HC Kevin Stefanski (8.10.21)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement:

“(LB) Anthony Walker (Jr.) will be back out there, which is great. Will see him go through some individual. (DE) Myles Garrett is dealing with a hamstring injury so we will hold him out. (CB) Denzel (Ward) is dealing with some soreness – we are going to rest him. There will be a few other guys that we are being smart with.”


On if Garrett’s injury is day to day:



On if he expects Garrett to play on Saturday:

“We will talk about who is playing and that plan later in the week.”


On what has been most impressive about CB Greg Newsome II:

“When you are playing defensive back, it is and occupational hazard to get beat and there are those humbling moments. He is doing a nice job. He is so diligent about his work, understanding his job, understanding his techniques and constantly working on them to fine tune them. That is part of being a rookie, and particularly at that position where you are going up against some really good players. Some vets have some really crafty moves that you are going to see. It is only going to make him better.”


On how important it is for a rookie like Newsome to have humility:

“All of these guys are different. I have been around many different personalities, but I appreciate Greg. He is very authentic, and I think his teammates are enjoying getting to know him.”


On how Newsome has improved in the slot:

“He is doing a nice job. With all of these guys, you are trying to cross train them but be smart about not giving them too much and understand what rookies can handle what. He is somebody who we certainly want to take a look at outside and inside because oftentimes, you will end up inside even if you are playing outside corner. He is doing a nice job, and we are just continuing to bring him along appropriately.”


On if he prefers for WR Odell Beckham Jr. to be assimilated into team drills before or after the joint practices with the New York Giants:

“It does not matter. We are just making sure that we are being smart, taking everything into account and getting the work in that he is getting on the field and in the weight room. Taking it all in with the advice of the medical professionals, but when and who that is worth does not matter.”


On if TE is one of the toughest positions to transition from college to the pros:

“It can be. I would tell you there are not many tight ends that have their hand in the dirt and are base blocking a 6 technique or cutting off a 6 technique and getting involved in combinations with the tackle. We certainly see guys come from the collegiate level who have not done those things so there can be a learning curve. (TE) Harrison (Bryant) is as coachable as they get so he has listened intently over the course of this last year, and I think you are seeing some of the nuance in his game start to appear as he understands what it being asked of him.”


On if he can notice Bryant put on weight in the offseason:

“Yeah, I did. You notice it right when you see him for the first time. You want to put the right weight on and still be able to move around. I think he has done that. He looks good.”


On how he and tight ends coach Drew Petzing decide who to play among the TEs and when to play them:

“What you are trying to do is play everybody to their strengths. We are not at the point of game planning yet and saying, ‘This play is in for this player. This play is in for that player.’ Ultimately, we will get there, and understanding what their strengths are and asking a guy to do something that he is good at is part of our job. We have a year-plus with our tight ends and understanding what each one of those guys do, and they complement each other and they feed off of each other. They really push each other to compete. That is part of our job as you get to game planning is making sure that you are specific about where you are putting each guy.”


On if he game plans in the preseason:

“It is all part of the process. It is all part of the evaluation, but you do not want the guys to be thinking when they are playing. Similar to being on the practice field, you want them just to play, react and go. We will spend a little bit of time on our next two opponents. We will treat Atlanta like a game week in terms of schedule, but it is not like we are going to be doing everything in our power to game plan like crazy. Just want the guys to acclimated back to that regular seasons schedule.”


On if there is anything he is most looking forward to doing this preseason that he did not get to do last season:

“No, not really. What we had to do last year going down to the stadium and go through our pregame warmups, that was one thing you had to do because you do not want to show up to Week 1 and the guys are asking how do you warm up. It will just be three dress rehearsals, if you will, to get used to those type of things.”


On if offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will call plays for a full game during the preseason:

“No, Alex will call some of it. I might have some of the other coaches call it, too, and get them some reps calling some plays. That is kind of an important part of development , as well. We are working through all of that right now.”


On the Browns working out multiple players this week, including QBs, and if the team hopes to add a ‘developmental QB’ to the roster:

“AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) and the guys do a great job of keeping tabs of who is out there. Specifically to say we have to get a ‘developmental guy’ in there, it is really just making sure we keep tabs on a bunch of guys.”


On CB Greg Newsome II saying WR Jarvis Landry is one of the NFL’s best route runners, if he agrees and what makes Landry so good at it:

“Yeah, I do agree with that. There are a lot things. First of all, he is so competitive. When the ball is in the air, he goes and gets it and his hands are so strong. He had a play over here on a shallow cross where (CB) Troy Hill is all over him, and he just snatches that ball. He is a very competitive catcher of the football. He has a savviness to him. He makes very hard cuts coming out of his breaks. Just that competitive nature is what really defines him.”


On determining how much of a game assistant coaches may call during the preseason:

“We are working through it. AVP has done it. Obviously, he has done it previously in his career, but there are certain guys where I want them to know what it is like to call plays. It may be the second-to-last series of the fourth quarter that somebody get some reps of doing that.”


On if he has ever distributed play calling duties to other coaches in that fashion in the past:

“I have never done it, but I know of other teams who have done it. I think it is really smart.”


On why it is smart to give other assistant coaches the opportunity to call plays in preseason games:

“Getting guys reps. Just developing the coaches. I tell the story of my first time calling plays was my first time calling plays. I am worried about how to press the button and send the play in, when if I could not figure that out, we had bigger problems than previously thought. I just want those guys to go through that experience.”


On if COVID-19 plays a factor into allowing other assistant coaches to call plays, especially given he missed last season’s playoff game:

“It does not.”


On if he first called plays in a preseason game:

“In a regular season game.”


On if he was nervous during his first time calling plays in a game:

“Yeah, very nervous. You would be, too (laughter).”


On if he wished he had the opportunity to practice calling games sooner than he had to officially for the first time:

“Respectfully, I do not think it is that big of a deal. I just think it is good for guys to get reps at it.”


On the focus of allowing assistant coaches to call plays in the preseason being their personal development rather than team contingency plans:



On if his first play call during his first game calling plays worked:

“Yes, it did.”


On what DT Malik Jackson is contributing to the Browns now:

“Leadership. He has been outstanding in the meeting rooms and on the practice field. He is a really nice schematic fit. He comes off of the ball. He is aggressive. He is long. He has done a nice job.”


On the value of new veteran additions bringing leadership to a team:

“Certainly, you look at our defense and (DE) Myles Garrett obviously, but to bring in Malik, (LB) Anthony (Walker) and (S) John Johnson (III) all on three different levels and throw Troy Hill in the mix – guys who are not afraid to take leadership roles on is important when you are talking about a defense gelling or a team gelling.”


On DE Porter Gustin rotating in when Garrett is resting and if other players will rotate in that ‘starting spot’:

“We will rotate a lot of those guys. It is reps. There are no jobs that are nailed down. We have to see a lot of guys. We will weave them in.”


On what DT Jordan Elliott’s second year will look like:

“That remains to be seen. These guys are still going through the process of training camp, figuring out their roles and those types of things. I would say with any player in Year 2, the comfort level with what of being asked of you and the comfort level organizationally should allow you to take that next step. Jordan is no different than all of those guys. He is doing a good job and he has to continue to do it. The fun part for these preseason guys is they get to see those guys go, play football, play a bunch of series and see how they respond to having to go back out there.”


On if DT Malik McDowell’s oblique may be a long-term injury:

“I would not call it long term, but we will be smart as he works through it.”


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