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Hue Jackson says Browns can't go backward as team breaks for summer

Hue Jackson was all smiles following Day Three of the Browns' mandatory veteran minicamp, the final practice before coaches and players break for the summer.

"Sometimes you hate to see the offseason come to an end but I can't be more happier with a group than these men," Cleveland's first-year coach said.

Jackson, who met with reporters Thursday afternoon, offered his final thoughts on offseason workouts — a period that seemed to bring a new energy in and around Berea — and ahead toward the start of training camp in late July.

"Now like I've said, we haven't played a football game or anything like that, but you have to lay the right foundation and I think it's been laid," he said, echoing a sentiment he made clear Tuesday.

"And then when I talk about our players, I'm really excited about so many of players and just the potential that's there. And I say potential because you just don't know until you really play football, what they can be and what they will be as a football team. But I know our guys are working hard to be the best team that they can. I couldn't ask for a better group or for a better opportunity for myself. Guys have done extremely well."

The Browns took to the field to finish the three-day veterans' minicamp.

Jackson added the coaching staff remains in evaluation mode when it comes to mapping out the depth chart, saying "everything's got to play itself out."

"We just kind of go out there and put our head down as a group and work and I don't think .. I'll kind of worry about that when we get back here," Jackson said.

"But if you're asking if some of the pieces in my mind are coming into focus, yes, somewhat. But still until you put on pads and grind it out every day and work like I anticipate this team working will I really know about these men in really, really tough conditions. That's something I still need to find out."

Against that backdrop, Jackson also laid out expectations for the players as they get time to take some rest and relaxation before the grind of the season gets underway.

"I told them, very clearly, I expect them to come back ready. We don't want to go backward. I'm not going to let them go backward. And it's really important that the men in the locker room don't let this team go backward because they've established a foundation and a really good work ethic," he said.

"So what I think is really important is that they come back here ready to hit the ground running and understand that we're here to get some business done each and every day. And I think they will. I really do. To a man, I would be very surprised if we don't come back here in tip-top shape ready to practice and ready and eager to get going." ​

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