Skip to main content


With all eyes on QB, Hue Jackson stresses flexibility with entirety of Browns offense

The slew of questions Hue Jackson faced about the arrival of Robert Griffin III were understandable. The former Rookie of the Year is a new face at the highest-profile position in the NFL.

As the queries took on a big picture tint regarding the type of offense best suited for Cleveland's new quarterback, Jackson urged patience while stressing the importance of everyone else who will surround the team's starting quarterback, whoever it is.

"In our system, it isn't just about Robert," Jackson said. "Our system is about our offensive players. I think we are flexible enough to handle whoever is playing for us. Not just at quarterback but at running back, tight end receiver, everywhere. That's the flexibility I think you have to have as an offensive football team in the National Football League because the defenses are just too good.

"We have a long ways to go and we will find out what's best for Robert and the rest of our football team as we move forward. I think it's a little early."

Yes, early. That couldn't be stressed enough by Jackson, who has spent as much time as he's permitted with Browns players through the first two weeks of offseason workouts, but hasn't yet been able to work with them on field and work through football activities.

That can change next week at the team's three-day voluntary minicamp -- an event permitted because Jackson is a new coach with the team -- but the development of Cleveland's offense and the player they pick to be under center for the first game of the season will be a process that goes well beyond a few practices.

At last month's owners meetings, Jackson said he hopes to "create an environment to make our quarterbacks precious," but that does not include building an offense around a single player. And when it pertains to Griffin, Jackson brushed off concerns about his ability to play from the pocket or within an offense that does not incorporate heavy zone-read concepts.

And he did it while addressing the entire quarterbacks room, not just Griffin.

"What you have to do is let the young man play," Jackson said. "I don't think it's about read option or can he succeed in the pocket. We are going to build our quarterbacks from the ground up."

That sort of philosophy has rubbed Griffin the right way early in the team's workouts.

"The way he approaches the game, the way he approaches every day, I think the team can kind of feel that," Griffin said. "Just the way he talks to you, just his expectations of this team, and those are all things that we keep in house, but it is just a good vibe to be around. Every day you wake up wanting to come to work even more."

Griffin burst on the scene as a rookie with the Redskins, throwing for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions while piling up 815 yards and seven more scores on the ground. Many of the rushing yards came on designed runs with the others coming on scrambles that were byproducts of broken plays or opportunities Griffin saw as the play developed.

Though he threw for 3,203 yards in his second season, Griffin struggled to recapture his rookie season magic and rushed for significantly fewer yards.

Jackson didn't see the need to delve into the "why" when it pertained to Griffin's struggles near the end of his four years in Washington. He's focused on the "how" when it pertains to tapping into Griffin's potential in a new environment.

"I think what he needs to do is play quarterback the way the Cleveland Browns want him to play quarterback and the way I have vision for that position playing," Jackson said. "We put this young man on our football team to compete and to give him an opportunity. We have some other young quarterbacks here and we are going to coach all of these guys the same and hopefully get them to play the way we think they can play. I think they all have different strengths because they are different. They are different people. But at the same time we create an environment for our quarterback to be as good as he can be. That is what we are going to do for all of them."

"I've said from Day 1 that we will be dynamic on offense and I think we will be that as we continue to move forward."

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