Press Conference

Hue Jackson press conference: Browns vs. Steelers

Opening statement:
"Obviously, these are not very good times and haven't been for us. Our guys in the first half, I thought they fought hard. The defense did a good job of keeping them out of the end zone. I didn't think we played well on offense at all. We have to get better, and I take responsibility for that. We have to make more plays and we have to do a better job of finding a way to score. It is tough because at this part of the season, there are some things I thought maybe we would start getting better at, and it looks like we are still not there yet. We will still have a ways to go, and I know that. I can see it. I am not going to let these guys get down. We have a big game next week here at home against New York. We have to continue to keep learning from this. There are just too many things that are still sticking around our football team that is not giving us a chance to do what I think we can do. We will keep going."

On QB Cody Kessler's status:
"I think it is a concussion. He has a concussion so obviously, he will end up in concussion protocol and we will go from there."

On the Browns protection, given the Steelers' sack total entering the game:
"No question, I have to watch the tape to be very honest with you so I can see it. Sometimes it was physical matchup. Sometimes it was not getting a point correct. It was a combination of a lot of things. My hats off to them. They did a great job, and we did a poor job so. I do need to watch the tape to be very honest with you. We can play better than that. There is no question about that. That is disappointing."

On the Steelers decision to go for the TD at the end of the first half:
"They probably just felt good about where they were defensively with our offense, and I think they felt like they were going to find a way to get the ball in. I think that is the aggressive nature of their coach. They are going to keep going to try to get the ball in, and they were able to do that."

On his frustration that the Steelers received two attempts at the TD to end the first half:
"Oh yeah, it was frustrating. Those are tough calls and one that was made that I thought that was kind of… It is what it is. We have to find a way to keep them out of there. That is what it comes down to."

On if the Steelers should have been called for a delay of game during that drive:
"I thought so, but obviously, they did not call it."

On if the Steelers were 'borderline over the edge' with some hits:
"No, this is football. It is a tough sport. There were some hits out there. I don't think they were borderline. They called the ones that they called. Some guys launched from their team and they called personal fouls because that is what they are. It is football. It is tough."

On how hard it is to watch his players get hit hard:
"It is tough. It is tough. I think we all know what we are doing and what we signed up for. It is football and you are going to get some of those hits. It is part of it. We will move forward."

On if he protested the officials not calling a delay of game penalty on the Steelers:
"There is nothing you can do. They either have to call it or not. You can't challenge it or anything like that. You have to eat it and live with it."

On the Steelers dominating time of possession, how frustrating that is and how the Browns can fix it:
"We have to stop them. You have to get some three-and-outs. I thought late in the third quarter, fourth quarter, our defense responded that way. Then the offense has to pick the pace up over there, but they held onto the ball. That means that when we had it, we need to do a better job. We couldn't, as you can see, we didn't run it very well. We didn't throw it very well. We didn't do a lot of things very well. It is about our team. Our team has to do their part. On defense, we have to get them off the field. On offense, we have to try to keep the ball and make first downs."

On if QB Robert Griffin III could possibly start next week against the Giants:
"No, I don't know much about Robert right now. We will just see where that is, but we will see where (QB) Cody (Kessler) is, and if not, obviously (QB) Josh (McCown) is going to have to go out there and play, and he will go out there and I will expect Josh to play well, and he will. We have to go back and fix some things quickly for these guys. The players here at the Cleveland Browns are trying. They are busting their tails. I don't think anybody can question that, but at the same time, we are just not playing as good enough or it is not happening for us right now to where we get a chance. Even when you feel like we are about to go back and grab momentum and things are going to start going, something [happens], whether it is a turnover, a sack or something pops up and then all of the sudden we go right back where we were so we just have to work through these things and keep pushing."

On how the Browns can protect QBs better:
"We have to protect better. You just said it. I don't think it is from a lack of trying. Our guys are trying. I think I have to put them in better situations. It all starts and stems from the top. It starts with me so I have to put these guys in better situations. Today, I just thought as you looked out there as things were unfolding and happening, their team made more plays than we did. At the end of the day, that is what happens. I don't want this group to go backwards any more than what we already have. I have to regroup with the guys and regroup with our coaches, and we have to keep pressing forward. We are not going to let the record and where we are dictate how we are feeling about this because the guys have done great. I will definitely plead to them, and I am sure they will respond because that is the kind of group that they have been and that is who they are. They will walk back in here again on Wednesday when we get ready. We will get ready for New York, and they will come out here ready to play."

On if Kessler may need extended time off given that this is his second concussion in five games:
"It is a possibility. We will see. I am definitely going to talk to our medical staff because this is about a young man's career and future so we have to do the right thing."

On McCown's play, given his aggressiveness at times:
"It is tough until you see the tape. Our players, all of them not [just] Josh, they are trying so hard to win and they are trying to do sometimes more than what they need to, and that is something I told them as a group because I know what they are doing. They are trying to win, and sometimes you start thinking you need to do more. I just think you have to do your job to the best of your ability and do that. Let's not let all the other stuff seep in and start getting in. I think it is a little bit so we have to go fight that. Just have to go play and do your job, but it is not from a lack of wanting to and it is not from a lack of trying. When you get in these situations where things have not gone well and you feel like, 'Man, I can go make this play and I want to help my team win,' so you start doing more, you start trying to be more, do more than what you need to."

On if it is extremely difficult to not 'let things seep in,' given the Browns current record:
"It is extremely difficult. There is no question it is. I think we all get that, but I am going to keep changing hats, psychology hats, whatever hat I have to wear with this group as I told them. We are going to do this the right way. We are going to finish it the right way. We are going to play better. We still have not played a full game yet, and that is what is probably the most disappointing part, but I mean by that we have not put together a whole game where we play consistent football first, second, third and fourth quarter. There were some things better in the second half today than there has been in the past. It is like it reverses, it flips, but it is not good enough. I am not questioning that at all by any stretch. It is not good enough, so we have to get better."

On if WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. got the wind knocked out of him or sustained an injury in the fourth quarter:
"No, he got the wind knocked out. He will be fine."

On if playing Griffin at QB may not be a good idea, given his injury history and the Browns protection issues:
"It is probably a little soon to discuss that until I know that he is back and playing, but we can protect better, and we will. We can do a lot of things better. It is not just protection. It is running the ball. It is stopping the run. It is a lot of things that I think we can do better, and that is our charge. We have to go back and do that."

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