<
>

Hue Jackson: Browns 'headed in the right direction'

New Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson didn't blink Friday when it was mentioned to him that some people think his team could go 1-15 next season.

"That's not the case at all," Jackson said in an interview on NFL Network before quarterback Jared Goff's private workout at Cal. "I know there's been a lot of things going on within our organization. I'm very proud of the direction and the things that we're doing.

"You know, there's a process and a plan to everything you do and sometimes people don't understand, but I'm OK with that because I know exactly where we're headed and what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish.

"I can't wait until everybody jumps on the bandwagon when things are going good. I know some things will take time, but I'm not built that way to where I'm comfortable with ever losing. And I don't think anybody in our organization is."

The Browns have been heavily criticized since they lost four starters on the first day of free agency: center Alex Mack, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, free safety Tashaun Gipson and wide receiver Travis Benjamin. This week they also released leading tackler Karlos Dansby.

The Browns added linebacker Demario Davis, safety Rahim Moore and two restricted free agents not given qualifying offers by their teams: offensive lineman Alvin Bailey and linebacker Justin Tuggle.

None of the players added are considered as good as the ones the Browns lost.

"I've gone on record saying that if we lost players we're not going to bury our head in the sand," Jackson said. "We're going to do the next best thing. I don't think people know we've signed four or five guys already for our football team to help improve and offset some of those losses."

Jackson also used the much-heard-around-the-Browns phrase that the coach and front office are "joined at the hip."

"I think we're headed in the right direction," Jackson said, "but that being said we also know it's a process and it's going to take time to get to exactly where we want to be."

As the Browns continue their search for a quarterback, Jackson or a high-ranking Browns officials already has attended the pro days of Michigan State's Connor Cook, Stanford's Kevin Hogan and Ohio State's Cardale Jones. Next up are the workouts of Carson Wentz of North Dakota State and Paxton Lynch of Memphis.

Goff and Wentz are generally considered the most likely quarterback candidates for the No. 2 overall pick.

Of Goff, Jackson said: "He's a tremendous young man. Had a tremendous career. Has a lot of poise. Obviously accuracy. Can throw the ball with anybody, make all the throws. But I think you guys all know there's more to that than just playing quarterback. The guy has to be the face of the franchise."