It’s a tough sell, but Browns coach Hue Jackson insists the team’s unsuccessful attempt to trade for Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback AJ McCarron doesn’t mean it has serious doubts about rookie DeShone Kizer becoming a long-term answer at the sport’s most vital position.

Jackson’s explanation essentially goes like this: Although he believes McCarron would give the Browns a better chance to win now, he has faith Kizer can develop into a special player.

“My job as a head coach is to always push for better talent on this football team,” Jackson, who coached McCarron from 2014-15 as the offensive coordinator of the Bengals, said Friday. “I don’t care what position it is, especially being in that position.

“You’re talking about a young player in the National Football League who has had [seven] starts, compared to other players who have either played for me or players that I have seen that have done it week in and week out. I don’t think that’s a knock on DeShone.

“My job is to help build this football team and build the future of this team. I still believe [Kizer] is going to be in the future of this team. But in the meantime, if there is a way for us to get better — I know everybody keeps talking about winning, which is very important to me, very important in that locker room and very important to our fans —then it’s only fair to be always looking to become better.”

Kizer said he views the botched deal as a reminder he needs to step up his game, and he plans on doing so when the Browns (0-8) face the Detroit Lions (4-4) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Field with a large contingent of his family and friends from nearby Toledo in attendance.