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Cleveland Browns Postgame Transcripts 10/9

Cleveland Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 9, 2016.


Opening statement:
"Obviously, my hat is off to the Patriots. They played a heck of a game. We didn't play as well. As I told our guys, we are going to keep working because as I said earlier, I'm very envious of that team and their organization because of what they are. Someday, we are going to have that here. That is the plan. They play like a good group. They have a big time quarterback. They play good together, and they know how to play. That is what we are chasing. We have a ways to go. I get that, but to be able to play against an organization and a team that kind of demonstrates what you want to be someday, it was right there for us all to see. We have to grow from this, our team does. Obviously, there are some things I think we could have done better. I was disappointed in our ability to run the ball because I think we can run the ball better than that. I did, but at the same time, I knew they were going to do to everything they could to stop it and they did. My hat is off to them. They did a good job and that is how you win games. We have to keep getting better. We have to keep growing as an organization, as a football team, individually and collectively. We are not going to get frustrated by this. We are going to learn from this, grow from it and continue to get better. We understand. The part of seeing what it is going to look like in the future, it was right out there for us to see."

On QB Cody Kessler's status:
"Cody, right now, has a chest/rib type of deal that he is dealing with. He is going to be day to day. We will find out more about him this week as we go through the week. That is kind of where it is."

On the matchup difficulties with the Patriots TEs:
"It was tough. Obviously, those guys made a lot of plays. The matchup looked like it did. It wasn't as good on our side. Our guys fought extremely hard. We just have to continue to get better."

On respecting Patriots QB Tom Brady and if the Browns expected him to throw for 400 yards:
"Yes, I knew he potentially could. Not that he would, I knew he potentially could. Tom Brady is one of the best players in this league that probably ever played. Potentially, he can go do that not just to us, he has done it to a lot of people before. We all know that. It is disappointing it happened that way, but I'm not surprised by anything he does."

On if Kessler had X-rays and if they returned negative, if so:
"Yeah, that is what was given to me. That is exactly where it is right now – X-ray and right now, there is nothing broken. It will be day to day. It is a chest/rib situation, and obviously, we will find out more tomorrow."

On QB Charlie Whitehurst's status:
"Charlie came back in the game as you know. It is a knee, but he came back in the game and finished. I think that will be day to day but there is obviously a chance Charlie will be up and going."

On how close QB Josh McCown is to returning to play:
"He will get X-rays tomorrow. We will have a better idea about him tomorrow as we get through."

On why the Browns running game wasn't able to get going today:
"Because I think they were going to make sure they stopped it. They loaded up to stop it. We have to do better. Like I said, I was disappointed because I think we can do it a little bit better than what we did, but they did, they slowed us down like no team has this season so we have to go back to the drawing board. I take responsibility for that. We have to get that part better, and we will."

On how far away the Browns are from becoming the type of organization desired, as previously mentioned:
"I don't know that. We will not know that until the season is over. Obviously, we have a ways to go. Right now, we are not close, but I think our guys are improving in some areas and getting better. We just have to continue to get better collectively as a team and then we will look back and see exactly where we are. These are the games that you will point to to where we will make our biggest growth because I think when you play against an opponent that is as good as I think that team is because I think that is the best team we have played this season, you have a different barometer to look at and to judge everything by. I think I do. I think we all do. That is what the champions – because they have been – that is what the division champions look like – that is what they look like. That is what they play like. That is what we hope to be so that is what you are going to have to defeat as you move forward."

On the Patriots defender running between two Browns OL on the play that QB Cody Kessler got hurt and if that was a missed assignment:
"No, that is not their fault. That is on Coach Jackson. It is not on the players. It is on me."

On if there is anything Kessler should have done differently in the moment:
"No, I got guys on him pretty fast so no, that is not on Cody. That is not on the players. It is on me all the way."

On Kessler's TD drive:
"That was a heck of a drive by our football team. We had some mixed runs, even though they were not very successful. We had some things that I thought were starting to happen mixed with the pass. He made some good plays, and obviously, it ended in a touchdown drive. It was a good play by Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins), a good throw by Cody and we were able to execute that play. You said it, there were some things that were starting to happen to get executed, and the next series, obviously, he got hurt so that is part of it too."

On if the Browns are open to using WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. at QB more often:
"We had a package for the game, and I thought the best thing to do was settle everybody down by doing something we practiced. We tried those things a couple times, and then I thought (QB) Charlie (Whitehurst) was good to go. Charlie went out there and battled as hard as he could. For a guy that probably takes two reps with the starters but is in the meetings and doing everything, he held on pretty well, and that is what you want from a guy that is a veteran who has been in the league that goes out there and tries to compete."

On what he would have done differently on the play Kessler was hurt:
"I would not have called it. That is it. Don't call the play. They had the right defense on at the right time. They won that battle."

On if it is tough to not be able to accelerate the timetable to where the Browns are the caliber of team desired:
"No, I'm not going to say it is tough. The reason why I wanted to say that is because I want… We have to understand that is where we are going, where we are trying to get to. Until you can get there, you have to keep reaching for it. You have to keep building to get there, and I think that is what we are attempting to do. We want to be one of the best organizations in football so there it was. That is what you have to look at to compare and contrast of where you are trying to go. It is a good eye-opener for all because that is where we want to be."

On if McCown may be available at Tennessee next week:
"I don't [know]. I won't know that until we get some more medical reports back for him. Hopefully, but we will see where it is this week."

On if Kessler needs an MRI tomorrow and if that factors into his day-to-day status:
"No, I was not told that. What I was just told is, like I said, nothing is broken. It is more of a chest/rib deal, and we are going to be day-to-day and kind of go from there."

On if Kessler tried to throw on the sideline after being checked:
"He tried. Yeah, just didn't and could not do it."


On his injury:
"My chest/rib area. Just real painful. X-rays were negative so nothing is broken. That is good. I just have to do a couple more tests."

On if he tried to come back into the game:
"Yeah, I tried. I wanted to. I tried, but there is a point where you have to be smart. It hurt. I hate leaving guys like that. I hate coming out. It hurt me as a person. It is unfortunate, but that is just the game."

On if the Patriots defender had come free at him earlier in the game on a play similar to that play:
"No, different plays."

On if he will have an MRI tomorrow:
"I'm not sure. They told me they are going to call me tonight and see how I was feeling and just run some more tests."

On if there is anything wrong with his shoulder, given the way he fell on the field:
"That is what scared me. When I landed, I heard something weird and I thought it was my shoulder at first so I didn't want to move, but luckily, it is not my shoulder."

On the breakdown of the safety:
"It was a screen play. It was a screen to the right, and he ran through unfortunately. They just called a great defense on that play. I just tried to get rid of it as I was getting hit and it went back in the end zone."

On stabilizing the game in the first quarter with a TD prior to his injury:
"Yeah, I felt really comfortable. We felt comfortable as an offense. We were moving the ball well and the play calling was great. We were getting really in a good rhythm, and that is just from the last few weeks, too. I just continue to get more and more comfortable with the more playing time I get. Like I said, it is just unfortunate, and it hurt me to come out."

On if it hurts to stand:
"A little bit. It is not too comfortable. It'll be fine. Just get treatment all week and try to get back as fast as I can."

On if he will get an MRI:
"I'm not sure yet. They are going to call me tonight and tell me where to go from here and just stay on top of it and get as much treatment as possible."

On not knowing his status for next week:
"I want to come back obviously. I am going to do everything I can or as much treatment as possible to get back as fast as possible."

On what it felt like when he was trying to warm up and throw following the injury:
"Yeah, it was hurting, and I hate it because very few games I have ever come out of, and I was trying really hard, really hard because I hate leaving those guys like that. I was telling (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) our trainer it hurts, but it hurts me more as a person to come out and then not be able to go back in. Yeah, it was pretty painful."

On how much he is hoping that he will not receive bad news on the injury, given QBs Robert Griffin III's and Josh McCown's recent injuries:
"My goal is to come back as fast as possible. I will know more in the next couple days and just see how it feels and stay on top of it and get treatment, but yeah, my goal is to get healthy really fast."

On if it is an unlucky position for the Browns, given the number of injuries in just five weeks:
"No, I think it is football. It is a violent game and injuries happen, and you can't control that. That play, they just ran a good job on defense. They had a great call and it is just an unfortunate situation."

On Head Coach Hue Jackson taking the blame for the play that Kessler was hurt:
"I think it is on the Patriots. They did a great job on that call and they called the perfect defense for that play and it was unfortunate. We ran the play all week and practiced on it. It was successful obviously throughout the week, and it is just unfortunate. Hats off to them. They called a great call on that."

On if this injury is more disappointing after beginning to get into a rhythm with the team:
"Yeah, it was frustrating obviously, like I said, and it hurt to come out. I'm feeling more and more comfortable each drive and getting more comfortable with the guys and running the offense. That drive was great for us to answer back and continue to do that. Unfortunately, injuries happen. In that situation, I wanted to come back, I tried to come back but it was just not going to happen."

On if he is hopeful that he will be able to play next week, given his day-to-day status:
"That is my goal, like I said, is to stay on top of it and continue to get treatment and get back as fast as possible. I hate missing time with these guys so I want to get back as fast as I can."

OL Joel Bitonio

On if there was anything the Browns OL could do on the play that QB Cody Kessler got hurt or if the Patriots defense just had a great play called:
"They had a good play call for that. We are trying to get a quick screen out to the side. I know me and (OL) Joe (Thomas) were fanning out to the left so I'm not exactly sure what happened on the right. I have not seen it yet, but they had a really good play call. They won that one, and unfortunately, it got Cody."

On why the Browns struggled with the rushing attack today:
"They came out with kind of like a 6-1 look on us, kind of a blanket front. It took away some of our double teams and things like that, and they did a good job. They outplayed us today in the run game for sure, and it's unfortunate because we wanted to run the ball, but they did a good job stopping it. We have to come back and get better and win some more one-on-one blocks."

On if the Browns OL takes it personally that Browns QBs have gotten hurt:
"Obviously, anytime a quarterback goes out, and I don't remember the exact plays that everybody got hurt on, but when they are taking hits like that, it's just an unfortunate situation. To lose those three guys and to have (QB) Charlie (Whitehurst) have to come in, that is not what we planned to do for the first five games of the season. We have to do everything in our power, the five guys we can block on a play, we have to make sure they are not the ones hitting the quarterback."

On how Kessler is progressing:
"He did good, man. We had a nice little drive there. The first drive was not great, but the second drive, he looked good. They were not rushing too many guys to start and he was doing a pretty good job of picking them apart on that one drive and threw a nice touchdown to Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins)  out there. The moment is not too big for him. He played at USC (University of Southern California). He is a guy that has played in front of crowds and stuff, and you can tell he is just dedicated to try and be the best quarterback he can be."

OL John Greco

On Head Coach Hue Jackson taking responsibility for bad plays:
"I think we all need to accept responsibility, but that is the kind of coach he is, even the man he is. We cannot let him down. We just need to execute better moving forward."

On switching back and forth between G and C:
"I do not want to make excuses. It is what it is. If I am playing center, my focus is on that position. If I am playing guard, my focus is on that position. I can't get into a game and not be upset because I am not playing center. I do not want to make excuses. No matter what position I am in, I need to play tough."

On why New England was effective in stopping the run game:
"They just executed better than we did. We know we are not going to sneak up on teams anymore by running the ball. Every team is going to try and stop our strength which in the first four games has been running the ball. So we just need to execute better. Going into next week, I think we need to be critical of ourselves tomorrow but then put it to bed. It's not like we have one or two games left. We still have a majority of the season left to play, so we need to get back to doing what we do well."

DB Joe Haden

On impressions of Patriots QB Tom Brady's first game of the season:
"It was just Tom Brady being Tom Brady. They did a really good job. Tight ends, Gronk (Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski) ended up coming out of his shell. When Tom Brady came back, he was going to want to give him (Gronkowski) the ball a lot. I think he was just able to run their offense just the way that he wanted to. He did a really good job."

On keeping the young players 'bought in' on the team's winning aspirations:
"We have got a job to do. They have got to believe in it. We have got to come in here we have got to figure out a way to get a win. I'm not changing, Joe T (OL Joe Thomas) is not changing, and the leaders on the team aren't changing. We keep going into practice every week. Had a great week of practice, a great week of preparation, that's all we can ask for. All we can ask them to do is keep coming in, keep working hard, keep watching the tape and just keep preparing."

On Brady throwing for more than 400 passing yards and three TDs:
"It's not a good feeling at all. Especially being a defensive back, I don't like that. It sucks. We have got to figure out a way to fix it. It is what it is. He came in here and did his thing. We got to go back to the tape, watch it, and get better."

WR Andrew Hawkins

On how many QB have been injured this season:
"It's unfortunate. I really do not have words for it. It is something I have never been a part of but it's football. We have to try and correct the mistakes to not put him in that situation, but it's out of our control."

On if the Browns QB is a snake-bitten position:
"I wouldn't call it a snake-bitten position, but we are three quarterbacks down with only playing five games. It has just been bad luck. In football, you need some good luck, and we just haven't had it from that stand point."

On how tough QB Cody Kessler has been playing:
"I have been singing his praises since he has been in there. I think we have consistently moved the football since Cody has taken over. That is tough to do as a rookie who was a third-round quarterback and third in the depth chart three weeks ago. I think if he wouldn't have gotten hurt, our expectations wouldn't have changed, but we tip our hats off to (QB) Charlie (Whitehurst). After a little bit, he got in a rhythm and we were able to move the ball. We have to keep fighting. We have to be able to continue to move the ball, whoever is in there. We have played with five quarterbacks already, including (WR) Terrelle (Pryor Sr.). I think guys aren't giving up. I know it doesn't always equate to wins, but it is a foundation.  I do not think it's a matter of if, I think it is a matter of when. If we continue to fight and build that foundation, and I can't tell you when that is going to happen, but good teams fight. That is what my guys always do."

On if the Browns can learn from the Patriots:
"I think the Patriots are a good team, always. It is really the program. They are not always the most talented, but the most talented aren't always the teams that win Super Bowls. The best teams, the best programs are the ones that win Super Bowls. I think it is something to take away from. I think we see that they play together. Sometimes you think, 'This guy isn't as good as the last guy we played,' but they are playing at a high level and are working together. I think that is what makes them so special."

LB Christian Kirksey

On if he was surprised by Patriots QB Tom Brady:
"I wasn't surprised. Before this game, a lot of people were saying that Tom Brady has not played in month but he is a future Hall of Famer. We expect him to go out and give it his best effort and do what Tom Brady does. We tip our hats off to him and the Patriots because they played well."

On why Patriot's TE Martellus Bennett was a hard matchup:
"They have some good tight ends, and at the end of the day, they made the plays. I take full responsibility and stay accountable for that because I need to play tighter coverage."

On if this game was an eye opener to play like the Patriots:
"I look at this game as they are the Patriots. I look at their track record and they played well today. Our team being a younger unit and team forces us to play together and get to that edge. New England played well, and we tip our hats off to (Patriot Head Coach) Bill Belichick."

WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.

On how he feels physically after playing multiple offensive positions:
"I'm fine."

On QB Cody Kessler sustaining an injury:
"Anytime you see anybody [injured], whether it is a competitor, someone you are competing against or your teammates, you don't like to see that."

On the New England Patriots setting the bar for the Browns and NFL:
"It seems like they are the best team in the NFL right there. Best team in the NFL, especially with (Patriots QB) Tom Brady there.

On potentially playing a different position next week against Tennessee:
"Whatever they need me to do. Like I always say, I'm all for (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson. Whatever Coach Jackson needs me to do, I will definitely be there for him. 100 percent."

On the Browns QB position being a 'snake-bit position':
"I wouldn't say that. Cody was doing a great job. He got hurt. We had (QB) Josh McCown get knocked down. Guys are just getting hurt. That is the way of the league. We just have got to have the next man up."

QB Charlie Whitehurst
On if he experienced pain in his knee when he went down:
"I just landed on it. It went kind of straight. I hyper-extended it, and I was hoping it wasn't too serious."

On if the Browns seem 'snake-bitten':
"No, it's the NFL. Guys get hurt. Next guy has got to be ready to play. It is the way it goes."

On the assessment of the team:
"I don't think it's really my job to assess. You go out there and you practice on Wednesday. You go to your meetings. You go full speed and you get as good as you can, individually and together as a team. That's the job of the quarterback. Work on your game and work on your team so that's what we'll continue to do. Coaches will provide us with game plans and we'll go from there."

On the pressure playing against the Patriots and Patriots QB Tom Brady:
"Yeah, everybody had a good day but the score is the score. You just try and execute. I think you try to make it simple, make your approaches as simple as you can get."

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