HC Kevin Stefanski (11.9.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“Great to be back on the grass. Had the bye week there. Guys were able to go for the fresh. Spent a lot of time last week as a coaching staff pulling it apart, and I think really had a very productive week. This being a bonus day in our preparation for Houston, we were able to talk about our key learnings from the bye week, able to introduce the Texans and their scheme to the team and then get out in the field and work to stay sharp.


“It was good to see (RB) Nick Chubb back out there, (G) Wyatt Teller and obviously (TE) Austin Hooper, who was back last week, but good to see those guys out there – (LB) Jacob Phillips, as well.”


On how Chubb looked in practice today:  

“I was joking, he was fresh legs out there. He looked like Nick looks. He was ready to roll out there at practice. Obviously, he is chomping at the bit. He has done everything in this rehab that has been asked of him. As you can imagine, he has attacked it. We will see how the week unfolds here.” 


On if there is an update on QB Baker Mayfield’s status and if there is optimism Mayfield will be able to return to practice on Wednesday:  

“No update. I can’t really get into it. We are just following all the protocols. In this day and age, all of our guys are doing their absolute best. Nothing is foolproof, but we will make sure that we just follow all of the rules.” 


On not having Mayfield at practice today and how that impacts the team’s preparations for the Texans:  

“He was on our virtual calls this morning so he is very much involved in what we are doing from a meeting room spot. He will watch this tape. We will watch it with him. Anytime you are not out there, you wish you had all of your guys out there to get the reps – that is just natural – but we will make sure we bring him up to speed as soon as he is back in the building.” 


On if there was anything else the team could have been done in terms of Mayfield’s status, given the team’s concerted efforts related to COVID-19 protocols and minimizing potential for close contacts:  

“Like you said, we try to be very careful and try to make sure at every moment we are reminding the guys. At some points, there are going to be some unfortunate moments, but I can promise you all of our guys are being diligent about this. No one, I can promise you, is flippant in any way about the rules, protocols, etc. All of us have to make sure that we stay on top of it.”


On how different today was as the team is in the NFL’s intensive protocols:  

“Not much different. We had been moving to so much virtual already. Maybe the main difference is guys are wearing the Oakley face shields – that is mandatory. All in all, it is pretty similar to what we have been doing. I told the guys this morning that we have been meeting virtually since April and we have been able to cover a lot of ground so we have to make sure that we continue to do that.”


On DE Myles Garrett practicing today and if Garrett is fully recovered from previous injuries:  

“He is in good shape. We will see how he responds to this and how he looks Wednesday, but he looked good to me out there today.” 


On how Teller looked during today’s practice:  

“I think all of these guys as they come off of this, we are going to be smart, we are going to work them in and then really the big thing is see how they respond. Got him out there. It was great to see having those guys out there, Wyatt included. We have to see how he comes out of it right now. I am sure he is in there talking to trainers, then sleep on it for 24 hours and come back and see how he is feeling. We really have to let these days guide us.”


On the boost Chubb and Teller can give the Browns offense and running game, if both are available this week:  

“We will see how this unfolds this week, but you are talking about two good football players. If we are able to get them back, I think that will give a boost to our team.”


On what the Browns learned from self-scouting during the bye week and if that included eliminating some plays:  

“I can’t get into specifics, but I will tell you, we pull it all apart, and then what happens is you get all this information from the coaching staff and from everybody and you compile it, you talk through it, you pull it apart and then then you check the tape. For us, what we tried to do is on offense look at the run game, look at the pass game and look at us situationally and the same on defense, and maybe find some areas that we are good at and why are we good at them and then make sure we protect those type of things. Then things that we are just not so good at, if it is a play on offense for instance, like you mentioned, we can throw that play out if it is not working, and there are plenty of other plays. It is really just spending spent a lot of time on those eight games. I think that is the nice part of having a bye week right in the middle, where you get a nice eight game sample, and you can really make some determinations based on that sample.”


On if the Browns’ self-scouting resulted in any lineup changes:  

“We will see how that all shakes out over the next few days. Obviously, in terms of when you are pulling it apart, you are looking at scheme, but of course, you are looking at personnel just the same. We will make sure that we continue to have discussions with the coaches. As you know and as you have seen, we play a lot of people so we are going to be counting on a lot of guys. We are going to continue to rotate guys in there. As it relates to specific lineup changes, we will just see how that plays out.”


On if Hooper’s reception statistics are a reflection of the offensive scheme or if he is disappointed in Hooper’s production:  

“I am in no way disappointed with the impact that Austin has made. Missing these last two games – I have said this before – any success that we had on offense, No. 81 is heavily involved. We are really excited to have him back. He is a real threat in the pass game. He has been great in the run game. In no way am I disappointed.”


On if he feels fortunate that Mayfield is the only player who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, understanding the unprecedented situation 2020 presents:  

“Like you said, it is a different year. It is 2020 so you have to be prepared for anything and have to be ready to adjust. We knew at some point with everything that is going on in our country that there is a high likelihood of something like this happening, and we have to make sure that this does not become a habit, so to speak.”


On if he has more details to share on WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s surgery:  

“I do not. I know he has surgery planned, but I do not have any details, no.”


On the Browns seeming as healthy as they have been since the beginning of the season and the impact it could have for the second half of the season:  

“I think that the NFL season is a slog. Every game comes at you and every team deals with injuries. We are no different. To get this bye right in the middle and to be able to have guys that are coming back potentially off of this, I think, can be a big boost to our guys. Like we have mentioned before, nobody feels 100 percent. That is just how it goes. They are all battling through different things, but it is nice to have those guys back out there.”


On why T Jack Conklin was not at practice today:  

“He was excused. I expect him back on Wednesday.” 


On G Joel Bitonio’s status, given Bitonio was on an exercise bike during the open period of practice and missed some of practice last week, and if Bitonio should be ready for Sunday’s game:  

“He should be, yes.” 


On Bitonio’s injury:  

“Elbow. I think you guys know him, and he will be just fine.” 


On if he will address the playoff picture with the team, given his continued focus on going 1-0 each week:  

“For us, we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we concern ourselves with anything other than the Houston Texans, who I think are a good football team. I do not think it helps us to set our gaze anywhere but where we are right now, and that is a big game this Sunday in our building versus, I think, a really good football team.”


On if WR Jarvis Landry and RB Kareem Hunt came out of the bye week in better shape health-wise:  

“Yeah, I think they are in better shape, but I would also go back to saying nobody is 100 percent.”


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