HC Kevin Stefanski (12.23.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“We will not have three guys out there at practice – (DT) Sheldon (Richardson) with his neck, (G Wyatt) Teller with the ankle and then (LB) Malcolm Smith with a hamstring. Those three guys will not be out there at practice today.


“On to the Jets. Very, very quickly when you turn the tape on from their last game, you understand what you are getting yourself into. They won that game on the scoreboard. They were physical. Great effort. They really jumped out at you when you are watching that tape. They played like a team that was trying to do anything and everything they could to get that victory, and I think that is the team we are going to face this week. I let our guys know that. They do know that. They understand the challenge that is in front of them, and they are excited for the challenge. We have to have a great week of preparation. That is how we play well on Sundays is really based on our preparation so that is what we are focusing in on right now and honing in on with these meetings and getting to know the Jets from an offensive, defensive and special teams standpoint and understanding their skills.”


On if S Andrew Sendejo has cleared concussion protocol and if Richardson is expected to return to practice later in the week: 

“Yes to both.”


On Smith’s hamstring injury: 

“Just came in after the game feeling sore so we are just going to be smart about that.”


On if it is harder to keep the ‘one week at a time’ focus with potential playoff-clinching scenarios this weekend: 

“Not for me.”


On if it is harder for Browns players to keep the ‘one week at a time’ focus with potential playoff-clinching scenarios this weekend: 

“I do not think so. I think, again, you walk in this building on Wednesday and you understand all of the things that you need to do to get ready for that Wednesday, and that is where we are right now. We had good meetings this morning introducing them to this team. Again, put the tape on and watch that game from last week, and you will very, very quickly understand what is required this week.”


On LB Jacob Phillips’ performance last week and if Phillips will start again this week: 

“Jacob gave us good reps. He is a young player so never perfect, but he is a physical player and ran to the ball. Obviously, needs to clean some things up. We will just work this week and work everybody in there and then make a decision towards the end of the week, but I really like that group in total. We play a lot of guys in that position. That is important, keeping people fresh.”


On what concerns him most about the NY Jets, in addition to the hunger to win they showed last week: 

“They have talented players. They saw last week a formula to how you go get a win, taking care of the ball and going and getting the ball on defense. They have seen firsthand when they put it all together against a good football team, an NFC playoff team, when they put it all together, they are totally capable of winning, and that is the way I look at it.”


On the team’s schedule during the holiday week while keeping everybody focused on the game: 

“When we are here, we will work. We are going to keep it as a normal work week as much as we can, until we get to Friday. We will shorten things up and bring everybody in here a little bit later in the afternoon and come in the midmorning as opposed to early so everybody can get up and be with their families in the morning. Be present when you are at home, and then when you get in this building, be present and make sure you are working hard with whatever day it is and getting in all of the work that you have to get in.”


On if he has an appreciation for what members of team are dealing with this week, particularly given he has three young children: 

“Yeah, and we had Thanksgiving not too long ago so we understand that there are holidays and we want to be present with our families when we are not in this building. That is important, and maybe it is more important this year than ever with the things that everyone is going through. We will definitely be present in that moment, but when we are here, we have to work.”


On relying more on the passing game recently and if that will help allow RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to be fresher for the final weeks of the season: 

“We try to do whatever it takes that week to get a win. If it means running the ball 55 times this week, that is what we are going to do. If it means passing it 55, that is what we will do. It is not like when we pass it we are giving those guys any plays off. They are still catching the ball out of the backfield and they are still in protections so they are a huge part of our success, regardless of run or pass.”


On if Richardson is expected to play on Sunday: 



On if he refers back to the Jacksonville game with the team to compare it to this week and what can happen when facing a one-win team: 

“I have not, but that is another good point. This is the NFL. Some really, really talented players. It is not hard for me to explain to the team the challenge that is in front of them because again, it is right there on the tape and the tape is your résumé so we know what we are getting into.”


On how QB Baker Mayfield has reacted to recent success: 

“Same guy every single day. I do not notice any difference.”


On WR Jarvis Landry’s versatility and the ability to move Landry across the field in motion and in different positions: 

“We are just trying to make life hard on the defense. If we make them make a call or make them adjust, just trying to any way we can little wrinkles like that I think can maybe go a long way. Ultimately, it is things that are easy for you and maybe are hard for the defense.”


On NY Jets QB Sam Darnold: 

“We have a ton of respect for Sam. He is very, very athletic, can throw on the move and can make every throw to all areas of the field, but the thing that sticks out to me is his ability on the move. He has a very good skillset when he is out of the pocket, whether by design or in the scramble drill, and hard to get on the ground. Again, a really good athlete.”


On if there have been benefits to virtual meetings and other new processes due to COVID-19 protocols: 

“I am sure there are. I am sure there are some things that are going to stick going into next year. I feel like we have just tried to make the best of it. Tell us what the rules are, and we will make sure we put a plan together that adheres to those rules and gets our work done. Thinking about what is coming out of that, I would have to give that some thought.”


On if there is anything specific from working virtually and the COVID-19 that stands out as improved: 

“Not off the top of my head.”


On the impact offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt has had on Mayfield’s development this season: 

“Huge. I am glad you asked me that. I do not want that to be overlooked. AVP does an outstanding job with our offense in total. He does a great job with those quarterbacks. It goes a long way when you have a guy who has played the position, played in the NFL and has been a backup. Backup quarterbacks have made some great coaches over the years, and it is because these guys understand how to prepare and how to prepare without getting reps. AVP just how he runs the meetings, how he coaches the guys on the field and his demeanor on gameday with those guys, he does it at a very high level.”


On the trust developed between Van Pelt and Mayfield: 

“AVP is a part of every single decision when it comes to offense, quarterback play and all of it. He is in the thick of this. He has been a huge help to me as we put this thing together and sharing that vision together. Ultimately, when you are working closely with that quarterback and understanding how the quarterback thinks and putting him in spots to succeed, AVP has a huge, huge hand it that.”


On the Cavaliers:

“Good luck to the Cavs tonight and (Cavaliers Head) Coach (J.B.) Bickerstaff.”


On if there are any benefits to the Browns traveling to New York in back-to-back weeks, particuallry as it relates to comfort and routine: 

“The Bills did this last year. (Chief of Staff) Callie (Brownson) was telling me that they went [to New York in] back-to-back weeks. I think it does help us to understand that stadium and how unique it is without having a crowd in there so we will be one week better in that regard and understanding the environment.”


On teaching points following Mayfield’s performance last week: 

“You try to build off of those good performances as much as you try to learn from maybe ones that you wish you could have some throws back. Even with that game, I know we pointed out to him some things that he can do better. The perfect game has not been played, and he understands that he has to get better – we as a team have to get better – but that is his mindset every week. He shows up Wednesday ready to work.”


On if T Chris Hubbard will have surgery today after being placed on IR:

“I do not know when Hub is having surgery, but obviously, disappointed. I talked to him and just let him know how important he has been to our success this season. Whether he has been playing or on the sideline, I just think that guy is a great teammate. I do not have an update on when the surgery is.”


On G Joel Bitonio, RB Nick Chubb and DE Myles Garrett being named to the Pro Bowl: 

“Happy for those three guys. Again, individual accolades are great and I am proud of those three gentlemen. It is well deserved, but I know they understand that their success comes in the framework of the team.”


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