clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hue Jackson Speaks About the Browns at the NFL Combine (Transcript)

New, comments
NFL Combine - Day 2 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson met with the media at the NFL Combine. Here is a transcript of what he said, as provided by the local media.

(Opening Statement): “Good morning. It's an exciting time to be at the combine. Obviously, this is another piece of the puzzle for us. We had a chance to see a lotof these young guys at the Senior Bowl, so that was the first time we got a chance to touch them and see them in a different environment, but now, being at the combine's a little different. It will give us an opportunity to spend more time with some of these guys, get to know them a little bit better, spend some time in some formal interviews and the interviews at the train station and see these guys work and measurements and medical and all that stuff, which I think is great. Again, this is a great time for the Cleveland Browns.”

(How critical are the next two months): “Very. It's an opportunity for us to impact our football team, to put some talented players on our team, on our roster and that's what we're looking forward to doing.”

(What are most important things when evaluating QBs): “Well, it's a lot of things you're looking for, but I think, most importantly, obviously guys have arm talent and can a guy process football at the ratethat you need him to be able to do it. Is he a guy who can lead an organization because I think we all know the quarterback becomes the face of the organization, I think that's really important and a lot of pressure comes with that, so a guy's got to be able to handle that.”

(Is that what you start to find out here?): “Oh yeah. Obviously you've got to be around people to get a true feel of that, but this is the first process that you get to really get a feel for if a guy can do that.”

(Will you be as hands on with this class as you were last year?): “I sure do. I think as an organization we'll do anything and everything we need to do to make sure that we see them all, all the guys that we feel like have a chance to play for us.”

(Evaluation of RG3): “Obviously Robert's on our roster right now. I think there are some things that he did well, some things he needs to continue to improve at and we're going to keep working with him until we don't. He's one of the three quarterbacks on our football team right now and I'm very fortunate we do have some guys under contract right now to work with, but we've got to continue to get him better as he moves forward.”

(What are attributes you need to see from a QB coming from a college offense?): “I think it's some of the things I just mentioned. There's no substitute for arm talent. There's no substitute, can a guy really process what they're trying to accomplish and then can it fit into the National Football League. I think we all know it's been tough trying to evaluate that position because it's so different in college than what it is in the National Football League, but those things won't change. I think there's a couple of key characteristics that you've got to have. Can you throw? Can you process? Can you lead your team? Those are three very fundamental things that I think will show itself from a college quarterback.”

(Mitch over 6'2"): “I think that's great. It's good that he's over 6-2. We all have a profile for what we like a quarterback to be and I think you kind of work through that.I like a guy that's a little taller and he is over 6-2 so that's great for him.”

(How much can you help a QB become more accurate?): “I think you can improve a lot of skills over time. I think you create the environment and repetition for a player to continue to do those things and do them well, but, obviously, I think you said it, sometimes guys just have that. We'd rather have a guy that has it all and then we just continue to improve it and make it better. Obviously, throwing the ball and throwing the ball accurately is very important in the National Football League.”

(Is QB the biggest need?): “We're going to keep searching. I think we all understand, no one's really claimed this position yet on our football team so we need to do everything we can to continue to add a player that we feel, as an organization, really good about, that can lead our football team and we'll continue to chase that.”

(Last year you were cool with trading down. How about this year?): “My feelings are different in a sense we need to do whatever we feel is important to improve our football team. We have a lot of assets here aswe move forward to improve our roster and I think that’s what’s most important.”

(Sashi said he would be okay with these three guys as the quarterbacks for next season. How about you?): “I think we have to feel that way because that potentially could happen. It all depends how this all unfolds. But I know we’re doing anything and everything we can to improve that position. I think that’s really important and I think that’s where Sashi is coming from. It could happen that way – not that we want it to be that way, but that the same time, that’s a reality too. But we’re going to do everything we can to go find a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.”

(Would that include a trade?): “I’m not going to get into those things. We’re not going to talk about that.”

(What do you see as the positives of negatives of getting a veteran quarterback, whether trade or free agency, vs. a guy in the draft you can mold?): “I think what’s most important is find a guy who can win for us over time and can sustain it and do it week in and week out. Obviously this is the National Football League. It’s a quarterback driven league. You have to have a guy that can play consistently week in and week out. We’re going to see if we can find that. We have some guys on our team that are going to continue to work hard and improve. We need to get those guys better, too,but we also need to continue to improve the talent level at that position as much as we can, as much as we’re allowed to.”

(Wouldn’t it be easier to avoid repeating last year if you had a guy with NFL experience?): “I don’t know if it’s just experience. You have to surround the team with talent. It’s not just pitting a quarterback on the team. He’s a huge piece of it, but you also have to equip that quarterback with an opportunity to win. A lot of things go into that. We understand where we are and what weneed to do. Our executive staff, along with our coaching staff, that’s what we’re setting out to do.”

(How aggressive will you be in free agency compared to last year?): “It will be another piece and opportunity to supplement our team. We’re going to look at every avenue to get our team better. I totally understand we’ll do that and we’ll do it to the best of our ability. We’re not going to do anything that’s way over the top because I think it’s important we do it very smartly but also very aggressively, but well do everything we can to improve this football team.”

(How important to get Pryor wrapped up?): “It’s important. Obviously Terrelle was a huge piece of what we did a year ago. Obviously we’re working through that. And it has to work both ways for all involved – for him, fur us and hopefully it will. Hopefully we can get that done soon.”

(Are any of the college draftable quarterbacks are ready to play right away?): “I think it’s too soon. We’re still in the process of finding out to know that for sure. That’s why we’re here, to spend more time with them to and see what they know and what they don’t know and how we can help them and how they would fit in our system. We’ll know more about all these guys as we continue to move forward.”

(What is the ideal size you’re looking for in a QB?): “6-2, because I think a guy has to be about 6-2 to play in this league. The special guys, I don’t want to take anything away from any of the other quarterbacks—there have been guys who have played in this league who are not 6-2, but the majority of the guys who have played are 6-2 or a little bit better and that’s just what I like in a quarterback.”

(If Trubisky would’ve measured 6-1, would that have changed your evaluation of him?): “I think you evaluate it all. I think it’s important. When you talk about profiles, you want a guy to be a certain height, a certain weight, a certain speed,all those things. But there are other factors that are factored in there too about arm talent, processing and all of the other things we talked about. So it’s a piece of it, but it’s an important piece.”

(Do you look forward to someday at the combine not having to answering QB questions?): “Absolutely. I don’t like it. I think we all get it. We need to find a guy to lead our team, to lead this organization to winning week in and week out.”

(How important is it to have the QB so you can build the rest of the roster?): “I think there are all kinds of ways to do it. I think it’s important. You have to have that guy, but you have to make decisions about what that looks like as you start to put that guy on your football team. As I said earlier, you have to support that position the right way, as well.. It’s not just about putting aquarterback on the team and saying ‘Here we go’. You have to make sure he has enough weapons. You have to make sure you’re able to protect him and you put him in the right spot so he can have success. I think all of those things go into it as you think through it.”

(On having a very young team): “Honestly, I’ve turned the page on last year and I’ve moved forward. i think it’s well documented that we were one of the younger teams in all of pro football. Hopefully, that’s going to help us as we start to move forward. Some of these young guys to step up and make the next jump in their career and help theorganization get to where we need to be.”

(On improving at right tackle?): “I don’t know that it’s bad, I think we need to improve it. we have some candidates that we’ll put over there and give them a chance to compete and obviously,maybe well find somebody in free agency or find somebody that can play the position in the draft. i feel very comfortable that our football team this year will be improved, be better and we’re looking forward to it.”