The Browns rookies went through another day of mini camp on Saturday, this time with a twist. It was at the stadium they hope to be playing in on Sundays in the fall. Fan Fest went down at First Energy Stadium. Fans were invited to come down to watch practice and get autographs from players, both current and former players were on hand.
Afterwards Hue Jackson met with the media. Reporters asked about the rookies,Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III and more.
On why the Browns wouldn't name QB Robert Griffin III the starter now to get support behind him:
"It's too soon. It's too soon. We haven't even gotten to OTAs yet. We just have had offseason [workouts] and a voluntary minicamp. Now, we've got the rookies, and I think that's way too soon. I would never do that. I just think every position is earned. There's always competition. There's a reason behind it. At some point in time, I'm sure with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) and myself, we'll make a decision on which way to go, and it will be the right time. I think timing is everything, and we'll get there when we need to."
On if 11-on-11 team drills will be heavily incorporated into practices:
"Oh yeah. When we practice, we kind of go after it. I think that's the only way to do it. I think our players will appreciated it because we'll feel good and ready. I always understand the injury factor. You always have to factor those things into it, but at the same time, this is football. You have to get guys ready to play the game. They have to play, but I do respect the injuries. We talk about it with our team, but at the same time, the only way you're going to get better is you compete and you get after it a little bit."
On if there will be a lot of 11-on-11 drills in practice:
"It probably will be. That's just kind of the way I am, and we'll do a little bit more, but we'll do it the smart way. I think there's a smart way to do that, to make it more competitive, but also where it's safe for our football players."
On Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin having live tackling at least once at every training camp practice:
"I think it's good. That's why Pittsburgh's really good, really good at tackling. He's done a great job there. Obviously, they are one of the better tackling teams in football, and I would think that's part of the reason. We'll do everything we can to improve in every area of our football team as we move into the summer camp."
On if that is something he would consider:
"I'd consider anything that's going to help our football team."
On how QB Cody Kessler played in cold, rainy conditions at practice:
"I didn't see any issue with his arm strength and the weather. Cody has all the characteristics that we think he can handle any elements, any situation. Obviously, he's just got to keep growing and keep getting better. He's playing in the National Football League. The game is tough. You see he threw one to the other team today. Can't do that. Sometimes you've just go to say uncle and throw the ball away. He'll learn that as he goes, too. He had another good day. Our whole team and our whole emphasis, not just him but everybody, we're just trying to stack good days on top of each other and get better at the little things so that when it comes time to do what we really need to do that we'll be what we need to be."
On if it's good to have a cold and rainy day to practice:
"Absolutely, you like to have all the elements if you can, whether it's rain and snow and whether it's hot. You like to see guys perform in all those elements because we're going to face them all. That's another opportunity for us to prepare and get better."
On how he evaluates defensive players like DL Carl Nassib and LB Emmanuel Ogbah when the team isn't practicing in pads:
"I think the initial quickness factor and the special characteristics that they both have, the two guys that you mentioned. Watching Ogbah knock a ball down, that's what you look for. You look for the speed off the edge. You look at Nassib inside moving around and doing those things. They're two really good young players, and we expect those guys to really contribute to our team."
On if RB Terrell Watson is a RB or FB:
"He's a running back."
On if Griffin was signed to be the future rather than being a bridge QB:
"Again, he hasn't played a game for me yet. We're going to give all our quarterbacks an opportunity. The bottom line is somebody is going to win this job. We all know that and understand it, but it's way too early to talk about one guy. I know everybody wants us to anoint a guy. That's not going to happen right this second. I don't think I've had enough time and they haven't had enough time in this system that we run to feel very comfortable yet. Let's go through OTAs. Let's get into training camp and let's see where we are when the real bullets start flying, when guys are going after you trying to take you down. That's when we'll have a better idea about our football team in general. This is great. I love the opportunity to get these men acclimated to what we do, how we do it. At the same time, I think we all respect this is not football. Football is when you put those pads on and you put the helmet on and all of a sudden you've got to go play against another team, another opponent who's honestly trying to stop you from getting them. That's what football's really all about."
On what the Browns learned about the 2016 rookie class during minicamp that the team didn't know previously:
"The bottom line is you never know anything until you get them. These guys have really been eager to learn. They'll work. They take constructive criticism well. They don't run from it. They understand that there are things that they need to improve on. It is a very talented group, which we knew heading in, but at the same time, you never really know until you see them do what you want them to do. I am excited about this class. This class is definitely a group that we can build with, a group that is going to help our football team get better in a lot of areas, but again, they still have some improving to do and they have to improve fast to contribute to our team."
On if the Browns expect OL Spencer Drango to work at RT when the full team practices, given that is where he has taken repetitions during rookie minicamp:
"Absolutely, I think he has to have a chance to compete there. Obviously, the young man that played right tackle for us a year ago (Chiefs OL Mitchell Schwartz) is not here so there's [an opportunity] there. My whole job is putting guys in a position where I think they are going to have an opportunity to compete and maybe have a chance to play. He is a big, long guy who is one of the better pass protectors coming out of college. If he can grow in the area of run blocking and do what he has done as far as pass protection, you never know what could happen."
On evaluating QB Ricky Stanzi, given he took fewer repetitions during minicamp:
"The guy has a big arm. He has played in the National Football League. He gets it. He knows what this is all about. It's been good to have him here, but at the same time, we know we have a room full of guys. This is an opportunity for him to come out and demonstrate what he has and then we'll see where it goes from there."
On ideally when the Browns will commit to a starting QB, whether that is before, during or after OTAs or training camp: