Hue Jackson will talk to NFL about headset malfunction at Chargers stadium and says they might not be the first
Updated Dec 4, 10:43 PM; Posted Dec 4, 10:26 PMhttp://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2017/12/hue_jackson_will_talk_to_nfl_a.html
By Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com
BEREA, Ohio -- Browns coach Hue Jackson was frustrated by a malfunctioning headset at StubHub Center during Sunday's 19-10 loss to the Chargers, and indicated the Browns are not the first team to experience technical difficulties at the soccer stadium.
"This is a league issue,'' said Jackson. "We'll take it up with the league. We heard there was another team that had the same issue one time at that particular stadium. I felt bad because DeShone (Kizer) had to handle all of that and handle playing the game.
"He's not going to make excuses and neither am I. This is not an excuse. These things really happen so we had to do with it. That's not why we lost that game - I will be the first to tell everybody that - but it sure didn't help some of the situations that we were in."
Jackson said headset problems were the reason he called the seemingly unnecessary timeout before the third and 15 at the 15 with 4:59 left and the Browns trailing 19-10.
"It wasn't what was going through my mind; it was what was going through the headset,'' he said. "I don't think you guys knew that all game there was an issue with our headsets and with the coach-to-quarterback communicator. He (Kizer) never got the play. He never got the play call at all. It was either you're going to end up getting a penalty or we try to get up on the ball earlier.''
After the timeout, Kizer was strip-sacked by Joey Bosa and the Chargers recovered to thwart the comeback attempt.
"I thought the best thing to do there since he couldn't hear anything was take the timeout and let's get our composure,'' said Jackson. "First, let's see if we can get the phones to work again and make sure that we run the next best play for us. That's what that was about. It wasn't about 'let's just go burn a timeout.' That was about the headsets not working."
Jackson said while he tried to keep things normal "our people worked their tails off yesterday trying to (fix the communication problems). I've asked the officials if the same thing was happening on the other side, but this started in the first quarter and it didn't stop.
"A couple of times, DeShone ran over to the sideline. I was no longer using the coach-to-quarterback communicator; I was using a walkie-talkie in my hand to be able to talk to him and sometimes that would go out.''
Jackson said it was his understanding "that the other team should have to take theirs off, as well."
He wasn't sure if they did.
"I don't know that,'' he said. "I'm calling plays. I can't, 'Hey, did you make them take theirs off?' No, I'm in it. It is something that we have to address as we move forward."
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said he was unaware of the problem until he was asked about it Monday.
"It's the first I've heard of it,'' said Lynn. "We didn't have any problems on our sidelines.''
NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the Chargers were permitted to use their system even though the Browns' broke down.
"The Browns experienced intermittent issues with the coach-to-player system during the game,'' Signora said in an email response. "The team elected to use handheld radios to call in their plays, as is permitted per NFL policy. The equity rule applies to the coach-to-player system only if there is a total system failure prior to kickoff.
"That was not the case here, so the Chargers were permitted to continue using their system. The coach-to-player system is a separate system from the coaches communication system.''
Jackson said the defense had problems too "but not to the extent that the offense did. It was difficult. That was difficult yesterday. That was the first time for me [there were technical issues for] that long. You normally have one that happens for a play or two and then they switch it back and we change a quarterback's helmet or change your belt pack. That was not it. This was a legitimate issue throughout the game."
He said that in the second quarter, Kizer called a play "because he couldn't get it. We ended up running a play into a bad defense that we shouldn't run because he couldn't hear anything.''
Kizer, who was frustrated in general about falling to 0-12 as a team, said of the headset woes, "Yeah, you know it's part of the game, a play comes in on your earpiece, breaks in and out sometimes and you don't get it at all. It's on the quarterback to finish out the play so the team can properly perform."
He said, "we snapped the ball on time for the most part, we were a little later in the play clock for a majority of the time, which causes us to rush our communication and the protections and things like that, but for the most part we were able to endure through it."
Left guard Joel Bitonio recognized that Kizer called a few of his plays and thought 'what's going on here?' He added "hopefully we figure those out so we don't have any more of those issues. We're going to have to turn into a high school team where we just have a guy run it in from the sideline all the time."
Jabrill Peppers' knee not serious
Peppers underwent an MRI Monday on his injured knee, but a team spokesman said it's not season-ending and not believed to be serious. Peppers will appear on the injury report this week and his status for the Packers is in doubt.
Myles Garrett believed to be fine
Garrett came up limping in the first quarter and admitted his ankle bothered him the rest of the game. But Jackson said he expects him to be fine... He said tight end Randall Telfer was cleared from his concussion, but is still being examined.