todd understands that. I think that our offensive players understand that. We are going to do what we do. Are there certain situations where you have to be aware of in weather? Yes. For the most part, we feel like our offense is weather-proof."

On which side of the ball does bad weather affect more:

"I think it is the defense, personally because the offense knows where they are going and sometimes slipping and those kinds of things. I think the offense – if they have the right shoes on – kind of has the upper hand in that way. They know exactly where they are trying to get to. Unless the defense has studied you very well and they know where you are trying to get to, too, I think the offense has a little bit better advantage."

On referring to the hiring of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as a 'coup' and if the same fortune is true for hiring Haley:

"Absolutely. Getting Gregg, I felt great about and still feel great about it. Getting Todd, I feel great about. We have to go win these games. The proof is in the pudding for all of us as a staff and as a football team and organization. Having good names and people who have won games and all of that does not matter. Right now, we are the Cleveland Browns, and we have a big game this week and we need to get to winning."

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