HC Kevin Stefanski (12.3.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

On DE Myles Garrett’s timeline this week and status for Sunday: 

“He was out there yesterday and looked good to me. We are going to make sure that we are smart about how we get him back out there. Checking in with him yesterday, he looked really good and then see how he looks today and just keep an open dialogue with him.”

On if the expectation is that Garrett will play this week, barring any setbacks: 

“Yes.”

On updates on Browns players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and if S Tedric Thompson will be available this week: 

“The three guys on the COVID list, I do not have a final answer for you. I do not believe any of them will be practicing today. Tedric Thompson, it remains to be seen in terms of his availability.”

On if it is hard to get all of the work done when practicing inside on smaller fields inside: 

“I do not think it is harder to get the work done. It probably impacts special teams the most because those are full-field drills typically when you are talking about kickoff and kickoff return. We adjust and say, ‘Alright, the 50-yard line here, pretend it is the 30,’ or something like that. We get our work done. I think we will be able to get outside potentially tomorrow. Our [grounds crew] guys do a great job. The have the fields tarped, but they are knocking the snow off the fields now. It would be great to get out there. In the meantime if that is not available to us, we get our work done inside.”

On the Titans WRs and if they make it tougher to devote as much attention to Titans RB Derrick Henry as possible: 

“They are a balanced attack. They can hurt you in multiple ways. That is a credit to their players and a credit to their scheme. They have multiple receivers that can catch and make you miss or get out in space. We have to stay tight in coverage. It is not a one-man show. We know how great Derrick Henry is obviously, but they are a very balanced offense so we have to make sure that we are about our business in our run fits and in our pass defense.”

On how impressive Titans WR A.J. Brown’s big plays have been recently: 

“He is extremely impressive. He is big. He is fast. He is strong. He has great hands. He runs a great route tree. A very, very tough player.”

On if his kids approved of the snowstorm in Cleveland this week: 

“They approve of any snow day they can get.”

On how the snowstorm compared to those in Minnesota: 

“Definitely not as cold. Once it snows in October, it is there until about April in Minnesota.”

On the impact of the Browns’ special teams play this season: 

“We are playing much better lately. I really think (special teams coordinator) Coach (Mike) Priefer and (assistant special teams) Coach (Doug) Colman do an outstanding job with that group. Guys have really stepped up in the second half of our season so far I would say. They have to continue to do so. We are getting contributions from a bunch of different players. They understand how important it is. It is a three-pronged attack – offense, defense and special teams. We need our special teams to come through for us this week and for really every game.”

On if special teams are having less of an impact in the NFL in recent years due to rule changes: 

“That is a good question. I would have to study that. It is true that there are more touchbacks in the last few years and there have been [rule changes] previously out of a player safety respect. I do not know in total if that is true. I am not sure”

On how Titans QB Ryan Tannehill’s game has changes since joining the Titans: 

“I think you give credit to the player first and foremost. It appears to me he works very hard at his craft. He is very technically sound. Then I think just the scheme in which he is being utilized and the players that he has at his disposal, he is playing at a very high level. He is extremely accurate. He can hurt you in a bunch of different ways. We talked about his athleticism yesterday. Somebody that I have a lot of respect for.”

On if Browns athletic trainers and medical personnel will monitor Garrett and FB Andy Janovich on Sunday and if they may have decreased reps, given they are returning after missing multiple weeks: 

“We are doing that right now in terms of they are out there on the practice field for the first time in a while and seeing how they are responding. We will do the same today. Just see how they come through these few days of practice, but very positive after yesterday.”

On how Janovich looked in practice yesterday: 

“Andy looked great. He is excited to get out here. If you know Andy, he has been excited to put the pads back on, and he is ready to go help us in any way he can.”

On CB Kevin Johnson’s performance last week: 

“He was competitive in a bunch of moments. He is always going fight and give you everything he has, and he made a few plays. He is the type of player where he has versatility where you can play him inside and outside. He studies like crazy and understands the gameplan so somebody that we are counting on.’

On WR Jarvis Landry’s breakout performance last week: 

“It is important for Jarvis to have a game like that, and we expect that from him. We know what he is capable of. Now that he is healthier, he is continuing to get better and better, and he will find a way to affect the game. He has the uncanny ability to make tough catches, and they typically result in first downs. That is a very big deal for what we are looking for.”

On what Landry and QB Baker Mayfield reestablishing their connection means for the Browns offense: 

“Those guys have a ton of banked reps together so I have a lot of confidence in their rapport and what they are able to do. Again, it is something that we are counting on Jarvis in those big moments and great to see the other day. Now, we are hoping that that is something that we see really every game going forward.”

On if COVID-19 could have an impact on future evaluation of players, particularly those who contracted COVID-19: 

“I really do not know the answer to that. I would tell you, I do not see it affecting our evaluations of our players. The medical staff can probably answer that better in terms of is there a longer effect that maybe I am not totally aware of, but I do not see that right now.”

On if the decision not to use RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on the field at the same time is so the team can help keep them fresh and use them as a one-two punch late in games: 

“A little bit. Both of them have versatility so they can do different jobs and we can have them on the field at field the same time. We did that last week for at least one play that I can think of. We are looking to grow that package at times, but like you said, it is also nice to have one in, one out and a fresh guy coming in when that guy goes out.”

On how much of a focus he has placed on a culture change with the team, particularly related to the team’s one game at a time emphasis compared to last year: 

“I do not think I came in here or any of our coaches came in here to change a culture. We just established our own, and we just kind of explained what we are about and what we believe in. To the players’ credit, I think we have a bunch of guys that believe in the same things and then want to help the team in any which way they can.”

On if the Browns coaching staff’s goal to create its own culture was part of offseason conversations with the team: 

“I think that is important for any new staff that comes in to establish what they are all about. Culture, that buzzword gets thrown around a lot, and I just think it is people. I would give (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and GM) Andrew Berry a ton of credit for the people he brought in here via trade, free agency and the draft. I think if you bring in the right people, all of a sudden, you have the right culture.”

On if he spoke to WR KhaDarel Hodge about Hodge’s comment that the Titans are not a ‘super team and are beatable like everybody else’: 

“I will always keep any interactions I have with the players internal. I will just tell you, I support our players. I am not the thought police. I am not going to tell them what to think, but I do make sure that they understand what is important is how we work, and we are not about bluster; we are about just making sure we put our work in.”

On if he uses quotes to inspire the team: 

“Always. You are always looking for anything that you can get your hands on.”

On establishing culture and buy-in with the Browns, particularly as a first-year coach and with changes this year related to COVID-19: 

“It is a process, and it is not one thing. It is not something that you do in April and you put a checkmark next to it and say, ‘Alright, we have established our culture.’ I just think it is a constant thing about making sure that our players understand what we are all about. I am really, really lucky in having a bunch of great coaches that are teachers that push our guys and coach them hard. I think all of that leads to playing solid football, and hopefully, that leads to winning.”

On where Henry’s game has developed this year and if he took anything from last year to apply to this game: 

“I do not know about last year applying to this year. I will tell you, he is a supremely talented running back. He can hurt you in a bunch of different ways. They just do a nice job in total as an offense. All 11 guys have a hand in making that run game go.”

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