HC Kevin Stefanski (10.12.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement:

“Going to start with injuries. We are going to put (CB) Greedy (Williams) on IR this week. He has a nerve injury in his shoulder and he is working so hard in rehab, but just the docs felt it was best shut him down and see how it responds. There is no surgery required at this point. There is potential that he is back this year. We just do not know, but I am going to obviously leave this to the medical experts and leave it to the trainers and the docs. That is where we are going to go with Greedy. Disappointing for him, but I still hold out hope, and he is doing everything he can.

“From the game, (G) Wyatt Teller strained his calf. That is going to be week to week, and see how he responds. (S) Ronnie Harrison (Jr.) is in the concussion protocol. You know how that goes, and we will see how he responds. (QB) Baker (Mayfield), as you know, the X rays were negative. He is sore, and then we will see how he works through it this week.

“On the game, really proud of the guys that stepped up. That is a great team win, and in great team wins, you need guys that step up. There are a bunch of guys where their number was called and they went right in there and performed – (T) Chris Hubbard, (WR) Rashard Higgins, (RB) D’Ernest Johnson, (S) Sheldrick Redwine and Ronnie Harrison – making big plays. I was really proud of those guys. That I think speaks to those guys preparing and making sure they are ready when their number was called.”


On how the team is minimizing penalties in recent weeks:

“I think you have to play with great technique, No. 1. I think the guys know what we are asking them in the technique department. A lot of it has to do with knowing your job. If you know where to line up and those types of things, that eliminates a lot of the foolish pre-snap penalties. I would give the credit to the players and understanding that they have to play at a certain tempo, and that is really not us playing sloppy.”


On if QB Baker Mayfield’s injury is specific to his ribs:



On what he hopes the lasting effect will be with players contributing from all over the depth chart:

“I just know the season is so long, and we are going to continue to need everybody. This week, it is going to be somebody else, and I promise you two weeks from now, it is going to be somebody else. That is just how it goes, and guys have to be ready. Again, I go back to the preparation part of it. They have to know their job cold, even if you do not get reps. That is the other thing with this. Chris Hubbard did not get very many guard reps this week, and he goes in there and performs. That is just how it goes when you are a backup. You are providing depth, and then at a moment’s notice you are a starter.”


On if it makes his job somewhat easier in ensure players know they have to be prepared at a moment’s notice, given the depth of players who continue to contribute when called upon as witnessed yesterday:

“It does. I want to also point out a guy like Rashard Higgins. He was inactive there for a couple games through no fault of his own – that is just how the numbers went – and he works so hard at practice and gives a great look. Whether he is on the scout team or special teams, it does not matter. He does his job, studies and prepares. He is a consummate pro. I am really proud of him, and I am happy for him that he was able to score last night.”


On LB Jacob Phillips’ injury status:

“We will see. He has this knee injury that he is going to keep working through, and we will see as this week goes.”


On if Phillips’ re-injured the same knee that he hurt Week 1:

[Nods yes]

On DE Olivier Vernon leaving yesterday’s game early and Vernon is OK:

“Yeah, he is OK.”


On if he the Browns are hopeful that DT Larry Ogunjobi and S Karl Joseph will return this week:

“Yeah, I am hopeful on both of those guys.”


On what DE Myles Garrett’s game-changing plays do for the team and if Garrett alleviates pressure on the rest of the defense because he requires so much attention from an offense:

“You are right, he gets a ton of attention. I can promise you on Wednesday morning in the opponent’s meeting rooms, they have a big circle on No. 95 and they may be referring to him as a game-wrecker because he has that ability to wreck the game from their perspective. He is applying pressure. Even when he is not getting home, he is applying pressure, and it should open things up for the rest of our guys. I think he is working really, really hard. He prepares on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then he performs on Sunday.”


On how he celebrates after a win or if he is already thinking about the next week’s game once he gets home from a win:

“No, I am not thinking about the next week’s game. I can celebrate for the remaining hours of the evening, but typically, I sit down on the couch and have the TV watch me.”

On Hubbard’s versatility to contribute at both G and T when needed this season:

“That is a big deal when you are providing depth, if you can provide depth in a versatile way like Chris does and be able to go in there at tackle at guard. He has had center snap reps for us in practice. That is a huge deal. Versatility for any backup is so important because in a game you can’t dress everybody and then you really do not know where the injury may or may not occur. For him to be able to provide depth at every one of those spots is outstanding.”


On if the Browns do anything different on a Monday following a win:

“No, it is Monday. Time to work. Time to learn from the tape.”


On if Garrett’s takeaways and big plays are helping other Browns defensive players do their jobs:

“Yeah, we talk a lot about takeaways and how we do that and the technique, and that will always be a huge emphasis for us. Like you said, we have tried to put an emphasis on getting off the field. You get in these moments on third down, it also speaks to first and second down. If you can get them into a third-and-7-plus, it is way easier to get off the field than third-and-2 so to speak. I think they all go together, but our focus continues to be on playing technique sound and fundamentally sound, and that typically rewards you by getting off the field.”


On the difference in Mayfield’s performances in the first half compared to the second half during the past four weeks and if it is related to game management:

“First of all, I think I can do a much better job as a play caller in these moments where we need to get into a rhythm and get the offense into a rhythm. There are some calls that I really want back. I know I can do a better job. As it pertains to Baker in the second half, I think he is doing what it takes to win. We are going to be in some games where you are playing four-minute offense, so to speak, and you are playing conservatively and you are chewing up the clock, and then we know we are going to be in some games we are going to have to open it up. I think you saw in that first half, did a nice job. We were able to move the ball, and then for a bunch of reasons, we were not in the second half, but I would put a lot of that on me.”

On the emphasis of this week’s game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers:

“Just trying to go 1-0. I know and I understand fandom and I get all that, but within these walls, we are just trying to go 1-0.”


On Hubbard embracing the role as a backup on offense after initially signing to start at RT for the team:

“I can’t say enough good things about Chris. He is a key member of our social justice committee. He is a great teammate. His teammates really respect him. He does anything you ask of him. It is just kind of the makeup of Chris Hubbard.”

On if Teller is likely to miss this week, give he stated Teller is week to week rather than day to day:

“We will see, but it is a calf strain so I would put it as week to week, less so day to day.”

On if Teller’s injury also extends his Achilles, given its association with the calf:



On Teller’s season to date:

“Obviously, Wyatt, disappointed that he was in there and then out with that injury last night. He is playing hard. He is getting people on the ground. I think we have talked about him before, he is a very, very hard worker – one of the first guys out on the field and one of the last guys to leave and constantly working his technique. I know he will be fighting to get back out there.”

On Mayfield saying Sunday’s game was his worst of the season and what Mayfield can improve:

“I like that he is hard on himself. He wants to be great. I think he is doing some really nice things. For us, it always comes back to the turnover margin. Nobody is more disappointed at the two interceptions than he is. I think we can learn from them. You do not like those interceptions that to happen obviously but if you can learn from them and prevent them from happening in the future.”

On the Browns run game not producing as high of number yesterday and how much of it was due to the Colts defense and the absence of RB Nick Chubb:

“We knew it was going to be hard, and those are some hard yards – 130-some (124 rushing yards). The guys earned every single one of those. That is a testament to their defense. It is a physical front. They run. They did a very, very nice job. We stuck with it and grinded it out. That is what the game called for.”

On if the Browns OL and RBs still performed at the level they had in previous weeks:

“Yes, sir.”

On S Sheldrick Redwine sharing in postgame interviews that Redwine was staring at and talking to the ball to come to him prior to the interception:

“That was unique. We did talk a little bit about visualization last week so he took it to another level. Nice job, Sheldrick.”

On Mayfield saying he can play through his injury this week and if sometimes that is out of a player’s hands:

“Yeah, honestly every injury with our guys, we have to be smart about. I know Baker, I know he is tough and I know he is going to fight through this, but we will be smart.”


On the attention on Garrett this week, given the matchup against the Steelers, and what he wants to see from Garrett this week and in the game:

“He has done a great job this whole offseason, training camp and all through these first few ball games. He is all about ball. He is providing leadership to the defense and to the team. We know about the production, but I just think the things he does out there on the field and in the locker room, providing leadership is very impressive to me.”

On Redwine producing on Sunday and potentially getting more playing time on Sunday with Harrison currently in concussion protocol:

“Sheldrick has been really good. He is, as you saw, ready to go in there and do his job. That is so important when guys study and prepare like our guys do. When they get put in that spot, they can respond because they know what to do. I think Sheldrick is an example of a guy that really prepares hard during the week, knowing that his number could be called.”

On if RB Kareem Hunt was unavailable on D’Ernest Johnson’s 28-yard run in the fourth quarter and the blocks Johnson received from Hubbard and Higgins:

“We are just trying to be smart with Kareem. Very mindful of workload. Credit to (run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell) there. He does a great job. We have a plan, we talk about it and then Stump executes it. He does a great job. You are right, talk about individual effort by No. 30, but then watching Hub and Rashard get those blocks, that is big time. Those three guys we just mentioned, you never know who it is going require to make a big play and win these games.”


On if he regrets the play call to have Mayfield pass on second down before Johnson’s run rather than run clock:

“Yeah, I think, again, learn from those. Could I have given him a better play call? Yes. I think he will learn from that play, as well, that we have to make sure that the clock is running on that play.”

On the Browns’ offensive potential with its ability to be successful running and throwing the ball:

“I think defenses go into a game trying to make you one dimensional a lot of times. For us, we want to be able to move the ball any which way we can, and it really depends on what the defense is doing and what they are susceptible to. That really is a week to week proposition.”

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