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Hue Jackson praises Griffin, says Josh Gordon has “burning desire to be part of this team”

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Minicamp Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After Thursday’s practice, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network spoke to Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson. First, Garafolo playfully tried to play the “Mike Silver card (he is colleagues with him) to get Jackson to confirm that QB Robert Griffin III will be named the team’s starting quarterback. Jackson laughed, saying "I'm not going to tell him either."

How is Robert progressing so far? What do you like, what don't you like?

“I think he's growing each and every day. He's starting to master the offense. He understands that there's a lot of different hats that position wears. He's done a good job of getting our players in-and-out of bad situations. He's done a great job of taking care of the football. That's what you have to do to play this game.”

Just watching today, it looks like the ball is coming out pretty sharply. Do you agree with that? Do you like the zip on the ball?

“He's improved, there's no question about that. He's understanding that every day when you come out here, you've got to stay after it. It's a grind in order to be good.”

Jackson also credited QB Josh McCown for helping to elevate Griffin’s play to where it’s at now. After practice, Garafolo’s observation was that if you were dropped off into Berea from an alien spaceship and didn’t know who these quarterbacks were, you’d think Griffin was the clear No. 1 guy. Friday morning, Silver tweeted the following:

Garafolo also asked Jackson for an update on WR Josh Gordon:

We haven't seen Josh Gordon on the field yet, and how eager are you to see him?

“I'm very eager to see him, but at the same time, we're going to work our plan to get him back on the field when he's healthy and ready-to-go. Once that plan comes to fruition, we'll put him out there.”

What do you see in his eyes right now?

“He wants to play, he's been outstanding. He's been great in the building, been great outside the building. I think he has a burning desire to be a part of this football team.”

Lastly, Garafolo passed along some compliments he’s heard about Jackson’s work with the Browns thus far:

I've heard that people feel even though this is your first year here, it feels like you've been here for awhile. Is that a compliment for you as a head coach?

“I really appreciate them saying that. Obviously we haven't played a game yet [laughs], but I do appreciate that. My whole goal for our staff is to create the best environment for players so they can be all they can be. That's all we're really interested in and that's what we set out to do.”