Hue Jackson press conference: Browns vs. Ravens

Opening statement:“Not a good day at the office. I give Baltimore credit. They made plays. We didn’t. We didn’t play as well – offensively, for sure. We didn’t make some plays that we had opportunities to make. We have to play better. That has been the story of our season, just the turnovers at bad times. We can’t get off of that. I thought our special teams did some good things other than one kick we had. I thought (DB) Jabrill (Peppers) was running the ball back physically as he was returning balls. It was good to see him back out there, but as a football team, we are just not where we need to be yet. As I told our guys, we are going to keep working. We have a big game next week in Chicago. We have some work to do this week to continue to get better and go from there.

“Injury wise (DB) Derrick Kindred has a wrist. We will know more about that tomorrow. That is really the only thing that happened in the game today of any notice.”

On QB DeShone Kizer’s interception in the end zone makes and if it makes him wonder if Kizer will ‘ever get it’:“He has some work to do. I think that is a fair question if he will ever get it. I think he will, but he has to keep working. Those are the things that he has to really fight against. That is one of the areas of the field where there have been some struggles, but there has also been some improvement. You want to keep it going that way. Today we took a step back.”

On if Kizer panicked on that INT:“Obviously, I just think he didn’t see the things he needed. I think in those times of stress he has to think through it and make the right decision and not let it take him over. That is what it felt like. I want to watch the tape and see everything he saw, but again, he can make those plays better. We have all seen him do it better, but we have also see, all of a sudden when it goes off the rails, it goes off the rails. He has to get better that way.”

On if Kizer could have done anything to avoid the strip-sack in the end zone that resulted in a Ravens TD:“No, that was a quick-game pass. Let’s just be honest, the guy ran around (OL) Spencer (Drango). Spencer wasn’t able to get the guy stopped. The guy beat him and got him. That is unfortunate, but I think all of that as a young quarterback, all of that starts to pile on you. All of a sudden you are taking a quick-game throw and then you get hit. There were a couple of other quick-game throws, and he was still getting hit. We have to do better protecting him and he has to do better protecting himself, but he also has to do a better job of protecting the ball.”

On if he will rethink starting Kizer for the remainder of the season and if Kizer can get to the finish line:“I think he can. Obviously, I’m going to watch the tape and make the best decision for our football team because we are still trying to win. We are not here just trying to get through the season. I don’t look at it like that and I’m not going to let our players look at it like that. We are trying to win. If the best decision is to move forward in a different direction, we will. At the same time, I want him to finish this if he can. We will see.”

On if the talk of bringing in another QB is affecting Kizer’s play on the field:“No. Come on, no. You are out there playing the game. To me, there is one way to make sure all of that talk stops is to play well. Why would that end up in the quarterback’s head? You are here playing so you get to make sure how that unfolds. Quarterbacks are going to come here regardless, whether he plays good or not. That is just the nature of the National Football League. We are going to put quarterbacks on this football team. I don’t think that is an issue at all.”

On the reason behind throwing a pass when pinned back deep in the team’s own territory:“We had a couple of looks that I thought that we could make it happen. One time we had (WR) Josh (Gordon) down the sideline. Just didn’t execute it. We had a couple of opportunities to make some better plays. There were a couple of times that we did run the ball again all of a sudden coming off from back there. We kind of mixed it. Baltimore is a well-coached defensive football team. You do one thing, they will get it stopped. We made some adjustments. We tried to throw up a couple of balls. Hey, they made a play.”

On clarifying his ‘if he can make it through the season’ statement and if Kizer made it through the game healthy:“Yeah, he did. I just think when I say if he can, I need to see where he is. This is tough on a young player. Let’s just be honest. This guy has been battling as hard as you can all year. He is good one week and then not as good and good. I want to see where he is because this is about his future as a quarterback in the National Football League. It is not just about letting him play and seeing this or seeing that. I want to do what is best for him, also, as we move forward. I think that is important.”

On the defense giving up a TD immediately after taking the lead:“The other team gets paid, too, to make plays. They are making plays. It is not that our defense is trying to give that up. The offense is making some plays, break a tackle here and make a play there. Next thing you know, they were up in the end zone. It is not like we are trying to [give up a TD]. Our defensive players are battling their tails off. Our offensive players are, too. Sometimes the other team makes more plays than you do. That is what is happening.”

On what ways quarterbacks coach David Lee and he have helped Kizer improve this season:“I think there are a lot of things he has improved. My disappointment is the consistency of doing it week in and week out all of the time. That is what we both want to see. Last week, we were feeling good about the completion percentage and where we were headed and all of those things, and then you take a nosedive. That is the concern. I think there are a lot of things he has improved on. I think there are some things that he has to continue to get better at. Obviously, he has played a lot of football this year – not winning football yet – but football, and he has to continue to get better in all the areas as a quarterback in the National Football League. I’m going to say it again, the guy is one of the youngest starters in all of the league. He is young so he has work to do.” 

On a report that Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis will leave Cincinnati following the end of the season, if he is surprised and speculation that he could be a potential replacement in Cincinnati:“I have kind of known about Marvin. Obviously, we all know that Marvin is a close friend, but trust me, I’m not running from this. I have never gone any place and left it worse than when I found it. I’m not going to run from this. I’m going to be here and I need to get this fixed as fast as I can because I think it is important. It is important to me to help these players, help this organization and this city become what I believe we can become. I have too many things going on here. I can’t worry about what is happening in Cincinnati.”

On if it is worse at the moment than when he first started:“Obviously, it is not as good as when I found it. At that time, that was a 3-13 football team when I signed up. That is not where we are right now. We are not where we need to be. I see some things that we can build on, but I see some things that we have to really fix as we continue to move forward.”

On if losing has shaken any of his long-term resolve:“No. I told you guys three or four weeks ago that this doesn’t define me. I get all this. ‘Hue, this is your record. This is how it works.’ I got that, but this will not define me as a football coach. I know what is here. I know how we got here. I see it. We all do. What we have to do is fix it. Talking about it is not going to do anything. The record is what it is. We are in the situation we are in, and we have work to do.”

On disappointment of not winning a home game in 2017:“Very. I apologize to our fans that we were not able to do that – to get them a victory in our stadium. I said that to our players. Hopefully, this is the end of all that. I hope it is. I am not going to make any guarantees that it is because you never know – you never know what happens year to year – but at the same time, it can’t get much worse than this, true? It can’t. Let’s just be honest. It can’t get much worse than what it is. We have to find a way to get on the other side, get on the other side and keep working.”

On if he expected WR Josh Gordon to have a larger impact than he has thus far:“I think Josh has had a real impact. I think Josh is doing some good things. It takes more than just Josh. It is the offensive line that has to do its part. The quarterback has to do his part. He has to do his part. It is an all-consuming thing, but I think Josh has done some really good things. He has to continue to keep growing and keep working. He has been in this league long enough to see what he needs to do and what he is doing. He will be fine.”

On QB DeShone Kizer’s high number of turnovers this season and if a veteran QB would have played for the team the season may have gone differently:“I wish it was that simple. You don’t know. I don’t want to even speculate to that. We have to get our quarterback who is playing for us to quit turning the ball over. It is just that simple.”

On Gordon not catching every pass and some miscommunication and not having as much of an impact and if that is due to not playing for a long time:“Obviously, but I think he is [having an impact]. What you guys are judging and what we are seeing are two different things. I appreciate that you guys get to judge it all, but I think Josh is doing some good things. He is not scoring the touchdowns that we all see, want and all that, but he is making consistent plays, he is a contributing member of this football team and he works his tail off like anybody else. He has been outstanding in our building. I think that is the starting block for Josh. The rest will take care of itself.”

On what Browns players will benefit from this season when returning next year:“That is a good question (laughter). It is not fun. I don’t like this because it teaches something that you don’t want taught. It is either you have to learn to absorb this and deal with it or you have to learn to not wear it. It is one or the other. I am talking about losing. Let’s just be honest. This is what happens, you start learning that this is OK. This is not OK. This is not what any of us want to be a part of. This is where we are right now. It is unfortunate. I don’t like it. The players don’t like it. Nobody does. That is why we are trying to fix it. We will fix it. I guarantee you that." 

On how he is coping with losing:“I don’t. I am not going to lie to you. I am not coping with this very well. I haven’t for two years. I haven’t been in this situation. I am just being honest with you. It is not something I want to deal with. It is not something that I think is fair to anybody, not just myself but the coaching staff, the players, our fans, everybody. We have to fix this. That is what we are committed to doing. That is what Dee and Jimmy Haslam have made a commitment [to do] that look, we are going to turn a corner here, we are going to turn the page on this and we are going to get back to doing this the way we think this needs to be done. How am I coping with it? Not well. I don’t handle this very well. I have been handling [the losing] for two years. I would never be able to do this for a third year. I am just being very honest with you.”

On if he would consider hiring Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis as an advisor next year, if Lewis is no longer with the Bengals and said he would be interested in such a position with another coach:“I would take Marvin in any way I can take him. I know what Marvin is, but again, I don’t want to get into all of those things. What is happening in Cincinnati, I respect him and what he has done there. We say he is ‘moving on,’ then that is what Marvin is going to do and I think he deserves the right to go out his way. Talking about what he may do and where he would go, I don’t think that is the time to do that right now.”

On reassuring Browns fans that this won’t happen next year:“There is no way. It can’t. There is not a bone in my body that thinks this will ever be like this again. I know I said it a year ago that I didn’t think it would be this way heading into next season – it is. I was wrong. I will be the first to tell you that and I will stand on that, but there is no way that this organization, this football team, this city, Dee, Jimmy, the rest of the people in this organization can stomach this again. There is no way, and I know we won’t. There are too many competitive people in that organization and in that building that know what we need to do moving forward to do it right to get this organization back to where it needs to be.”

On if General Manager John Dorsey also helps provide that hope for next year:“Absolutely, he does. Yes, I truly believe that John Dorsey being here is one of the catalysts to getting the organization back to where it needs to be.”

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