HC Kevin Stefanski (10.1.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

On how valuable G Joel Bitonio is to the team: 

“He is extremely valuable to what we do. Off the field, he is a leader of this football team. He does a great job. His teammates respect him. He is all about ball. It did not take long for me to turn the tape on and kind of know the type of player I was getting in Joel, but just the person, he is a class act all the way.”

On if any other Browns players will return to practice today, in addition to Bitonio: 

“(CB) Denzel (Ward) will be limited today. I think that is it.”

On if he is confident Bitonio will be able to play through his injury on Sunday: 

“Honestly, with injuries you just never know. The best thing to do is to have the player get out there and for his prescribed reps, whatever they may be, and then work with the medical staff to see where it goes. It is hard for me to speculate on a lot of these injuries.”

On RB Kareem Hunt’s status for Sunday: 

“I would say we will know more each and every day. He will not be out there at practice today, but we will know more as the week go on.”

On if the Browns have been preparing for more crowd noise with 20,000 fans expected to be in attendance this weekend: 

“We have the crowd noise out there really every practice because it is whatever that 70 decibel level is. We cranked it up a little bit more, or I should say a lot more, this week with the 20,000 fans in attendance. We just have to make sure we practice with it. They had one game in that building already, and just being mindful of how loud it was.”

On if the Browns have to significantly change the gameplan with Hunt missing practice and Hunt’s status currently being uncertain for Sunday: 

“We have understudies, if you will, so guys have to be ready to fill those roles, and then we will adjust. We always have a plan. As we put the plan in Monday, Tuesday, we are mindful of guys we may or may not have and then we have guys that have to be ready to step in should somebody not be available.”

On WR Jarvis Landry playing in his 100th consecutive career game on Sunday: 

“That is an impressive achievement. It is not easy, and anybody who can do that is battling some sort of injury over those 100 games. For him to come off of a surgery that he came off of this year and be out there and be productive and looking like Jarvis to me, I think it is very impressive. He is somebody that works extremely hard in the weight room, getting treatment or whatever it is, he works hard on his body to make sure he is out there with his teammates.”

On how WR KhaDarel Hodge has earned a more significant role in the offense this year: 

“He has earned everything that we have given him. I should say, we have not really given him anything; he has earned all that. I just go by what I see. He is a good football player. He is a good wide receiver. He is dependable and makes plays on special teams. I have been happy with what he is able to do, but I do not think it is a mystery for why he is there.”

On how Hodge’s special teams production has allowed him to earn a larger role in the offense over his career: 

“Yeah, I have seen that over the course of my career. A lot of guys that make their mark on [special] teams early and then develop into players, that happens. I think KhaDarel is kind of an example of that.”

On how WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are embracing their roles on the offense and focusing on winning, given they have fewer receptions than most of their other seasons at this point: 

“I think all of our players have embraced their role. I just do have to caution, we are three games into it so to say that we are exactly who are going to be on offense, defense or special teams, the games evolve and the game calls for a different attack in different weeks. I appreciate the two guys you mentioned. Between Odell and Jarvis, they are doing an outstanding job. Our success has been a big part of what they do. That does not surprise me. That is what this team is all about. It is about doing your job so other people can have success. They believe in that because I think they believe in their teammates.”

On if he feels the Browns offense is sometimes unfairly stereotyped on what it will be based on what his offense did in Minnesota last year, given contributions from other coaches and players: 

“I think it is hard because they can judge us however they want to, honestly. I think our goal when we get in here on Monday and Tuesday and put the gameplan together is just to do whatever we feel like is going to give our guys the best chance to win. How that evolves throughout the season remains to be seen, but we are not really concerned with what the outside world may think about it.”

On seeing Beckham making outstanding catches in practice: 

“He is uniquely talented, and you are right, he does do something in practice each day that you kind of shake your head at. I do not think I can do any of that (laughter). He does it in individual drills. He does it in the team periods. God gave him great gifts.”


On the state of the Browns pass offense:  

“I think we are coming along. I think that everything about our offense, defense, and special teams, everything is a working progress. That work occurs out there on the practice field yesterday, today and Friday, I think we are making strides in all those areas. That is really kind of our focus as we get going here is this is Thursday practice of Week 4. What does that look like? What does that feel like? We are introducing a couple of a new concepts to the guys. The thing is ever-evolving.”

On the Cowboys defensive front: 

“Stout is one word that comes to mind with some of the guys in the interior. I think their edge players are excellent. Between (Cowboys DE) Aldon Smith, No. 90 (Cowboys (DE DeMarcus Lawrence) and (DE) Everson Griffen, who I know a lot about, those are legit guys that are coming at you every single play, and you are going to get an honest day’s worth from them. Linebackers (Cowboys LB) Joe Thomas and No. 54 (Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith), they can just run sideline-to-sideline. A really, really stout front that can move and run. You see them taking on blocks and splashing blockers. It is a really impressive front.”

# # #