HC Kevin Stefanski (12.27.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“We got beat today. Credit to the Jets. They beat us. I got outcoached. We got outplayed. We did the things you can’t do. We were minus-two in the turnover battle – you can’t do that. Penalties. Drops. Not good. That is going to get you beat, and it did so credit to the Jets. As I understand it, next week, you win and you are in so all of the work that the guys have put in the season, we still control our own destiny, so to speak. When we show up, we will watch the tape tomorrow, and when we show up on Wednesday, we have to put a great plan together and we have to go to work. Have to get back to the basics because that just was not good enough today, obviously.”

On if the Browns had to completely change today’s gameplan based on the number of players placed on reserve/COVID-19 during the past 24 hours:

“No, and that has nothing to do with the results of this game. We got beat. We had plenty of guys. We had all of the guys we needed, and we did not get it done.”

On if it was disappointing that the NY Jets defense made it tough to run the ball:

“Disappointed in not scoring points. Did not run efficiently. Did not throw well enough. Have to go back and look at it and find some answers because those are the type of things you have to have an answer for or the other team is going to keep doing it.”

On what is different about this situation with a player testing positive for COVID-19 that resulted in a number of Browns players to be identified as high-risk close contacts and being placed on reserve/COVID-19:

“I am not going to get into the specifics of that. I will only tell you that we are going to work real hard to make sure something like that does not happen again.”

On RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combining for only eight runs in the first half and if he wishes he called more run plays:

“I will look at it. I wish we scored points, whether running or throwing – it does not matter. I wish we were able to convert some third downs and stay on the field. Certainly, we are trying to score points any which way we can.”

On T Jedrick Wills Jr. being inactive today due to illness and if that was due to concern that Wills may ultimately test positive for COVID-19:

“As I understand it, we are just following the protocol. I do not know if that was the concern. I just know he was not available to us today.”

On how much the Browns OL missed Wills and G Wyatt Teller, given the team gave up more sacks usual today:

“Again, it had nothing to do with the guys that we did not have. We got flat out beat and flat out out-coached with the players we had, myself included.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance today as Mayfield battled through adversity but also had three fumbles:

“I want to look at the tape before making a full assessment of any of our players. We have to take care of the ball. I know Baker understands that. Trust me, I put those guys in some bad spots today. I will look at how I can be better, but can’t come on the road and end up minus-two [in the turnover margin] and expect to win.”

On how the NY Jets WRS were able to get open on their TDs:

“I think you are going to look at the tape and you are going to say… I know we did get picked that one time. I am not exactly sure what happened with the corner and the safety on the one touchdown. Ultimately, it is going to come down to doing your job and playing with the proper technique, including your alignment. Those are the type of things you have to do to be sound in the back end.”

On what impacted Mayfield the most today between new starters on the OL or at WR that Mayfield has not worked with as much:

“I think he will talk and he will agree with what I am telling you guys is that we had all the players we needed. We had plenty of active [players]. We trust the guys who were playing today. We trust them. That is why they are Cleveland Browns. That is really not the story here. We just did not do enough. Better way put it, we did too many things that a losing team does, and that is what you get when you do that.”

On why he called the QB sneak on 4-and-1 on the Browns’ final possession and what he told Mayfield following it:

“It was inches. Feel good about that. Again, we just can’t lose the ball on a sneak. It just can’t happen. It has happened twice.”

On how to get the Browns refocused on what is ahead next week with a playoff berth on the line:

“What is ahead of us is everything that we set out to do this season. It is all still right there. We have to make sure that we are very honest about the tape tomorrow when we look at it together and then identify, correct and move on. Then Wednesday, we are getting back to work.”

On challenging the incomplete pass early in the game:

“Obviously, challenged it because I thought it was a fumble. I understand why they stayed with the call. When they blow the whistle like they do and make it incomplete, it is really hard to go away from that call. Had they not blown the whistle, I think it would have been hard to overturn the other way. That is just what happened there.”

On how much the Browns changed the gameplan after multiple players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list late in the week:

“It was a little too late in the week to wholesale change anything, and we did not need to. Those guys were in all of the meetings, they were at the walk-throughs, they were at practice and they understood the plan. We made some modifications, as anybody would in that situation, but the guys understood what we were doing.”

On if Browns players who were on placed on reserve/COVID-19 list due to close contacts will be back for next week’s game:

“Just have to see how it plays out. We are following the protocols. I know those guys go on the list, and we will see when they come off, but that is not in my control.”

On the Browns’ plan this week with the unknowns of when players may be able to return to practice this week from reserve/COVID-19:

“These one-game seasons, it is whoever is available to you. That is how you put the plan together and go. We will work hard to makes sure, again, that we are following all of the protocols to a T.”

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