HC Kevin Stefanski (11.18.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“I know you guys got the release that will put three guys on the COVID-19 list today so they will not be at practice. Also, (DE) Myles (Garrett) is home sick so he will not be out there at practice. As you can imagine, you have to be careful anytime somebody is dealing with an illness so he will not be out there. Everybody else will be so expect a full group working out there which will be good.

“Looking forward to this week. I think it is a really good football team coming to our building. They are first in the NFC East. We know the challenge they present on offense as they get healthy. They have a bunch of guys coming back off of injuries. I should start with it is a really well-coached group in total. (Eagles Head Coach) Doug Pederson does a great job with that group on offense as with the team, a Super Bowl-winning coach. On defense, I think it is a really good unit. They really come after you with that front four. (Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz again, outstanding. Special teams, I think it might be the fastest group we play all year. (Eagles special teams coordinator) coach (Dave) Fipp does a great job with those guys. It is a really sound scheme on all three sides for the Eagles. We have our work cut out for us, and we really need a great week of preparation and that starts today.”

On if the reserve/COVID-19 placements were related to yesterday’s testing and why the Browns facility did not need to be closed today: 

“I will have to kind of stay out of specifics, but I will just tell you we are following all the protocols. We are in constant communication with the league on these type of things. Safety is of utmost importance, and we are doing everything to maintain that safety.”

On the Browns’ plan at LS with LS Charley Hughlett if unavailable after Hughlett was placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“We have backup long snappers. Many guys want to be a long snapper. We have a few guys that already practice it, (LB) Mack Wilson being one of them. We will just make sure that we have a plan if we are without Charley.”

On if the Browns will need to add a player if Hughlett is not available for Sunday: 

“No, we have guys on the roster that can do it.”

On if the team asks players who test positive what potentially happened that may have led to them contracting the virus: 

“I can’t go into specifics, but I would caution you to say adding anybody to the list does not mean they tested positive. We will just make sure that we are again following all of the rules.”

On the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols stating that a player who tested positive on last Friday or Monday could have potentially returned by now if asymptomatic:

“I do not think that is true. I think if you test positive, it is I believe 10 days [or five days with two consecutive negative tests].”

On the Browns’ plan at FB if FB Andy Janovich is unavailable on Sunday and if RBs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb could be used together: 

“We talk about all those things. Without Andy, you have to look at the tight end room, you have to look at potentially elevating (FB) Johnny Stanton and you look at using a halfback there. Those are things that we are talking about doing.”

On if T Kendall Lamm will play RT if T Jack Conklin and T Chris Hubbard are both unavailable on Sunday: 


On Lamm: 

“Kendall works extremely hard. He fits the bill of the guys that we are looking for. He does a great job at practice, and I see him a lot because he gets a ton of reps on the scout team so he is blocking Myles Garrett many times and (DE) Olivier Vernon so he gets great work during the week. Very conscientious person and player. He studies real hard. Should he be the guy, he will be ready to go.”

On if the Browns have ruled out any potential COVID-related issues for Garrett: 

“Well, it is 2020. I do not think you rule out anything. Obviously, he is not going on the COVID list. He is sick, and we will make sure that that we again follow all the protocols.”

On if Garrett’s situation is a similar to what happened with WR Odell Beckham Jr. earlier in the season: 

“Yes, similar. You know how it is when guys are sick. It is not like the old days where you say, ‘Alright, come on in later in the day.’ You can’t do that.”

On optimism that the Browns offense can get the pass game going in games without tough weather conditions: 

“I have tremendous confidence in our group. I think you have to be able to play the game that is called for. That is kind of what we have done last week. Certainly, a couple weeks ago it was to a lesser extent. I would take ourselves back to the Cincinnati game. There have been moments where we are going to make sure we do whatever it takes to score points, and I have a tremendous confidence in our run and pass game.”

On Eagles RB Miles Sanders’ performance against AFC North opponents this season: 

“He is a big play running back. Like you mentioned, you watch the tape of those games in our division, he is ripping off long runs. I think he just has that ability. He has that speed. He has the vision to do that. We watch all of the games so our coaches are well aware of what he brings to the table.”

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz: 

“I have a lot of respect for Carson Wentz. I think he is an outstanding football player. They are getting healthy now, which I think plays into the entire offense’s ability to be efficient and score points. I have seen him with my own eyes. That kid can make every play with his feet and with his arm so he definitely has our attention.”

On if people may underestimate what it is like for Wentz to be without top players like Sanders and TE Zach Ertz: 

“Yeah, they might. I think the way we look at it is they are definitely getting healthy on offense. They have skill players really at each position that can hurt you. They have big play ability. They have the ability to run it and pass it, like we were talking about earlier, with some of the big runs that they have had. It is a really good offense coming into our building.”

On Mayfield’s main area of growth this season: 

“I think just overall comfort level in what we are asking him to do. I would not use the offseason as an excuse. I would only tell you that a lot of the reps that you learn and teach off of occur in the spring and in the summer. A lot of the reps that he is learning from are occurring in training camp and then in games without that preseason. That is unique, but that is not unique to the Browns – it is everybody. I think just maximizing all of those reps that he has been getting throughout the season.”

On if he has noticed a difference in how Mayfield is commanding the huddle or locker room: 

“Not that I have noticed. I think the players understand how hard he works. He is a grinder. He spends a lot of time on the tape, albeit be at home now and not in the building. He understands what we are trying to do. He understands the gameplan inside and out. I think the players seeing his hard work certainly respect that.”

On the Eagles pass rush: 

“They are so aggressive. They pin their ears back, and they are flying off the ball, defeating one-on-one blocks. Just across the board obviously with (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox and (Eagles DE) Brandon Graham, but it is really all. They come in waves. I think they do a great job of getting off the ball and are extremely aggressive in the rush.”

On describing the differences in Chubb’s and Hunt’s running styles: 

“Good question. They are both unique in their own way. They find ways to get it done. Nick has that powerful ability that is coupled with homerun speed, which is very rare. Kareem’s ability to break tackles and his elusiveness, whether in the open or really in a crowd, is quite impressive.”

On how Chubb was able to get around the corner on the 59-yard run against the Texans: 

“Nick made a great individual effort. They had an unblocked player right there, and he did something that not many people on this earth can do.”

On the Browns and NFL using Kinexon devices for social distancing and contact tracing: 

“Obviously, we wear these the minute that we walk in the building. They are on full display so that if someone else is wearing them, they start blinking red so you are aware that you are within six feet. We wear them everywhere. The players wear them out to the practice field. Really anywhere you are in this building, you have a Kinexon device on so that at the end of the day, you can pull all data from these that tell you if you have had any close contacts, and our goal continues to be to have zero close contacts.”

On the Browns winning a game without attempting a pass 70 years ago and if that could happen in today’s NFL, particularly in a game with inclement weather: 

“Anything is possible, but there have been some games I would say recently that have had some bizarre weather out there. Our game, you were still able to throw in at times when the wind maybe died down a little bit, but I can picture some snowy games and some games that seem to be occurring in a hurricane where they still are throwing the ball. I would say it would be unlikely.”

On what makes Eagles DE Brandon Graham so effective: 

“He has a great motor. He just does not give up. Every play, he plays with the same mentality, and that is just to beat his man in that in that one-on-one rush. He has a stouter build than most. He is not one of these big, long, tall guys that use as long levers in his arms, but he has the ability to stay close to the ground and just provide incredible power in his rush.”

# # #