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Hue Jackson talks Josh Gordon's return - conference call

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

"Obviously, I felt like we improved in some areas. Definitely saw that the defensive side with the first unit was really good. Very encouraged by the first four drives that their offense had. I was very encouraged by our offense's running game last night. I thought that the opening drive for the offense was a really good thing. The three runners – (RBs) Carlos (Hyde), Duke (Johnson Jr.) and Nick (Chubb) – they all did a nice job with the opportunities they had. As we settle on more consistent personnel over the next several weeks, I think that you will see a little more improvement. Obviously, we have some work to do. We need to get ready for practice again tomorrow and get ready for the third preseason game, which everybody says is the dress rehearsal game. We have some work to do. We have some improving to do throughout our team. On special teams, it was the second unit where there were some things that we have to continue to get better. As I said last night, some of those guys are going to be playing for us, too. We just have to continue to keep working at it, and I think that our guys will."

On if WR Josh Gordon could be ready to play in the first regular season game:

"There is a chance. Obviously, we are just going to take it one step at a time. His focus is going to be on meetings and conditioning, and then we will just kind of go from there. Hopefully, we can get him up and running by the first game."

On his personal interaction with Gordon today:

"It was good. We had a chance to sit down and talk and had a really good conversation with him. I think that he is in a really solid place. He is really excited to be back and ready to get going. He will continue to make progress. We are very happy to have him back in the building. He understands that he has to earn the right to be back out there. Nothing is going to be given. He does not just walk right out and become the starting X on our team. He is going to have to earn that. There have been quite a few players that have been here the whole time that have worked extremely hard. We are going to keep going that way. At some point in time when we think it is right and when I think it is right for him to be back in that mode, then we will stick him back out there but not before then."

On how Gordon re-earns his trust:

"I never lost trust in him that way. Obviously, he was doing something to make himself better and put himself in a better place, which I think is very important. The health part for him is really important. I do get that and respect that. At the same time, I think what is very important is that he continues to do the things that the organization has set forth and that the football team has set forth. I think that Josh understands that and I think that he is willing to do that. That will happen over time. In time, I think it will show exactly where he is."

On referencing that WR Jarvis Landry could use 'veteran help' in the WR group and Gordon contributing to it:

"I do not remember saying that he can use veteran help. I just think that as many good football players that we can put on this team I think becomes a better offensive football team. They all will play off of each other. No question about that. The more guys that you have, the more people can't do certain things to Jarvis, the more people cannot do certain things to (WR Rashard) Higgins, (WR Antonio) Callaway, Josh Gordon or (TE) David (Njoku), all of that. I think that it all plays hand in hand."

On if there is a set timetable for Gordon's full acclimation back to the team or if it is day to day:

"I think that we are going to take it day by day. I do not think that there is any timetable that is set or anything like that. We have not been around him in quite a while. I think that he needs to be back with his teammates and we have to see how that all unfolds, back around the coaches and just getting him back integrated into our system and into how we go about doing things here every day and getting him back to playing football. I think that is the most important piece of this."

On what Gordon gained during the spring working with the Browns offense and QB Tyrod Taylor:

"I think there is a little chemistry there. We started it in OTAs and in the offseason because he was a huge part of that. I think there will be some things to build on. How fast can that become in sync as well as we would like it to be? We just have to kind of work through that day by day."

On the team continuing to support Gordon while maintaining a stance of low tolerance for off-field behaviors and if that sends a mixed message:

"I do not think this is behavioral, though. I think this is a little different. I understand where you are coming from. I think our players know that there is a line here, and we try to make sure that we are very accountable to that line. I think Josh wanted to put himself in a better position so that he did not cross that line. I do understand where you are coming from. I do not think the players or myself see it that way. I think they see a guy who was dealing with something that has been in his life that he wanted to make sure that when he was back that it would not reoccur and that he put himself in the best position to come in, help his teammates win and be in a better place." 

On if he has a sense for Gordon's physical conditioning:

"I think he is in condition, but is he in football condition where you are playing against professional athletes and the grind of doing that play after play after play? I don't think that anybody is really prepared for that until you do it. Do I think that he can go out and participate in practice and do those things if he needed to? I do because I think I know Josh that way. He looks good. He is not overweight or anything like that. He looks extremely well and looks like he is in a good place and ready to get back into our program."

On if he has an understanding of when Gordon can return to practice:

"I do not have any. As I said earlier, we are just going to take it day to day, one step at a time and just keep focusing on meetings and conditioning. When someone says, 'Hey, Hue, he is ready to go,' we will kind of go from there."

On if he can begin to get excited for Gordon's return and potential with the Browns WRs and offense now that Gordon is back in the facility:

"I thought about it. I thought about that scenario happening at some point. Obviously, he is here now. I think I will be even more excited once that really happens and once he is out there playing and he has earned the trust of his teammates and coaches and he is out there contributing to our football team, then I will feel really good about it. There are still some steps to go as we said every day. We are going to keep working at it."

On if Gordon's return means the team will not consider free agent WR Dez Bryant:

"No, I think one has nothing to do with the other in my opinion. Things will unfold as they will. The most important thing that we know is that Josh is here. We have had a good conversation with Dez. Until he is a Cleveland Brown, I only can worry about the guys who are on this football team."

On if he is confident Gordon is 'here to stay now':

"I am confident that he is here. I think that is the most important part. How long he stays, only Josh knows that, but I think he is in a much better place. I think we feel very good about where he is. I think all those things, as you guys know, are always fluid. That is always a concern, but at the same time, we are here to support, help and try to create the right environments for Josh."

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