HC Kevin Stefanski (12.15.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“On the injury front, (S) Andrew Sendejo has a concussion. From the game, (DE) Myles Garrett, (T) Jedrick Wills (Jr.), (G) Wyatt Teller. Myles had that elbow and went back out there. With Wills and Teller, we will see how the week goes with them. With (CB) Denzel (Ward) and (WR) KhaDarel (Hodge), they are both progressing. I think the next step is to get them out on the field, and I am confident that we will be able to do that this week so we will see how that goes over the next 24 to 48 hours.

 

“Just recapping the game, not much different than what we talked about last night. Disappointed. Feel like we could have done some things there better throughout the game to try and go win that game. Ultimately, did not get it done. Now, we are on a short week, and we have to regroup and get ready to go on the road and play a good Giants team.”

 

On main takeaways from last night’s game on what can be improved and the message to the team: 

“Did not do enough to win. What we have done this year after wins and losses is looked at the tape, identified things, corrected them and moved on and owned them. The coaches will make sure the guys get the corrections. To the players’ credit, they take coaching. They get it. They get that we have to get better. Certainly, there is room for improvement across the board, myself included.”

 

On if he looks at last night’s game ‘as a necessary growing pain’ for a team to learn how to finish close games: 

“I do not look at it as necessary. You are right, there are plays that have to be made. If you are going to try and go win a game versus a good football team, you are going to have to go make a few plays. I can help with better calls. All of that, we all have to be a little better.”

 

On if the Browns are able to identify areas on defense to improve while waiting for injured players to return: 

“Our standard does not change regardless of who is in there. Last night we, again, just did not get it done. There are a few plays that I know I have seen our guys make before, and we did not make them last night. Their guys made plays. I would not overstate who is in there and who is not in there. We just have to make sure that we do our job, regardless of who is in there.”

 

On if it fair to say that CB Greedy Williams will not play this season, given Williams’ social media comment about dealing with nerve damage in the shoulder: 

“I do not think it is fair to say that, no. He is doing everything he can, and we will see how it plays out. It is really a day-to-day thing. What I appreciate about Greedy is he is in here working very, very hard. I do not think that we are saying he is not coming back because I do not think that has been the case yet.”

 

On if he has seen QB Baker Mayfield’s confidence grow each week, particularly after strong performances, and the heart and swagger Mayfield is playing with now: 

“Baker is obviously, I think, playing at a high level. He does not lack confidence, and I say that in a good way. That is who he has always been, which is great. I think what you are seeing is the comfort level is certainly growing. That also goes back to all of the work he puts into this. He is a get-in-early, stay-late type of player, grinds on it and gets extra work out on the practice field. I think you are just seeing all of the fruits of his labor.”

 

On if it crossed his mind that the Browns offense scored too early on the final TD drive and if the Browns offense could have done something differently to use more clock on the series: 

“It is a fair question. When we called that play, I was not thinking a hitch to the running back was going to score. To (RB) Kareem (Hunt)’s credit, it was an unbelievable individual effort. Yeah, I would love to score with one second left on the clock, but that is a very, very fine line. I would really just tell you that was an incredible play by Kareem.”

 

On if there is concern after K Cody Parkey’s missed kicks, given Parkey’s ‘eyes looked a little foggy’ and Parkey’s history: 

“I did not see that in his eyes. He missed a couple of kicks. He came back and made one where we were counting on him. He knows that.”

 

On the Browns’ competitiveness to rebound in recent weeks, including when down 14 points last night, after losing by a larger margin to the Ravens and Steelers earlier in the year: 

“Our guys understand that we are always going to compete, and that is something that we have really built our foundation on. We have been behind in a bunch of ballgames this year – I do not know if we have been behind two scores and come back to take the lead – but the guys have always been that way on the sideline and in the locker room at halftime. They understand that it is a 60-minute game and sometimes more. They will push through. Really, the main focus last night was just find a way to win, and ultimately, we came short.”

 

On positive takeaways from the Browns offense’s performance last night, given the team posted some of the highest numbers of the season against the Ravens defense:

“When we play clean and operationally when we get in and out of the huddle, line up and go, we have a chance to be a good offense. We stubbed our toe a few times there, and again, credit to Baltimore – I do not want to make it seem like I am not giving them credit. They did a great job, but I just felt there were a few times where we got in our own way, and that is really not us. We have to play a clean game for 60 minutes.”

 

On multiple Browns players relaying in postgame interviews yesterday that the group was going to win or lose as a team and if that was part of his postgame speech:

“I said a lot of things postgame. That is no surprise, though. That is kind of who our guys are. They understand that this is a week-to-week proposition. Did not get that one done, and I know those guys are excited to turn the page and get onto the next one.”

 

On is it tough to go into a game believing the team may need to score 40 points to win and if that puts pressure on the offense:

“I would not characterize it that way. I just feel like as an offense, we feel that way every game regardless of who we are playing. I think that more speaks to the expectations that I have of our offense, nothing more or nothing less.”

 

On how much decisions to go for it on fourth down and two-point conversions are made in the moment or are predetermined:

“You have those conversations before the game and throughout the week in kind of how you want to play the game and how you want to call the game, and then you try to have conversations before the series and during the series. The second down play ends, and you talk about what would the distance have to be to go for it on fourth. Really, those conversations are ongoing throughout the week and definitely throughout the game.”

 

On what he would have done differently last night, given he is always self-critical following losses:

“Call the good plays and not call the bad ones. I mentioned it last night, I feel like I put Baker in a tough spot on that interception. He can be better there and there are some things we can clean up, but I did not like the spot I put him in on that. There are always call that I did put our guys in position to succeed.”

 

On positive takeaways from Mayfield’s response after the interception:

“You have a real disappointing play there, they get the ball on the one and they score, and it is very easy to feel that momentum and feel the energy get taken from you. I did not get that sense from him or the guys on the sideline. I just think they automatically knew what the task at hand was and they knew what was required so I saw some resolve from them in that regard.”

 

On if Mayfield’s interception last night was different from others this season, given he is taking accountability for it:

“With interceptions and how we coach the position, they are not all created equal – some are tipped balls, some are bad reads and all of those type of things. I think you learn from every single one of them. Certainly, we are learning from that one and pointing the finger at myself that I can do better in that regard.”

 

On Browns WRs stepping up to make big plays and catches, specifically WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and Peoples-Jones’ development this season:

“That gives me an opportunity to just talk about that rookie class and to see Jed and (TE) Harrison Bryant getting a bunch of reps. Donovan coming up big – and we needed him to – that is a great testament to how hard that kid works. He is in the right place at the right time. He is making plays on the ball, and we needed him. We needed those plays. We are very pleased with his development. Those guys in general, they are all getting better. It is not perfect, but they are all getting better.”

 

On TE Austin Hooper’s status for the week:

“I am hopeful that we will have him back. We will see. We will get to tomorrow, but I am feeling good about it.”

 

On if playing in competitive games like last night’s could be beneficial if the team is playing in tough postseason games:

“We have played in a bunch of close games this year. Obviously, that game was close. We did not get it done at the end, but there are so many situations that come up throughout the game where we really have to be thinking as a team and being on point as a team. Certainly, the ones we fell short this week, I would hope we are better the next time we are in that situation.”

 

On the Ravens DBs playing physically last night and if the Browns did anything schematically to create more opportunities on offense, particularly given the Ravens played more zone coverage late in the game:

“They were playing man and they were challenging our guys. We did make a few adjustments. They also had a few injuries in the back end, as well, as the game wore on. It is just trying to be aware of all of that and understand when you are throwing the ball who you are trying to attack and what coverages you are trying to attack. Those are the type of things throughout the course of a game that you are constantly tinkering with it, trying to find the right combination.”

 

On how Mayfield’s consecutive strong performances build confidence for the offensive play caller and the team as a whole, in addition to building Mayfield’s confidence:

“You want the trigger man to be playing freely and with confidence, and I see that with Baker. He understands he has to do it again this week. These challenges keep coming at you. I would just go back to my confidence in all of our players comes from the work they put in throughout the week, and Baker is no exception to that.”

 

On if there is a common factor for the Browns’ increased penalties during the past few weeks:

“The ones that I really concern myself with would be the pre-snap penalties. Those are easily correctable and should not happen. Some of the other ones are unfortunate.”

 

On consistently stating there are no moral victories from last night’s game and if there are any positive takeaways from the game, including building confidence for younger Browns players:

“Can I say no moral victories again? Are you allowing me to do that? Yeah, like we just talked about, Donovan, Jedrick and Harrison, I am pleased with how those guys are developing, but they have to continue to get better.”

 

On if S Sheldrick Redwine will play FS this week or if S Tedric Thompson could be an option, given Sendejo may not be available after sustaining a concussion last night:

“We will work through that. Those are conversations we are having right now. I think everything is on the table in that regard.”

 

On if Thompson could potentially play a significant role on defense this week after recently joining the team:

“He could.”

 

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