HC Kevin Stefanski (11.20.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“I know you guys saw the news that we put (DE) Myles (Garrett) on the COVID-19 list so we will be without him this week. Injury wise, we are going to list (LB) Mack Wilson and (G) Wyatt Teller questionable. Other than that, everybody is ready to roll.

“Excited for the challenge this week. Had a really good three days of practice, including this practice out there just now. I think the guys understand what is at stake.”

On when Garrett first reported symptoms and when Garrett may be able to return to the facility: 

“I really can’t get into the specifics on that. I will tell you we are in constant communication with (NFL Chief Medical Officer) Dr. (Allen) Sills and the entire NFL. (Senior Vice President of Player Health & Development) Joe (Sheehan) does a great job of making sure we are in compliance in all of that. It remains to be seen I guess would be how I would answer that.”

On if Garrett has a chance to be back for next week’s game: 

“I would not speculate at this point. As the days go by here, we will know a little bit more.”

On if a player has to be out of the facility for at least 10 days from the moment symptoms are reported: 

“I will defer to Joe. I will kind of check back with him on some of this stuff. I kind of do what he tells me. I am not well versed on the exact protocols – I know this, we follow them. As it pertains to Myles, we shall see. Obviously, want anybody who goes on that COVID list to return as soon as possible.”

On when the Browns will have more clarifications on Garrett’s timeline to return: 

“Next week.”

On if T Jack Conklin and K Cody Parkey are on track to return tomorrow: 

“We are hopeful.”

On if there is an update for when T Chris Hubbard and FB Andy Janovich may be able to return: 

“Nothing of note yet, no.”

On if Teller’s injury is the same as last week or if it is something new: 

“I think he is sore. He practiced so we will see as the next couple of days go. I am hopeful for a Wyatt, but he is definitely sore.”

On what he said to the team and the team’s reaction when learning Garrett will be out this week: 

“We talked about this a lot this year, it is 2020. Expect the unexpected. Whoever is available to us, I promise you, we will be ready to roll on Sunday and the guys know that.”

On if he breathes a sigh of relief looking at the weather report for Sunday or if he waits until Sunday morning to do that: 

“What is it the saying with the weather? Just wait 10 minutes. We will see. I will get out there pregame, talk to Prief (special teams coordinator Mike Priefer), talk to the specialist and then we will see if it is a determining factor in any of our preparations.”

On how things change schematically when losing a player of Garrett’s caliber: 

“I think that is our job as coaches to put our guys in position to make plays and be successful. Whenever you are without any player of Myles’ caliber – we were without (RB) Nick (Chubb) for a bunch of weeks there – it is our job as coaches to make sure we are putting guys in position to succeed. That is the conversation we have when anybody is down due to injury or otherwise.”

On who will start in place of Garrett on Sunday: 

“We are going to work through that. It will be a rotation.”

On DEs Adrian Clayborn and Porter Gustin: 

“Feel good about both of those guys. They bring different skillsets and different styles, but they both play really hard. I think we have a defensive line that really plays well together. Like we have been talking about, we play a lot of guys, period. We play a lot of defensive linemen and a lot of linebackers. We rotate guys in the back end. In moments when guys have to play, they at least had some reps.”

On the Browns defense leaning more on DT Sheldon Richardson with Garrett out and if Richardson could possibly play DE: 

“Yeah, definitely possible. He has done that before. All of our guys, you have heard me say this before, versatility is a big deal. All of our guys that can have dual roles in moments when you are without players, that does matter.”

On if the Browns defense will need to change the gameplan and potentially blitz more to try and create pressure without Garrett: 

“I think we have been talking through that. I think the answer is sometimes. You really want to make sure that you are putting together a rush plan that makes you difficult to defend. At times, that will be bringing five or six. At times, you want to drop extra guys into coverage. It varies, but bottom line is you have to affect the quarterback, regardless of the call.”

On how much the Browns defense will miss Garrett’s ability in the run game: 

“He is a good player. We know that. We do not want to be without him, but we are. I promise you, the guys will be ready to go.”

On Browns players saying one of his best assets is that he is even keel and if that is how he is in all aspects of his life and how he has always been, although the question may be better asked to his wife and kids: 

“Too bad my kids are not here (laughter). I think so. The easiest thing for me is I just try to be me. If that is what is the perception, I guess that is the reality. I am just trying to be myself every day, and that is easy to do.”

On if he is not making an active effort to be that way because that is what a football team needs from a head coach: 

“We talked about this before, but to me, it is about authenticity. I think we have a bunch of guys in this building that the players respond to because they are real. I think I can go up and down our roster and have a bunch of guys that love football and want to be great teammates, and I think that is really important to me.”


On WR Jarvis Landry saying he can text him Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and if that is just because of his relationship with Landry or if he is the same way with everyone: 

“It is so important for me in my role to be able to touch different players and be around different guys and understand them. That is hard to do in an intensive protocol world. There are much less moments where you bump into people in the hallway or in the cafeteria, which for all intents and purposes does not exist in 2020. I just try to be mindful of that and make sure that the guys know that I have their back.”

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