Posts Tagged ‘Hue Jackson’

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Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson officially named rookie DeShone Kizer as the team’s starting quarterback Sunday.

Jackson told reporters he was very close to naming Kizer as the starter following Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and made the decision after further reflection.

“He’s a young QB and still has a lot to learn. He’s going to learn a lot and the only way you get that is through experience,” Jackson told reporters on a conference call.

Kizer impressed Jackson and the rest of the Browns’ coaching staff during the preseason, separating himself from Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, and Kevin Hogan – all of whom were vying for the starting job.

“He’s earned the right,” Jackson said. “This is not just for the moment. It’s very exciting. It’s been good to watch his development. We all have to do our jobs to better support him.”

The former Notre Dame standout is the first Browns rookie to open the season as the team’s starting quarterback since Brandon Weeden in 2012.

Kizer was selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft and the Browns hope he’s the long-term answer to their perennial woes at quarterback, as the organization looks to accelerate their rebuild during the upcoming season.

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The Cleveland Browns‘ training camp is just one day old, but head coach Hue Jackson is already impressed by DeShone Kizer‘s progress.

Jackson said Thursday the rookie quarterback is coming along faster than expected.

“Yes, he is,” Jackson said, according to cleveland.com’s May Kay Cabot. “He’s understanding the offense. I could take you back to his days at OTAs – he struggled calling the plays. The words were a lot simpler. The language was different.

“I did not see as much of that today. That is improvement. Obviously, he made some good throws and did not turn the ball over. Those things are good. Again, it’s just one day. We are not going to make decisions on guys in one day. We have a lot of work to do.”

Cody Kessler remains the starter, with Jackson announcing Wednesday that the second-year pivot sits atop the depth chart thanks to his superior knowledge of the offense.

However, Jackson has been careful throughout the offseason not to put too much pressure on Kizer potentially starting, so his latest comments could signal that the Browns’ quarterback competition is already heating up.

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As Hue Jackson seeks to turn around the Cleveland Browns’ fortunes on the field, he is also looking to make a much bigger difference off it.

Jackson is set to launch the Hue Jackson Foundation, which has the goal of helping those impacted by human trafficking, according to the Browns’ official website.

The foundation will focus on awareness, prevention, and healing for victims of trafficking.

Jackson and his wife Michelle have three daughters and say they are starting the foundation for reasons close to their hearts.

Ohio has some of the highest human trafficking rates in the U.S., the Browns’ website notes.

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The head coach of the Cleveland Browns appears to be on the same page as the rest of the football world.

As speculation mounts about a possible divide within the organization over which player to select with the No. 1 pick, Hue Jackson would prefer the Browns take Texas A&M pass-rusher Myles Garrett, sources told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Garrett has widely been considered the consensus top player throughout the this year’s pre-draft process.

It was reported Tuesday that the Browns are internally divided over whether to select Garrett or North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Given the team’s longstanding need at quarterback and Jackson’s status as one of the league’s most respected signal-caller gurus, it seemed reasonable enough for the second-year head coach to be leaning toward Trubisky.

But, as many have suggested, passing on a rare defensive cornerstone like Garrett to reach on a quarterback could easily prove to be a mistake.

The Browns could still take Garrett at No. 1 and either hope their top-rated quarterback remains available with their second first-round pick (No. 12 overall), or swing a trade to move up and land him earlier.

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The Cleveland Browns turned over a new leaf Monday, actually investing in a piece they had the courage to go out and get.

Under the regime of vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson, the Browns have been gutting their roster and evaluating the little talent that remains. Last spring, the Browns elected not to re-sign any of their contributors whose contracts had run out and even released a few veterans who had years remaining.

Linebacker Jamie Collins saw that trend reverse, receiving a four-year deal worth a reported $50 million with $26 million guaranteed. The deal gives Collins the highest annual average salary ($12.5 million) for an inside linebacker in the league. His play this season may not have been worth that number, but what it represents for the Browns is more important.

Collins, who was acquired through trade from the New England Patriots this season, and receiver Terrelle Pryor represent the two potential franchise cornerstones that the Browns didn’t acquire through the draft. Now that Collins has been paid, the Browns gain some credibility with players (particularly free agents) around the league.

Young free agents who may not garner huge numbers on the open market or be of much interest to Super Bowl contenders can view Cleveland as a land of opportunity. Signing there on a short-but-fair deal could provide under the radar talent with a place to showcase their abilities, and hopefully cash in when their deals run out.

This should also be encouraging to players who just spent their first season with the Browns or those who are about to. While former draft picks like Johnny Manziel may be encouraging future players to stay away from the Browns, making Collins the highest paid at his position is something for young stars to shoot for. The Browns drafted 14 players last year and have another 13 selections to dish out this spring.

Former players who actually have NFL talent (unlike Manziel) put the Browns on blast last spring as the team chose not to re-sign free agents like Travis Benjamin, Tashaun Gipson, Craig Robertson, Mitchell Schwartz, and Alex Mack. Instead, they signed a quarterback the rest of the league had given up on and may as well have called punts on third down through parts of the season. The Browns had no problem playing with a roster devoid of talent and experience in the hopes of establishing a true bottom to build up from.

Collins’ signing is the first step back to becoming a respectable NFL franchise.

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CLEVELAND – Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have apologized to the team’s season-ticket holders following a 1-15 season.

The team shared a letter that the Haslams sent to fans following the worst season since the Browns joined the NFL in 1950.

The couple thanked Cleveland fans for their support during a season that ”has been a painful part of our building process. You deserve the best, and you certainly deserve better than a 1-15 team. We are sorry that our results have not been better.”

The Browns lost their first 14 games before beating San Diego on Dec. 24. Cleveland ended the season with an overtime loss at Pittsburgh. Jimmy Haslam met with reporters following the game and while calling the season ”unacceptable” said he would not make any coaching or front-office changes.

In the letter, the Haslams again offered their support to coach Hue Jackson, vice president of football operations Sashi Brown, and strategy director Paul DePodesta. Cleveland’s front office has been together for less than a year.

The Browns are 19-54 since the Haslams took ownership from Randy Lerner in 2012. They’ve also fired three coaches and three general managers.

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As low as expectations were heading into the season, the Cleveland Browns had their sights set on results far more promising than an 0-10 start.

While there won’t be a single person in the organization pleased with the goose egg in the win column, head coach Hue Jackson says he still has the full support of ownership.

“Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam have been outstanding,” Jackson said on a conference call Friday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Obviously, they don’t like to lose, either, but they understand the plan and what we’re trying to accomplish. I have total faith and confidence in them and the vision that we’ve created. No one wants to be sitting here in the position that we’re in, but they’ve been outstanding to me.”

The organization hasn’t exactly been patient with its coaches in recent seasons, but things appear to be different with Jackson and a new front-office regime at the helm. And given the level of competitiveness the team has maintained despite the significantly undermanned roster, there’s reason to believe that the once-dysfunctional culture is trending in the right direction.

“I feel very comfortable with where we are – not where we are as far as our record – I feel very comfortable as far as where we are in my relationship with them and how they feel about where we are headed,” Jackson added.

Thursday night’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens left the Browns with six games to get that ever-elusive first win and avoid becoming the second team in NFL history to finish 0-16.

Four of those contests will be in the comfort of FirstEnergy Stadium, but a challenging set of opponents makes it difficult to forecast where they’d stand the best chance at coming away with a victory.

Cleveland’s last win came back in December 2015, when strong rushing performances from Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson carried the club past the San Francisco 49ers.