Hue Jackson Gets Grilled By The Media

Hue Jackson

Photo by Jason Miller / Getty Images

Head Coach Hue Jackson:

Opening statement:

“Obviously, a frustrating loss yesterday. We played some winning football, though, especially on defense. I thought our guys fought hard. I think in spirts we played some winning football on offense, did some things in special teams, too, but obviously on offense, not enough plays made in the scoring zone. We have to make those kicks when we have those opportunities. All in all, our guys fought hard. This team has no quit in it. Obviously, we can’t turn the ball over the way we did in the scoring zone. That has kind of been something we have done this year. It is disappointing. We have to get that corrected. As I talk to the team today, we are all in. Everybody to a man, we are all in. We know what we are facing. We know everything that is going to get said and written and all of that. Honestly, we don’t care. We are not going to get concerned about any of that. What we are going to get concerned about is just playing winning football, getting better and making sure that we take care of our issues as a football team. That is what we have to do in order to get this thing turned. As I told them, I came here for one reason and that is to get it turned. When is it going to turn? I don’t have the answer for that, but that is what I am here for and that is not going to change. I am committed to fixing this. I am going to stand in the gap of all of this and put it on my shoulders with the rest of our staff and our players, and we are going to get this fixed. It is frustrating to a man, I am sure, to coaches and to our players, but at the same time, nobody can do anything about it but us. We are the ones that made those mistakes out there yesterday that would have given us an opportunity to win. We can’t blame or fault anybody. We go back to practice. We go back to work. We do it better. We hold each other a little bit more accountable to what we are trying to do, but no one is running. No one is going to run from what we are dealing with. We are accountable to it. We have to fix it, and that is what it is.

“As far as the injuries are concerned, (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.) has fully been cleared from the concussion protocol and will return to practice this week. (LB) James Burgess (Jr.) had a knee injury. We will see how that responds. There is nothing significant outside of that to report so that is a good thing. We have a pretty healthy football team as we start practice for the week getting ready for Houston.”

On the QB situation:

“I will let you know. I am going to take some time, continue to look at the tape and make a decision which I think is best for our football team.”

On his first impressions of the QB play against the NY Jets after watching the tape:

“Oh, there are some things we can do better. There is no question. We went up and down the field. Obviously, we had more yards than we have had all year and there were times we played like I think our offensive team should look, but we have to finish in the scoring zone. Any time you turn the ball over down there you stop your team from scoring and not only from scoring the other team has the ball and now they get a chance to go score. We need to fix those things. To (QB) DeShone (Kizer), obviously, he has to improve in that area. Like I said, we will make a decision as we head forward.”

On if Kizer is seeing the field well enough:

“I think there are a lot of things DeShone does see. As you guys know, when you get in the scoring zone, things get compacted a little bit so maybe we are not seeing some things we need to see down there as clearly as we need to. There are some other throws that he made that were outstanding in certain situations, but down there, let’s just be honest, that is where these things have reared their ugly head. It has been for several games so obviously, we are not seeing it as well as we need to.”

On if the Browns OL line is performing how expected, specifically on the fourth-and-2 play:

“You are going to take one isolated play? They are getting better. I don’t think there is any question. The offensive line the last two weeks have personally given up zero sacks. We had one sack yesterday, and that was on our quarterback at that particular point in time. It was not on the offensive line. The week before I think we had two and those were both on our quarterback so they have improved. We ran the ball for over 140 yards. Now fourth-and-2, do I want to see us make it? It was fourth-and-1 to be exact, and we didn’t make it. We didn’t get the movement that I think we needed to get. Obviously, if you want to point to that and say it is not performing like you think it should, that is totally up to you, but I think those guys are battling. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Did we want to make the fourth-and-1? Yes, we did. We didn’t so it is easy to point to that and say, OK, well maybe they are not performing the way they need to. Teams, they get paid, too. They made a play and it got us stopped.”

On the K situation:

“What have I decided about the kicker? We are going to look at everything and see where it is, but Gonzo (K Zane Gonzalez) knows he has to make those kicks. There is no question about that. He has an accountability to his teammates. We stick him out there and we think he can make them so he needs to go make them.”

On if it would be human nature for Kizer to have his confidence shaken after being benched at halftime:

“Oh yeah, his confidence could be shaken, but I don’t think I am worried about that. I don’t think DeShone is either. I don’t think you guys would ever know if his confidence is shaken or not. Honestly, I think we are making a lot of it because of things I said earlier about this young man, but also, that was a while back. This is now. This is five games into a season. This is an offensive football team that to me has not functioned at a high level all the time but has played in spurts and we need to get better. I think you are seeing a young player who in his first five games has done some good things and there are some things he needs to improve on. There are some things that he has to do better in order for the football team to have a chance to win. I don’t look at it that way. I think any human being… Hell, my confidence is shaken. We haven’t won a game. I am 1-whatever you guys want to say – what 1-30? I don’t know what it is. My confidence is shaken, too, but I am going to walk in here every day and in this building every day with the mindset to get better and to get this organization and this football team to winning. DeShone has to do the same thing. We can’t do anything different than that and that is what it is.”

On if Kizer can become the franchise QB:

“I still believe that. That hasn’t changed. I am not backing off of that. Just because a guy all of the sudden… We started this with everybody in this room saying, ‘Hey, Hue, he might not play as well at times.’ That is what this is so I don’t think anybody should be surprised by it. This was going to happen. I said this to you guys, it is going to happen at some point in time. What I decide to do about it, that is my decision on what I think is best for our football team and what is best for the player. He has bounced back from some things when they didn’t go as well. He has improved in some areas. Like I said, he did a good job of getting rid of the ball and not taking sacks. That has definitely gotten better. The interception issue is something I brought up to our football team. That is one of the goals of our team. We don’t turn the ball over. If you don’t turn the ball over, we have a chance to win. If you turn the ball over, you don’t have a chance to win. I have to do a great job with the football team. It is not just about him because I am also responsible for 53 other guys and maybe more than that, however many are over there, that I am responsible for making sure they understand that we are trying to win. We talked about development the other day. It is not just about development. It is about winning. Winning is first and foremost. Development is second because that is our job. That is what we do, develop players, but it is all about winning. That is what it is.”

On previously stating he would stick with Kizer through the ups and downs:

“Absolutely, ride through the ups and downs until I determine that the ups and downs are too much. I have been riding through it. That is what we have been doing, but at some point in time, I have to look at it and say what is best for the football team? That is what I plan on doing. That is where it all starts. DeShone in my opinion is going to be a tremendous football player in this league. He has to continue to work at it each and every day. He is like most young quarterbacks that start into this. It goes well, then there is a little nosedive, then there is a pickup and then there is a flatten out period. He is going to go through all of that until he has gone through it. He is the youngest quarterback in the National Football League. I said it, I was going to ride with him and I have done that. I also said a week ago that I thought the young guy played lights out. I think everybody took that to another level. I said that because he played lights out in decision making. I didn’t say delivering the ball, this, that and the other. It is decisions and not taking sacks. Maybe I should have phrased that differently. At the same time, he is growing and he is getting better in some areas, but there are a lot of areas that you have to be good at playing quarterback in the National Football League. I think we all know that.”

On if Hogan has earned an opportunity to start if winning takes precedence over development:

“We will see. We will see. That is why I said it is about winning and development. It is both, but winning is first because that is what we do this for. We don’t do this for any other reason so we will see. We will see where this all goes. I haven’t made that decision yet.”

On how Kizer could benefit from observing if Hogan starts on Sunday:

“I think if that is the decision that we make, then I think it will benefit him tremendously because he would get a chance to get a breather and take a look at it from a different lens and not from that pressure. The pressure of playing quarterback in the National Football League for 70 plays a game and making all of the right decisions and understanding defenses and where the ball goes sometimes can be tough. Some guys handle it extremely well. Some guys hit divots as they go. Some guys rise above it. That is OK. All of it is going to happen in a guy’s first year. I don’t look at what has happened to him as, ‘Oh man, he has regressed or he is not doing this or he is not doing that.’ I don’t see that. I see a young man who is going through the process of trying to become a good quarterback in this league with a young football team. He is trying to help carry it, and that is tough. That is just part of it.”

On his process to determine the a starting QB for Sunday:

“I need to get alone to myself after watching the tape again and really think back through it all. Like I said, my decision is what is best for the team. What is best for our team to put us in position to win? Also, what is best for DeShone? It’s not just for the team, but what is best for him just so that he can feel like, ‘OK, I am moving further along in this process and I’m understanding what I need to do to be better.’ All of that will go into my decision making.”

On why Hogan was considered the fourth QB throughout training camp and the preseason based on repetitions assigned:

“I know that is what you guys thought. That is why he is the backup. I know that is what you guys thought because you were keeping track of all of that, but I have never said that in this room. I know people have felt that way, but Kevin has always been right there in my opinion. I watched him play last year for this football team. I watched him play in the preseason. I have never felt that. I will let you guys make all of those decisions and statements, but Kevin has always been right there.”

On Hogan not starting a preseason game:

“That was OK. It wasn’t about him getting a start.”

On Hogan taking fewer snaps than other QBs during training camp:

“That is OK. That is alright. That is what you guys think in practice. There are certain things that I watched him to do that I need to see him do that showed me where he was. He is a very cerebral young man. He gets it and works at it every day extremely hard. I knew exactly where Kevin was and what I needed to see from him. That is why I made him the backup quarterback.”

On how DL Myles Garrett felt this morning when he woke up:

“I’m sure sore (laughter). He was a little sore. It was great to have him out there. What a tremendous play on the first play and the other sack he made. He gave us some juice and gave us a lift. He was a part of the defense that I thought played well. We have to continue to get him to that next level where he can play longer.”

On Garrett will play more snaps as weeks progress:

“Absolutely, that is the plan. Let’s get him through a little bit more in practice, get him through a little bit more in the game.”

On if a member of the team in the press box calculates the probability of how an outcome of a play affects the potential outcome of the game, such as the fourth-and-2 decision:

“Absolutely, I do. We talk about it before the game and we talk about it during the game. Yeah, I do have someone in the press box. His name is (football research analyst) Dave Giuliani and he is extremely good. He has been outstanding all year.”

On if Giuliani calculates the overall affect a play can have on the outcome of a game:

“Absolutely. Absolutely.”

On how quickly he has to process that information:

“It happens very quickly, but we have already talked about it – that down and distance, where we are on the field – way before the game starts.”

On if Giuliani’s information helps:

“It is a huge help. It is a huge help because again as I said that decision in my mind and in all of our minds was the right decision. If we make that, hopefully it would have led to a touchdown – doesn’t mean that it would have – whether it was a tie or you score a touchdown, we felt like our chances, it was like 78 or almost 80 percent that you win the game. That is what that was about. At the time, like I said, it wasn’t like they were running roughshod over our defense. Our defense was stopping them and playing extremely well. If I’m not mistaken, there were more than nine minutes left in the game at the time. Everything pointed to, ‘Let’s do this.’ There were some field goal issues so everything said, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’ It was the right call. We didn’t make it. It is easy to talk about it today, but I felt good about it. If I was in that same situation, I would do it again. That is just where we were. We didn’t make it. They were able to go down and score. I never thought they would go 97 yards and go score. It is going to look like a bad decision, but I felt very good about it and the information I had said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That is what we did.”

On if he changed his mind on going for it after sending the kicking team out on the field:

“Yeah because at first, when I first saw it, I thought, ‘OK, let me go for the tie.’ Then I was like, ‘No, let’s go win the game. We are here to win. We are at this game trying to win the game. Hue, if that is what you are selling to your players and they want to go get this thing, then let’s go win the game.’ OK, now we have to go make it. That is not what we did. That is going to be talked about for a while. I get it, but that is OK.”

On if the team will announce a starting QB on Wednesday:

“Oh yeah, no doubt. You guys know me. I like to make those decisions and move on.”

On if WRs Bryce Treggs and Kasen Williams earned more playing time and the Browns WR corps:

“I think they did. I think they made some plays, but obviously, we will get (WR) Kenny (Britt) back and see where he is, and we will put him back out there too. The more bodies we have to throw at, that means the more opportunities we have to make plays.”

On TE David Njoku producing big plays yesterday:

“No, he did. Obviously, it was a tremendous catch on the touchdown. He caught another ball across the middle, caught a ball down the boundary and almost had a chance for a huge play in the game that we weren’t able to get to because the defense adjusted at the last minute, but he is making plays. Obviously, he has scored three touchdowns in the scoring zone. That is huge for our football team. He is a threat down there, and I think he is just getting better. He will become a better blocker in time, but he is working at it each and every day. I think he has to keep growing as a National Football League player.”

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