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Hue Jackson: Too soon for decisions at QB, but must find 'a guy that can win for us'

Hue Jackson has been busy lately.

The Browns coach hired a new defensive coordinator earlier this month. He brought in a handful of new assistants. And right now, he's busy coaching the Senior Bowl's South roster as the Browns continue their offseason preparations.

His next order of business? A careful evaluation of Cleveland's quarterbacks and whether the team will address the position in this year's draft, free agency or both.  

"I've seen it, and I have an idea, but I think it's still too early in the process to say where I am, what I'm doing, what I'm not going to do, what we're going to do as an organization," Jackson told reporters in Mobile, Alabama, on Tuesday.

"But again our job is we've got to have a quarterback that plays winning football for us and that's what we're going to do. I said it at the last press conference: We're going to find a guy that can win for us. And that's what we have to do. That's my job, that's what I came to Cleveland for and I'm not going to stop until we get that guy."

The Browns saw three different starting quarterbacks — Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler — and a total of five signal-callers play this past season in part because of injuries and other struggles.

Griffin, named the team's starter in training camp, missed three months because of a broken shoulder before finishing the final five weeks. In relief of Griffin, McCown suffered a broken collarbone in Week 2. Kessler, the rookie from USC, started eight games but had two concussions and a chest injury.

Against that backdrop, the Browns struggled to establish any sort of stability at the position this season and expressed as much earlier this month at their end-of-year press conference.

"We haven't established 'the guy' at the position so we are going to look at all options, and we will continue to work to develop the guys that we have on our roster," executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said.

Jackson echoed that sentiment in Mobile. "We haven't established that guy yet. We haven't established who he is. Until you can do that do I think we can make the next jump," he said.

"So I think that's what we're trying to do. It's going to be a great offseason. We have free agency, we have the draft coming. There's gonna be a lot of opportunity for us to evaluate and make good decisions about what to do for our football team."

The Browns, owners of the first and 12th overall picks and five of the top 65 selections, are poised to select one of the class' top signal-callers if they so choose. Asked if this year's group could bear a long-term answer at the position, Jackson said "it could, it could come from a lot of different ways."

"I don't want to get pigeonholed into just one way. But I think there's a lot of different ways it could come as we continue to move forward," he said. "Again, it's about the evaluation, it's about the right profile, it's about what we're looking for, it's about how that position needs to play."

Jackson also made it clear they haven't ruled out the quarterbacks on the roster, including Griffin, the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year who joined the team as a free agent last March.

"I think my job is to continue evaluate and look and just like I told you guys I would I haven't come to any conclusions. Everybody has jumped to those conclusions but we're gonna keep looking at this thing," he said.

"It's too important, it's too important to our football team, to our fan base, to our organization. We've got to get that decision part of it right."

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