Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference: Browns vs. Packers

Opening statement:"It is unfortunate. Our guys – as I always say every week, it is  a broken record – they fight hard. They do a lot of good things, and we do things that don't give us a chance to finish football games. We started this game pretty well. Did some good things defensively. Offensively, moved the ball. I thought (QB) DeShone (Kizer) early in the game played extremely well and did some really good things. Still some plays I'm sure he wishes he had back, but then, again, in the fourth quarter, you can just see when you need it the most, that is when you have to make plays in the National Football League, and that is what I told the football team. We have to get the guy down on the punt return. We have to make sure we get them stopped defensively. We have to convert and catch the ball on third down clean enough so that it is not even questioned. Obviously, we have to keep them out of the end zone, and then DeShone, obviously, I think he thought he saw (WR) Rashard (Higgins) in the middle of the field running, and you are running to your left and that is just hard to do to throw the ball back across your body. At critical times, as I have said before, our team, it is understanding in the fourth quarter what you have to do to win. I give Green Bay all of the credit. They made the plays that got them an opportunity to get back in the game and win the game. Credit to them. Obviously, we just have to keep fighting. We are going to continue to fight. That is one thing I know about this group. We will continue to fight. Nobody is going to put their head down. In order to win in the National Football League, you have to play really good in the fourth quarter. That is what you have to do. You have to make those plays. We have to find a way to make those plays when the opportunities come. That is where we are."

On if this was Kizer's best performance until the interception in OT:"By far, yeah. Yeah, it was. The two picks, it is still the same old if you turn the ball over, you are going to lose. You can't turn the football over. We had one at the end of the half, and we had one obviously late here in the game in overtime. As I talk to our quarterback all of the time, you have to always be team-protecting of the ball. It is unfortunate that they got that opportunity there in the end."

On if Kizer was looking for WR Josh Gordon on the third-and-2 play in OT:"He was."

On if Gordon was held on that play:"I'm not going to say. Not until I see the tape will I know, but I know he was looking for Josh. Obviously, Josh didn't get off clean enough so he is looking for No. 2 and had to move out of there. Just understanding the situation – if you need to and it is not there, maybe just throw it away, we play defense and give us a chance. Obviously, he was trying to make play. Just understanding who you are playing against – that was (Packers LB Clay) Matthews coming off that edge. He is a crafty guy. He is going to find a way to get a hand on you to make a play for their football team, and that is my point about players making plays in critical moments. He was able to make the play and we weren't." 

On if TE David Njoku should have caught the third down pass prior to the long punt return by the Packers:"He had a chance. That ball was on him pretty good. I think David should have caught it. He is going to make that play for us. There is no question, David will. He didn't tonight."

On the punt return late in the fourth quarter:"Until I watch the tape do I really know. Obviously, we can't let that guy out of there. We had been covering punts well all game. Here it is, fourth quarter, a critical moment – have to get the guy down. Guy made a heck of a play."

On if the Browns defense had enough pass rush when up 14 points and if the defense was conservative:"I don't think we were conservative, but I think what you said is true; I don't think we made the quarterback as uncomfortable as we needed to in order to get him off the spot. Obviously, the young kid made some plays with his legs and with his arm. We have to go back and take a look at that."

On if this loss hurts more because the Browns were even closer to winning in the fourth quarter:"Absolutely. What I asked our guys is to be the best version of themselves today. That is what they did. I thought that was the best version of us as a football team – offensively, defensively and special teams – up until the fourth quarter when we need it the most. That is what we have to do. We have to finish it. We have to find a way. Our guys are playing hard. They are doing exactly what we ask them to do, but we have to find a way to finish it."

On if he felt nervousness on the team when the Packers cut the lead to 21-14:"I am not going to say I can feel it. Obviously, I see it – I do not see the nervousness, but I see the other team starting to make plays and us not. Let's just be honest, here comes the punt return to put them in position. Here is the third down catch that we can make that I have seen us make. Just all the different things that I am sure you guys have seen it yourselves. It is a third-and-1.5. We are getting ready to cut back, and we slip. Just things that are just and I think they are trying hard. I really do. I think they understand the moment. We were just not able to seize it. We have to find a way."

On if the losing is becoming psychological:"I do not know. I will look at everything. I think we have to just because it is just where we are. I think these guys are doing everything I ask them to do. I have to find a way with this coaching staff to get them to winning as fast as we can. I have been saying that for weeks and weeks and weeks. That is what this is. Losing is not good for anybody. I will continue to say that. There is nothing good that comes out of this. We just have to keep finding a way to get over this hump as fast as we can."

On if he was looking for Kizer to get the ball into his best player's hands on the third-and-two in OT:"Yes. Yes, I wanted to give our best player a chance to win on a one-on-one matchup and see if we can get it. If not, then we have some guys that have spacing areas across the board from there. Obviously, that broke down, and we did not have a chance to make that happen."

On if the Packers changed their defense after WR Josh Gordon's fast start:"No, We just did not make some plays. Obviously, we had another ball down the side to him. I think everybody believed it was pass interference. I need to see the tape. Then there was another one on the left side. I thought the guy had his arm when he was extending to catch the ball. There were some other plays that we thought that were out there for him that we just did make the hook up. We have to keep working at this thing. He did start fast and did start hot. We just have to continue that throughout the game."

On Kizer making strides with his accuracy, particularly in the first half:"That is improvement, but again, it is not enough. I will be the first to tell you that. I am happy to watch the progression of him, and he is doing the things I am asking him to do. Now, he has to do the other part and go find a way to help this team win. I think he will be the first to tell you that. There is more there. There is more there in DeShone. There is more in this football team. I am encouraged by some things but I am discouraged by some things because they deserve to win. They have to understand when you have to do it in the fourth quarter when the chips and our backs are there and we have a chance. We were not against the wall. We still had a seven-point lead. We have to find a way to finish it. That is where we are right now."

On what he will say to Kizer for the interception in OT:"You can't make that. Everything I listed is not good because the play fell apart. Now it is making the decision in the pocket that it is kind of outside the pocket. I think you always have to be team-protecting unless it is obviously there because let's go see if we can play defense and give ourselves another chance. I will take a look at it. I might feel differently after watching it. I just think he has to always… I think he was shocked that Matthews could get to him from where he was. He is moving to his left. If it does not feel right, it probably is not right."

On WR Corey Coleman:"Corey made some plays. Corey showed up to the game and came to play. Obviously, the touchdown and had some huge catches in the game. I think that part is coming together. I thought I saw some chemistry there with all of the passing game. It goes differently week in and week out. Last week, it was the tight ends. This week, it was the receivers and the backs. We just have to continue to find ways to move the ball well enough to score enough points. We are not scoring enough points to win."

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