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Free Agency

Hue Jackson: 'We're turning over every rock to improve our football team'

Hue Jackson expressed confidence the Browns are heading in the right direction, saying Friday the team has a "process and a plan" for everything it does.

"I know there's been a lot of things going on within our organization, and I'm very proud of the direction and the things that we're doing," Jackson said in an interview with the NFL Network at Cal's Pro Day last week.

Jackson added, "Sometimes people don't understand, but I'm OK with that because I know exactly where we're headed and what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish."

Jackson, who was in Berkeley to watch quarterback Jared Goff and other Golden Bears prospects work out alongside vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry and associate head coach Pep Hamilton, also played down departures in free agency. Four Browns starters — center Alex Mack, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, safety Tashaun Gipson, and receiver Travis Benjamin — signed contracts with other teams.

"You'd like to keep them all. In the process, when you have players -- and guys that have been good players -- you want to keep them all, but sometimes it doesn't work that way and I think we all understand that with just the way the league is set up now," Jackson said, reiterating a sentiment he made clear at the league's annual scouting combine last month.

"Guys have a chance to do what they want to go do. I've gone on record saying that, if we lost players, we're not going to bury our heads in the sand. We're going to do the next best thing. I don't think people know we've signed four or five guys already to our football team to help improve and offset some of those losses."

Indeed, the Browns signed linebacker Demario Davis and safety Rahim Moore last week. Davis was a three-year starter and leader on the Jets defense, while Moore spent last season with Houston after four productive years in Denver.

Jackson added Berry, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta are "joined at the hip" when it comes to their vision to rebuild the Browns, a plan driven by cultivating talent through the draft. Cleveland holds the second and 32nd overall picks this year and will use those selections on the best players available.

"We know exactly what it is that we're trying to accomplish and we're trying to do, and I think we're headed in the right direction," Jackson said. "But, that being said, we also know that it's a process and it's going to take time to get to exactly where we want to be."

Jackson, who has spoken about the future of Cleveland with confidence and optimism, did so once more in California.

"I can't wait until everybody jumps on the bandwagon when everything's going good," Jackson said. "I know some things will take time, but I'm not built that way to where I'm comfortable with ever losing and I don't think anybody in our organization is. So I think we're turning over every rock to improve our football team."

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