HC Kevin Stefanski (1.14.21)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

On if his parking spot was still available this morning when returning to the building: 

“It was available this morning. Yes, it was.”

On how good it felt returning to the building today: 

“Feels good to be back. Back to work. It will feel really good when I am out on the field with the players.”

On if there is an update on G Joel Bitonio’s status: 

“No update.”

On if any Browns assistant coaches also rejoined the team today: 

“No, just me for today.”

On if there is a status update on T Jack Conklin, LB B.J. Goodson and TE David Njoku: 

“Same guys who did not practice yesterday will not practice today, but they are all making progress.”

On how he feels about Conklin, Goodson and Njoku’s chances to play Sunday, particularly given Goodson said he would be ready to play: 

“If he said that, it makes me feel good, too. I will just let this thing go day by day and take information from those guys and from the trainers.”

On T Kendall Lamm and Lamm stepping up throughout the season: 

“I think very highly of Kendall – the person and the player. He has been very versatile for us to line up all over and gives a great look during the week when he was giving scout team looks. He is somebody who has performed well when he has gone in there. Very much on top of the gameplan. Works very hard pre-practice and post-practice.

On how unique the Chiefs’ offensive is with its multiple weapons and how the Browns will look to defend it: 

“It is unique, I would agree. It is versatile in how they approach it. They have weapons on the perimeter, weapons coming from the backfield and then they have a great trigger man. I think everybody has seen it. It is a difficult offense to defend, both schematically and personnel.”

On if the fact that Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid has so many varieties to what he does makes it more difficult to defend: 

“They do a nice job. Situationally, I think they have a bunch of different ways that they can attack you. We have to be about our business. It is a rules game. You have to be sound in what you are doing.”

On how to draw on his previous experience coaching in a NFC Championship game and sharing key messages with the team as it hopes to reach the AFC Championship game: 

“It is January so they are well aware of what is at stake. Really, our focus is just playing good football. I know that sounds simple, but that is kind of what we are hanging our hat on. That is part of Thursday is understanding what the coaches installed this morning, getting out on the field, walking through it and then having a really sharp practice. Ultimately when you get in that stadium Sunday, everybody is well aware of what is at stake.”

On getting contributions from S Sheldrick Redwine, S Karl Joseph, DE Porter Gustin, CB M.J. Stewart and other players in recent weeks: 

“That is something that I have seen from our guys throughout this season. I would throw (DT) Vincent Taylor in there getting his hand up and getting that ball in the air that Porter made a great play to intercept. Really, it is going to take everybody that is dressed on Sunday. We are going to need contributions from everybody. That has kind of been our mentality, and that has been what the guys have done all season.”

On if it will be a while before he goes back into his basement after watching last week’s game in it: 

“It will be. Those walls were closing in on me. I am enjoying this big building. Those fields, I can’t wait to get out on them.”

On the secret to playing well on the road, given the Browns’ 6-3 away record this season: 

“When you go on the road, there is that us against them mentality. It is a little bit different now without full stadiums, but I know Arrowhead is going to have some fans and I know it is going to be loud. You really just have to stick together. Ultimately, we understand our brand of football and making sure that we are playing true to that.”

On what makes Chiefs TE Travis Kelce so difficult to defend: 

“He is a great player. Can do it all. Runs like a receiver, catches like a receiver but is obviously a big player. Size and speed. A rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. The tape is very, very impressive.”

On if he gained a different perspective after watching last week’s game at home: 

“I do not think so. I am looking forward to not doing that again.”

On Reid’s creativity on offense, particularly in the red zone: 

“They do a really nice job down there. Coach Reid and that entire offensive staff, they do get creative and they have a bunch of different pieces and a bunch of different ways to do that. They have versatile football players who they can move around. Again, our job on defense is try to find a way to stop it. Ultimately, you can’t plan to stop everything they do. You just have to stick to your rules and treat it with anything that comes your way, just making sure that you are being sound in how you try to defend them.”

On if NFL teams are allowed to have one padded practice every week in the postseason: 

“As a far as I understand, yes.”

On if yesterday’s padded practice was the first since Week 16: 

“Yeah, and Wednesday is typically the day where you put them on and get the guys used to them. They got really good work in yesterday in those pads.”

On S Ronnie Harrison Jr. is expected to play more snaps this week: 

“I do expect more from Ronnie. He is ready to go. He was kind of in and out of the lineup, so to speak, during the week last week, where he was ruled out and was able to come back. With a normal week of practice, I do expect him out there.”

On if Harrison had any setbacks last week: 

“No. I just think, again, somebody is in and then they are out and then he is back. I am pleased that he is here the whole time.”

On if it is possible for WR Jarvis Landry to play with even more intensity than Landry does in the regular season: 

“Probably not. He treats every practice like it is a game. The players follow his lead, and he knows that. He brings a level of intensity to all of these get-togethers.”

On how well Landry has played in recent weeks and Landry making big plays: 

“We call his number in big moments, and he has come through for us. Again, he understands his role and that is when we are counting on him. He gets that.”

On the Browns OL’s depth and offensive line coach Bill Callahan’s contributions this season to prepare the unit: 

“You would love to play the same five guys all season, and sometimes that happens but was not the case this year. You are relying on your depth, and you are relying on that the depth is ready to play and perform at the same or similar level as the guy they are replacing. I think it speaks to the players’ preparedness as a credit to them and the work that they put in, and then obviously, it is a credit to coach Callahan and (assistant offensive line coach) Scott Peters, (coaching assistant) Ryan Cordell and all of the work that those guys put in pre- and post-practice and on these Zoom calls to get ready to play.”

On changes to Browns coaches’ workload last week and if that will impact assignments this week: 

“I do not think so. We work so much on Zoom and we cover a lot of ground in meetings on Zoom so that was pretty much similar to what we have done. Gameday, we have had coaches out before. That is why we have these contingency plans. Regardless of who is out there, we expect the communication to be on point.”

On what he missed most while he was away from the team: 

“On a professional level, just being around the team and being around the coaches and the players. Isolating from my family is no fun, I should mention that.”

On determining how much each player can handle when returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“Each case is different. It is a case-by-case basis. Whether you are coming back from an injury or COVID in this scenario, we have to make sure that we treat each guy based on how they are feeling and how they respond. We monitor it as coaches, we monitor it as a training staff and make appropriate decisions based on that.”

On if he has a feel for what CBs Kevin Johnson and Denzel Ward can handle this week when returning from reserve/COVID-19 or if the team will not know how much they can play on gameday until closer to kickoff: 

“I have a feel for what they did yesterday and how they responded. Same thing today, I have to see how they do today and how they respond, and we will be in constant communication with them in particular.”

On if he came up with ‘We Want More’ or if that was from the Browns’ marketing department: 

“I am in my lane as the head coach. That is not me.”

On if he potentially said ‘We Want More’ in a team speech: 

“Not as far as I know.”

On if the Browns are a stronger team after overcoming all of the adversity faced in recent weeks: 

“I hope so. I hope we take all of these experiences and these learnings and make us better for it. I really say that going back all the way to the spring. Things have not been normal for us, any team out there or frankly, any person out there. I hope we are learning from them and getting better from all of these experiences.”

On if the way the Browns handled last week validates the way he has prepared and built the foundation of the team: 

“I would not go as far as to say validation. I would just tell you that the way we play and then the brand of football we play, we have shown it throughout the season. Regardless of coach who is out there and regardless of the player who is out there, that will not change.”

On if he expects anyone on the team to mess with him when returning to the building after being out for a while: 

“I would expect them to mess with me. Yes, I would. You know what? They already have. (QB) Case Keenum told me he hid something in my office and he asked if I smelled it yet, but I do not because I lost my sense of smell.”

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