Skip to main content


Sashi Brown, Hue Jackson press conference - 7/26


Opening statement:**

Jackson: "Always exciting when the players get back in the building. Obviously, very excited to start year No. 2 and as I just mentioned, very excited to have our players back. You start walking the halls just to see the guys and see their smiles and their faces. They are excited to be back. We are looking to improve as a football team, compete, come in and do whatever we think it takes to get this organization where it needs to be. I am very excited about the roster and where we are, but we all still know there is still work to be done that way. I know we will continue to push that way, but I think our players coming off of OTAs and the way they competed were looking forward to the summer. We have had a great summer thus far, and I think our guys are glad to be back and glad to start this opportunity again."

On Browns players' injury status, including DL Myles Garrett and WR Corey Coleman:

Jackson: "We are very healthy. I am very excited about where we are. Obviously, (DB) Howard Wilson is the only guy, and he is on PUP (physically unable to perform list). Outside of that, we are a very, very healthy football team."

On if Garrett is ready to go for training camp:

Jackson: "Myles is ready to go."

On if the Browns know who will get the first reps at QB and how to distribute reps:

Jackson: "Yes, I am going to probably start this out just like we did in OTAs. (QB) Cody (Kessler) will walk out there first, and we will give him an opportunity there. Obviously, (QBs) Brock (Osweiler) and DeShone (Kizer) and Kevin (Hogan), all of those guys will get reps. This is a competition. Somebody has to walk out there first. We have made a decision that it will be Cody and we will kind of go from there."

On why Kessler will take the first reps at QB:

Jackson: "Because he is still the guy who demonstrates knowing the offense the best. He is the guy that has played the most football for us in that group, and I think he deserves a chance to walk out there first."

On Kizer's progress during OTAs and minicamp:

Jackson: "DeShone did a good job. He is a very talented player, but he is still growing and still learning. We are looking forward to him competing here in training camp and see where he is. As you guys know, all of those guys are going to walk out there and compete to play. I know we talk about DeShone more than we do Brock and more than we do Kevin, but all four of those guys are going to have to have an opportunity to walk out there and compete because that is the right way to run this."

On his expectations for the Browns this year:

Brown: "Go out and compete. As Hue said, we are excited to be back. That is the main thing, but we also know we have some work to do and our business. Our job to here is to win games, a lot of games. We are not going to put a number of wins on a season, but we also understand that we have to establish the way we work and prepare, and the wins will follow from that. The coaching staff did an excellent job at really establishing who we are as Cleveland Browns and what the expectations are. We are not lowering that. We talked about it upstairs – our expectation is to go in and win 20 games this year, and that is exactly what we will tell our guys. That is the expectation they need to have for themselves."

On addressing the CTE study regarding NFL players and athletes that was released this week:

Brown: "I would not at this point delve into that. I am just not up to speed on it enough. I believe I saw an article or something like that scroll through a feed and a notification on my phone, but I have not read the article so just respectfully, I would not want to comment on it before I got the opportunity to read it."

On questions the Browns hope will be answered by the end of the 2017 season:

Brown: "I think we will answer several questions. I think importantly for us is again embedding kind of the way we go about things here and what we are about here, as Cleveland Browns. We are excited. We have a lot of talented young players in our locker room. We have a talented coaching staff that is really committed to helping us return this organization and get this city back to winning ways. We talk about it all of the time, we have got an obligation to the men who wore this uniform before any of us were here and we have got an obligation to the Dawg Pound and the rest of the fans here in Northeast Ohio to establish a championship organization, a club that Cleveland can be proud of. There will be a lot of underlying questions that point in that direction, but we want to be heading there."

On if he has addressed the team yet and if he can share some of his message to the team, if so:

Jackson: "No, I have not, but I will tonight. I am really excited to address these men because again, this is Year 2. I will talk about… I don't like to talk about the past a lot, but I think we have to understand where we have been and where we are trying to get to and just how much work it is going to take to get there."

On how the Browns QB competition will proceed during camp:

Jackson: "You have to kind of do that by feel. Like I said, Cody is going to walk out there first; DeShone is going to get reps; Brock is going to get reps; and Kevin is going to get reps, and then as we go through the process, we will evaluate and see where we are. There will be markers as we go. There will be data that we will look at to make very important decisions as we move forward. It could change. It could not change. That is all going to play out as we go through training camp."

On how to develop young players within a team that has not won many games in recent years:

Jackson: "You start winning. I think the young guys that you just mentioned, hopefully, that we have stepped up and those guys have improved and those guys are going to contribute to a winning opportunity this season. There are several guys who I think have truly improved. We have added more talent to our roster. We have drafted better talent on our roster. That is why we feel good about having a better opportunity to win. I get where you are coming from, but I think our players know that we are doing anything and everything we can to put the best product on the field that gives us the best opportunity to win."

On OL Joe Thomas' comments about experiencing some memory loss, if they have discussed it and how concerning it is to hear Thomas' comments:

Jackson: "Honestly, I have heard bits and pieces of it, but we have not really talked about it. If I know Joe, you know Joe is Joe and he is going to say what he feels and what he has dealt with, but I think Joe loves this game and what this game has done for him and what he has done for the game. I am sure we will talk about it as we go a little bit. Is it concerning? We are always concerned about our players' safety and health. That will always be first and foremost. At the same time, we will do what we think is best, just like Joe, I think, will do what he thinks is best for him, as well."

On if the Browns need to monitor Coleman's practice time and health, given his hamstring and missing practice time:

Jackson: "Absolutely, we are going to monitor Corey and several of our players. We have a bunch of players who are returning off of injuries. (Head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan, our medical staff and our strength and conditioning staff, we have all convened together to talk about what is the best way to get our players through practice, have really good practices and help our players improve. Part of improving, you have to be out there practicing to improve. We have come up with a really good plan not for just Corey but for several of our guys as we move forward to give them the best opportunity to compete and be a huge part of practice and what we are doing."

On if the Browns take additional steps to evaluate a player who mentions a medical complaint, specific to Thomas' comments on memory loss:

Brown: "Yeah, if a player comes to us and makes any medical complaint, as Hue said, we take that very seriously. Again, we would keep those discussions in-house, but we would always take our players' health and safety and make that the first priority, absolutely."

On RB Isaiah Crowell and the Browns' expectations for him and the running game in 2017, and if that changes given Crowell is entering a contract year:

Jackson: "My feelings about him, personally, have not changed. What we need to do as a football team, that has not changed, neither. We have put better players on our team in certain areas. That is going to help us be able to run the ball better. We feel very comfortable that we have two really good runners back there, not just Isaiah, but (RB) Duke Johnson (Jr.), as well. There is a young player that we drafted (RB Matthew Dayes) that we feel very good about also so I expect the running game to improve, but I also expect us to improve every part of our football team."

On if the Browns need to add a veteran WR:

Brown: "We are going to continue to look. Right now, bringing in (WR) Kenny (Britt) was big for us in the offseason. You get a veteran who has been productive at that position, but we are also going to look for our young guys to step up in the meantime. If there are opportunities out there to add a receiver and it makes sense for the club, we will do that. We will continue to talk through that with the coaching staff. We are not panicked at the position. We think we have a lot of young guys. We have some great coaches, and a lot of guys have taken big steps. We saw that in the spring. Until we are as productive as we want to be – we were far away from that last year – at that position, we will continue to try to improve it."

On the team's approach to the NFL having one cut from 90 to 53 players this year, rather than including a prior reduction to 75 players:

Jackson: "I think it is going to be a pretty jammed cut weekend. We do not really know what to expect. None of us have cut that many players at one time. That will be a long day. I think Hue and I have great relationships with all 90 guys in our building so we take the time to meet with every one of them. I do think it makes it a little bit more challenging for the teams to try to so that in one cut, but we will be prepared and ready to go as we always are."

On not having much time before the first preseason game and if the Browns may need preseason games to determine who will start at QB:

Jackson: "We will see. I think you guys kind of know how I am. I would like to have a quarterback hopefully named by then, but I am not going to force it. What is important is to feel good about the guy that we stick out there. We are not going to be in a rush. Obviously, we want guys that play in games and play together and play as a unit and do all of those things. If it happens before then, great. If it does not, that is OK, too, but by the time that we get ready to play in the regular season, we will have the right guy out there playing."

On if Garrett will be monitored or on a playing regimen due to his injury during minicamp and his leg-press video this past offseason:

Jackson: "He was strong enough to leg-press up that friend (laughter). We will definitely monitor him. I think he is totally healthy. Maybe has not done all the conditioning that you would like to see right before training camp, but I think he is up to speed and ready to go. He is looking forward to it."

On the Browns front office's approach QB solutions in the short term and long term:

Brown: "For us, it is about, as Hue said, taking it step by step. We certainly try to forecast, but we also discipline ourselves to make sure that we really give these guys the opportunity to develop and work with Hue, work with (quarterbacks coach) David (Lee), who are two great coaches who are going to position them well. There is a lot that we are going to learn about each of the four guys in our quarterback room this summer and certainly through the preseason before we have to make a decision. Then we will evaluate them over the regular season, as well, whether all four make our team or there are fewer than that. We will make sure that we are in great communication with the coaches, as we always are through the process and looking ahead but also not rushing into decisions. That is how we make them."

On determining when a rookie QB is ready to play:

Jackson: "I think that there are a lot of things that you take into account. As I mentioned earlier, there is knowledge that gives you a little direction. There is experience. I have been fortunate to in this division bring a couple of guys along who were rookies and know how they play and know how your team functions around them. We will use anything and everything that we have to make the best decision when that time comes."

On Osweiler and if he has a chance to start Week 1:

Jackson: "Yes, he does. He is here competing. Brock did a good job in OTAs and our offseason program. He is going to walk out there and compete just like the other guys."

On Osweiler has changed the team's perspective of him since he was acquired in the trade with Houston:

Brown: "I think he probably reaffirmed what we thought. We knew he was a guy who was going to come in and bring some experience to that room. He is not the most experienced – he is still young – but he certainly has more experience than DeShone, Kevin and Cody (Kessler) in that room, and that is valuable to us. Also, Brock is a competitive guy. He has done a nice job since he got here, and he has really dug into the playbook and really endeared himself to his teammates. Again, all four of the guys have an opportunity, and we look forward to seeing them out there."

On the process of finding a starting QB and the impact of splitting reps between players:

Jackson: "You adjust as you go, though. As you start to see guys start to distance themselves, you start to move into a different direction. I think that is what was asked earlier: How will it all turn out? I can't tell you exactly how fast it is going to happen, but I think we all know that old saying – 'The cream kind of rises to the top.' They will start to separate themselves as we go. As that happens, we will make that decision and make sure that guy gets enough reps to be ready to play."

On if there is a position or player the Browns hope will rise to the top during training camp:

Jackson: "Obviously, there is competition everywhere. You just said it, we really want to watch our tight end position and watch those guys continue to get better. There are some young players, some young, emerging players there and want to watch them continue to grow. As Sashi mentioned earlier, our young receivers, I think that will be a great competition among those young men. Some of the younger DBs that need to really step up and start to play in our secondary and watching the competition between our defensive line and our offensive line. It is really our football team. When I think through it, there is not one in particular. Obviously, the major one is the quarterback position. When you really look at it, we have so many new players and talented players on our roster that it is going to be a really fun camp."

On if it would be against the Browns' philosophy to keep Osweiler on the roster as a backup QB with his salary cap number:

Brown: "No."

On DB Jabrill Peppers and how the Browns plans to use him:

Jackson: "Every which way I can."

On if Peppers can handle playing in multiple different capacities on the team:

Jackson: "How much can he handle? He is very smart, first off. He has been a sensational defensive addition for us. Very talented back there. Still growing. There are some things that he still has to learn, but we all know that he has had some skill on the offensive side of the ball. I do not see any reason why we would stop him from doing something that he may be very good at."

On if it will be a major difference for Peppers to play S, given his time as a LB at Michigan last season:

Jackson: "It is not because in (defensive coordinator) Gregg's (Williams) system, we kind of deploy guys in a lot of different areas. He will do some of the similar things that he did at Michigan. He will do some new things for us being back there deep and playing in in centerfield. I do not see a real difference for him from a defensive standpoint, at all."

On why Osweiler's contract would not impact the Browns potentially keeping him as a backup QB:

Brown: "Brock is on our team. We want to evaluate guys based on their performance. No team in the salary cap era can just be blind to contracts so I am not saying it facetiously, but in all seriousness, when we acquired Brock, we understood he was going to have a chance to come in and establish himself as the starter. That does not mean he had to be the starter for him to be on our roster. It is that simple."

On Williams stating the Browns defensive will tackle every day and if the Browns will tackle more this year in training camp than last year:

Jackson: "When we are in pads (laughter). There will still be a siren that goes off. Oh yeah, we will get after it that way. I truly believe that is the only way that you really learn how to play football. You have to do the things that football requires, which is blocking and tackling and doing those things. We will tackle, there is no question about that. Now, we will do it all within a controlled environment to give our players the best chance to compete that way."

On if Osweiler will be on the roster Week 1:

Brown: "We are not going to get into projecting any rosters here today. As I said earlier, we are going to take it day by day, week by week and make the cuts when it is time to do that."

On if Kizer and the Browns QBs who worked with quarterback coach Tom House this offseason made a significant jump:

Jackson: "As you know, Tom does a great job with all quarterbacks. There are so many guys that go out to see him that he works with. I think it was an opportunity for those guys to continue to further themselves, because they could not be around us as coaches. But I have not had them on the field personally yet. I am looking forward to seeing exactly where they are from the fieldwork once we start practice tomorrow."

On the importance of the offensive line working together as a unit, given players missing time this past offseason:

Jackson: "I think it is important. It is going to be important for that group at some point to play together and to have that kind of communication with each other and know how they play off of each other, but I think we will do all of that in time."

On if the Browns have a projection for who will start at RT with the upcoming competition:

Jackson: "Not yet. It is going to be a tremendous competition. That is the fun part about training camp. I think it brings out the best in players."

On who will start at S at the beginning of training camp:

Jackson: "I think (DB) Derrick Kindred will definitely be out there. It could be a toss-up between (DB Jabrill) Peppers… It could be a lot of different people, let me put it to you like that. I say that for this reason: I think when you look at those guys and Gregg (Williams) has so many different packages that he plays in, it is not about a starter. It is not about who walks out there first. It kind of depends on who I put out there on offense first because they are going to match what we do. I think it is unfair to say, 'Well, this guy is going to be a starter' and then all of a sudden we are in a different package and you guys start writing and saying, 'Well, that guy wasn't out there first.' I don't think that's the right thing to do."

Brown: "Hue (Jackson) and his staff really have done a nice job making sure that we understand our players well and deploy them to their strengths. All five or six of the guys we have in that safety room bring different strengths to the table, and we are going to put them in situations where they can be successful and impact the game most effectively. As Hue said, you may see (DB Ed) Reynolds II out there or you may see Derrick Kindred, but that may be more situational than it should be an indictment on anyone who's not out there with a certain lineup."

On who among the 2016 Browns rookie class are the team most interested in seeing during their second training camp:

Brown: "Obviously, (WR) Corey (Coleman) being able to stay healthy and playing. He has shown some of the explosiveness that caused us to draft him and he wants to do that on a more consistent basis. (DL) Emmanuel (Ogbah) had a good rookie season, and I think with a further improved defensive front, he is going to be helped with Myles' presence and some of the other players; (DL) Desmond (Bryant) being back will help us. Excited about that front group. We are really looking at all of the guys. We really try not to handicap or project. We really want to allow the development of our players that come to us. Hue and his staff have a very active hand in positioning those players to have opportunities out here at practice. We look forward to seeing them out here at practice and then reviewing the film to look to see who really is coming along and understanding that we have a full month. It is easy to get excited in the first couple of practices, but it really is something for us that we want to know the guys that can sustain over 16 weeks of a regular season and into the postseason for us. We are patient and methodical with our evaluation process. The key thing for us is that we have a great coaching staff that is going to be able to develop these young guys."

On lessons from last season:

Jackson: "What we learned is that if you continue to work hard, it gives you the best opportunity. That doesn't mean that you're going to win. It just means it gives you an opportunity, but now we feel that we have a better roster and better players in certain positions. I feel like we have made huge jumps and strides on defense. I think we are making huge strides on offense. Now, we have to go try to take this to the next level."

On if finding a MLB will be a significant component of training camp or if the Browns will mostly use five DBs:

Jackson: "I think camp is about having the guys that we are projecting to play there to see if they can do it at a high level. As we said earlier, it is also about competition, improving and getting this team better."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content