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Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference: Browns vs. Jets


Opening statement:**

"We had our chances. Obviously, like I talked to the team a second ago, the turnovers, we can't turn the ball over. We were in the scoring zone twice and came away with nothing. Not so much is coming with it when the other team has the ball. Missed a couple field goals. That is the difference in the game when you really be honest about it. That is what it is. Can't turn the ball over, but I thought our team continued to fight. They will continue to fight. We have to continue to get better. We are not good enough yet. We have to coach better. We have to keep getting them in better situations so that we can understand how to finish things. That is my responsibility, and we will keep working through it. Our defense fought hard. I don't know what the stats were, but I know it was probably two to one [for net yards]. When you have that many yards, you should have more points. Offensively, I didn't think we did finish some things way we should have. We just have to keep working. It is disappointing because I know how hard these guys work each and every day. We are trying to get there, and we had our chances and we couldn't get it done.

On going for it on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter instead of attempting a game-tying field goal:

"Yeah, it was a tough decision, but I figured if we make the first down, we have a chance to go score like I said, and I think you have a chance to kind of put the game away. If we don't make it, they have to go 98 yards, 97 yards, whatever it is to go try to score, whatever it is. We were playing really good defensively. I think we were holding them down. I thought we had a good play that had a chance to make it. We just didn't execute as well as we could. Obviously, they stopped us. That call, that decision can be questioned, I get it. At the same time, I felt good that we could make a yard and a half in that particular point in time in that situation with that play, and if we didn't, we would hold them down there. Neither one of those things happened. We didn't make it and we weren't able to keep them back there."

On two missed field goals influenced his decision to go for it on fourth-and-1:

"Somewhat, but still, I am not going to tell you just right there it did. I felt good about what we were doing on offense that we could knock them off the ball there. Obviously, I was wrong. You look at it. I made that choice and it didn't work, so here we are."

On if benching QB DeShone Kizer in the second half 'opens Pandora's box' for the Browns starting QB position:

"Well, I am going to go watch the tape. I am not going to say, 'it opens Pandora's box.' Let's watch the tape and see where we are, but again, we weren't functioning as well as I thought we could on offense. I thought (QB) Kevin (Hogan) came in and did some good things. Obviously, Kevin did some really good things. It is unfortunate the one ball that went up got tipped. (NY Jets LB) Demario (Davis) ran through the back door. We missed the block back there. That ball should have been a huge completion for us, but it wasn't. New York made plays; we didn't. That is what happens."

On if Kizer audibled on the fumbled pitch to RB Isaiah Crowell in the red zone:

"Yes, he did."

On what Kizer saw that led him to call an audible:

"Yeah, he saw Cover 0 defense. They were Cover 0. It is a check play that we had, and obviously, the timing between him and Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) wasn't good enough. We have worked this, we have done it and we just have to keep going the things we do in practice and do them better. We did not have that ball on the ground in practice. That same audible came up, had a chance to make it happen and we didn't make it happen there. That is unfortunate."

On the mood of the team at 0-5:

"They are good. They are not like that – we are not one that is going to fold, if that is what you are asking. The mood in there was good in the sense that they are disappointed with the losing. I get that. To a man, they all know they fight and they fight hard. They want to win worse than anybody, and I want to win for them. I want to help them win, but at the same time, this is where we are. We are 0-5, and we have to go find a way to win a game. Go to Houston next week."

On if benching Kizer goes against his previous comments about sticking with him through trials and tribulations:

"If I feel like when he is going through trials that I feel like there is something better, then that is my job as a head coach to make a decision and say, 'Hey look, this is better for us and that is what I did.' At the time, it just wasn't working. I don't think it goes against it. I went through that early in the first half. We were going through those trials and then when you keep looking, you say, 'Hey look, you might need to do something different here.' That is the decision I made. To me, it might have given us a chance to win the game. We just didn't finish it."

On if he knows who the starting QB will be next week:

"I want to watch the tape. I want to know exactly what I see before I make all of those decisions."

On what NY Jets QB Josh McCown said to him after the game:

"I will just keep that between me and him. Josh obviously is a good player and I have a lot of respect for him. He is outstanding as a person so I really appreciated his message. We will keep that between me and him."

On if DL Myles Garrett was hurt again:


On if Garrett was supposed to play in the second half before DL Carl Nassib got hurt:

"Yeah, he was supposed to play a little bit. We had him on a pitch count. I think that was important. His energy was outstanding. I know there was a couple plays he made early in the game, which were great. We have to keep growing with that with him."

On what benching Kizer does to his confidence:

"I think you talk to him. You be very honest with him exactly where it is. Sometimes the young guys, maybe they are not seeing things as well so I don't think DeShone is going to fall off the lake. I think he respects my decision. We had a great conversation about it and we will go from there. You guys are more worried about his confidence than I am that way. This guy is a pro football player. Sometimes young guys, it is not going as well for them and that is my job. Sometimes taking him off and letting him see and breathe a little bit is good and I think that is what he did. Now, how he feels about that, you guys will have to ask him, but in the heat of it, I can't worry about that. I am trying to put our team in the best position to win games."

On if the team will work out Ks this week and if they need to make a change:

"We will see. We will see where it is. Obviously, we need to continue to get better in some places. We all know that and we will. We have to continue to look at this team, continue to look at what we are doing and continue to do it better."

On if it is problematic that missed FGs were a part of his decision to go for it on fourth-and-1:

"It is, no question, but I am not going to say that was totally what was on my mind. What was on my mind, if we can score, we have a chance to really finish this thing, and if we didn't, like I said, I thought we would hold them. Those guys went 97 yards. That is unfortunate."

On where he can do better as a coach:

"Turnovers. I am not known for having turnovers in the scoring zone. We have had way too many this whole season, whether it has been interceptions. Here we go. If it is not there, just throw the ball away so that is my responsibility. I can't run from that. We had opportunities. There were four or five touchdowns that should be on the ledger for us or more points. We have been down there and then all of the sudden, the other team gets the ball, but we are not getting anything. Six more points in this game is a whole different football game. We would be talking about maybe winning the game. We are not doing a good enough. I am not doing a good enough job down there."

On if he objected to Kizer checking to the option play at the goal line:

"No because we worked it. It would have been different if we had never done it. That is what we did in practice, and it looked good. Part of playing quarterback, I think you all know, is to make sure that you keep us out of harm's way. If something doesn't work, then you have to move onto the next thing and just throw the ball away or take it or take a sack or take a hit. As long as we keep the ball. Get us to the next down with the ball, and we will always be OK."

On evaluating his play-calling:

"Obviously, it wasn't good enough. We didn't win. We had a ton of yards, but that doesn't matter if you don't win. We have to have one more point than the other team. We have yards all over the place, but we don't score. That is not good enough. That is just what it is."

On if the failed fourth down conversion deflated the defense:

"No, our defense went out there. You should have heard those guys. They wanted me to go for it. They were like, 'Coach, go for it. If you don't get it, we got you.' That is the way it was the whole time. That is what I love about this football team. It was not deflating or anything. Their team came back and made some plays, made some key plays and we didn't. That happens."

On if Kizer would potentially welcome an opportunity to observe rather than play:

"I don't know that. I haven't had that conversation with him. We will address all of those things as we go forward. He was outstanding on the sideline. His support of Kevin, his support of giving me thoughts of what he saw, I thought he was outstanding. It wasn't like he was distancing himself away from this football team. I think he was really rooting for Kevin, pushing the offense and saying, 'Hey guys, let's go.' That says a lot about him. He didn't crawl off to a corner and sulk or anything like that. He was pulling for his teammates."

On what helped Hogan jumpstart the offense cold off of the bench:

"I don't think he was cold. He warmed up, but my point is I think he has been around the system. He has been playing in the system. He is a guy who has some familiarity with what we are doing, how we do it and he did a good job. That is why I made him the backup quarterback."

On clarifying 'cold' referred to Hogan's limited number of snaps:

"Absolutely, but no, he works at it each and every day just like all of the guys do. We all work at it. I'm not surprised by what Kevin has done. He has been doing that since training camp and preseason. He went in there and gave us a chance."

On Hogan seeming to make quicker decisions than Kizer, understanding Hogan is not a rookie:

"That is what I am saying. He understands the system. The ball comes out. Let's not compare him to DeShone. We are talking about a guy who is a rookie who I think still has great promise and didn't play as well today. We have a backup quarterback who came in and did what his job was – to play and give the team the best opportunity. I thought Kevin did some good things. Outside of that, we are going to watch the tape and see where we are."

On how the season can be about winning and developing Kizer simultaneously:

"No doubt. It is still about winning. Kizer is developing, but his job is still to win. That is first and foremost. I didn't think it was going in the right direction. That is why I made the decision to take him out. If that was the case and it was just about development, I would have just left him in. It is not about that. It is about winning. I told you guys, we go into every game trying to win. That is our goal. That is our job. That is my job. I'm not here just to get players better. That is part of it, but it is also to win. I think if there is a decision that needs to be made to win, that is the decision I am going to make."

On if Hogan's interception wasn't entirely his fault:

"He got hit as he was throwing. I think you guys saw him get hit in the back. (NY Jets LB) Demario Davis ran behind the tackle. I think the tight end got a little bit too far, the guy dropped off and we have to anticipate that on the block back. We didn't see it."

On clarifying if the interception is not entirely on Hogan:

"He threw it so obviously, it is going to go on his deal. I need to see the tape to make sure exactly what I thought I saw in the pictures, but he was getting hit in the back as the ball was being released and the ball took off high. All of a sudden, the guy made a good play on the pick."

On if RB Isaiah Crowell's desire to have the ball and not executing on fourth-and-1 and if that impacts his play calling:

"I'm going to watch the tape. You want everybody to make the plays when you give it to them. At the point of attack, I think we could have blocked it better. I want to watch the tape. I need to see everything before I make those kinds of statements."

On if he would have someone else call plays if it gave them a better chance to win:

"Oh yeah. Obviously, you don't like my play-calling. I can tell. That is what you are saying. We are standing down there in the scoring zone twice. It wasn't because of play calls. It is execution. That is what I see. It is very easy to say play calling when all of a sudden there are turnovers, but those things have been rearing their ugly head the whole time. That is something that we have to fix. If we throw that ball away, you wouldn't be saying that. We would have won the game. I get it. Everything is open for discussion. I got that. I have no problem with that at all. At the same time, you can't go up and down the field and be standing there and there is plays to be made and you don't make them. That is football. Whether it is because we are young, we don't see something or we don't make the play, that is what it is. Am I worried about having another play caller? Heck no. If somebody can do it better, God bless them. Stick him in there and let's go."

On Kizer's interception at the goal line:

"As you could see, they misaligned. They weren't sure what formation we were in. When (TE) Seth (DeValve) came over, we should have known it was zone already. At that time, they were kind of out of sorts. That is when you have to say 'uncle' and throw out of the back of the end zone. That is OK. We have to learn from that. You have to always be team-protecting as a quarterback."

On if he doesn't have to worry about Kizer's confidence because he knows he is mentally strong:

"I think I am worried about it just because I would hope it wouldn't have gotten to this first and foremost. Do I think he is mentally tough enough to handle it? Yes, I do. I don't think he is walking around going, 'Oh my gosh, what did I do?' We are talking about a young quarterback who is playing in the National Football League – the toughest position in all of sports – and all of a sudden, today it didn't go as well for him. I felt it was best to let him watch, stick somebody else in there because I thought it was best for the team to give them an opportunity to win the game. That is why I did that. Not for any other reason. I will go back and watch the tape. I know DeShone very well. He will rally from this. He will get better. He will grow from it. He has to. That is the only way he is going to get better. There is no other way to do this.

On if there is any sense of wavering support from ownership:

"No. There is no wavering support. I have never felt that at all. They are no different than anybody else. The human side of this, you want to win. You have a chance to win, you want to win. It is unfortunate, but we had our chances. It would be different if this team just beat us 30-whatever. I think you guys know if we don't turn the ball over and we make field goals, this is a different football game. That is something to build on."

On determining who will start at QB next week:

"Watch the tape. Watch the tape. This is my job. This is a feeling that I have about what we need from play at quarterback. DeShone Kizer is still, right now standing here today, is our quarterback unless I feel differently. Today, I felt differently to take him out, stick somebody else in there to give us a chance to win because I didn't think it was going, as well as I wanted it to go. Outside of that, I will watch the tape and make a decision this week on what we need to do."

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