HC Kevin Stefanski (10.18.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“Injury wise, really got out of it OK. (QB) Baker (Mayfield) there, I just did not want to see him get hit one more time, and I put that on myself. Went into this game knowing we had to keep him clean, and we did not do a good enough job so that that starts with me obviously. He is a very, very tough player and I know he wants to fight, but it is a long season, we have a game next week and I did not feel like it was the right thing to put him back out there.

“Bottom line got beat. Credit to them. We did not do anything right obviously. Offensively, could not sustain drives and could not get a first down on third or fourth down, but again, credit to them. Guys fought. Then we have to learn from this and move on because you have another one next week, a division opponent on the road.”

On how much Mayfield’s injury contributed to his play today and if the injury was why the team made a QB change:

“Yes, [that is why we made the change]. I do not know if it contributed early. I know this, I did not do a good enough job allowing him to be put in those positions. It is something that I have to do way better. I can’t let him get hit like that.”

On if the Browns ‘have a decision to make’ for who will start at QB next week:

“No. Baker will start as long as he is healthy, and I think he will be.”

On why the Browns OL did not have as much success as previous games:

“I think it is an easy answer – I do not think it is the full answer – but I give [the Steelers] credit. They did a good job. I am sitting here saying, ‘What can I do better?’ I know there are a few things that I would like to improve next time, but to their credit, they rushed the passer and did a nice job. There were a couple that for coverage or for whatever reason the ball did not get out so the guys were fighting, but I am going to figure out how I can do better there.”

On if he would call this ‘a sobering loss’ and how the Browns compare to the Steelers and Ravens, given the two losses:

“I just look at this game. If you want to call it sobering, that is probably a pretty good word. We lost this game. We are going to react to this one and figure out how we can do better for the next one.”

On if he was surprised by how often the Steelers defense pressured Mayfield:

“That is what they do. I do not think they changed who they are. I think we need to point the finger at ourselves, starting with me. What can I do better that is schematic? There are a bunch of different things that I can do better to make sure we do not put ourselves in that spot.”

On what he told Mayfield after his interceptions:

“I will watch the tape and then continue to coach him off the good stuff and off the bad stuff. We are not built to turn it over. He knows that. Again, I am going to figure out what I can do better and help him out because I did not help him out today.”

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. showing frustration on the sideline:

“Just normal frustration when you come out and you get beat like that. You just have to make sure one [loss] does not turn into two. That is this game, and then we have a big one next week.”

On if the Steelers did anything schematically different up front that he did not expect: 

“I want to look at it before I can give you a real good answer there. Based on what I saw from the sideline and just looking at the surface, I would not say they did anything out of the ordinary, no.”

On what the Browns learned from their Week 1 loss against the Ravens and how they will apply that following today’s loss:  

“With any loss, you can’t let it linger. You learn from it and you move on. We will watch the tape tomorrow, we will have everybody in and we will watch it, what can we learn from it and then move on. That is the simple answer, but I just think you can’t dwell on these things. The next one is coming.”

On if the Browns’ losses coming to two divisional opponents says anything about the Browns:

“I could really only speak to this one. We got beat today by a good football team. Credit to them. We have to do better next time.”

On putting Mayfield back in the game after halftime following hits in the first half:

“I checked in with him. I checked in with the medical staff. He was cleared. It does not mean he was not sore. He was cleared to play. The second play, we run a screen and he gets hit. Again, point the finger at me, please. That is not good enough.”


On if the Browns fully felt the absence RB Nick Chubb today for the first time today, given the team was not as successful in the running game:

“I do not think that is fair. We will get Nick back when he is ready, but we are going to ride with the guys we have, and we have plenty of guys that I feel strongly about. Our team feels strongly about the guys we have. We are not going to make any excuses.”

On why the Browns were not successful on third and fourth downs:

“Name it. I did not do a good job there. We did not get people open. I need to figure out a way to get some easy ones for the Q. We just did not have people open.”

On if he felt good about the gameplan coming in and if the Steelers took away those plays:

“Yes, I think that is fair. We will have to figure it out next time. Bottom line is the plan was not good and the execution was not good. It is one of those deals when you get back, you learn from it and you move on.”

On if he thought it would be tough to run bootlegs and outside-the-pocket passing plays entering the game:

“Every game, we look at how they play and what run concepts and what pass concepts will be good versus them. They played pretty wide on the edges, and they are pretty aggressive. I felt like we had a plan to try to move the ball in the run and the pass.”

On if Beckham, Mayfield and WR Jarvis Landry missing practice time this week disrupted the offense’s rhythm:

“I would not go there. We are not in the business of excuses. I just did not get it done today, and we have a big one next week.”

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