HC Kevin Stefanski (8.12.21)

Opening statement:

“Thanks for being flexible. Moved practice up. Wanted to make sure we got outside and beat any weather that might be coming and any lighting that me be coming. Appreciate you guys being flexible. We will get out there on the grass. I know the big guys prefer to be on the grass as opposed to inside. We have to have a good workday out there today. It will be nice and steamy, which again acclimating to Jacksonville weather is important.


“Speaking of Jacksonville, the plan will be to rest the majority of the starters. I look at it as a great opportunity for young and old players to go out there and compete against a different color jersey. It is always fun to see the guys out there, making plays and seeing their teammates get excited about it. Looking forward to the experience of that first preseason game and seeing the guys out there. It is all part of a teaching progression and a learning progression. We will learn from the good and the bad that occurs. Also, it is all part of the evaluation process.”


On if the 17-game schedule factors into the Browns’ decision to rest starters and how he views the preseason differently after having no preseason games during the 2020 season:

“You take it all into account. You take what you learned last year, you take the extra game and you take your players. As we talk about what we are going to do as a team and talk about our plan with the coaches, we are just going to do what we think is right for the Cleveland Browns and specifically what is right for each player. That is how we will approach really all of our decisions.”


On the QBs’ playing time on Saturday, given he previously shared QB Baker Mayfield will not play:

“Those guys will have a rotation. (QB) Case (Keenum) will start the game. He did not play a ton – I know he has played a ton in his career – last year. I think it is important for him to get back out there and perform under the lights, so to speak. When he is done, (QB) Kyle (Lauletta) will come in. What these guys have to do is operate, and that is what they are trying to do. They need to function, get guys in and out of the huddle, line them up, motion shifts, get the ball out of their hand appropriately and those type of things. Looking for both those guys to operate at a high level.”


On if he envisions the Browns starters will play at some point in the preseason:

“We will address that when appropriate. The focus is on this game for right now.”


On RB Demetric Felton:

“He has done a really nice job. He is as advertised as a person. His coaches out there at UCLA loved him. He loves ball. He loves to compete, whether it is at wide receiver, running back or in special teams. You get the sense that this kid really loves to play football. Like anybody, he would love the ball in his hand, which is no shock, but the kid, he is a really competitive kid.”


On the number of Browns players with hamstring injuries:

“Soft-tissue injuries are prevalent across the league in the first weeks of training camp. That is what the data suggests. Obviously, we do not want anybody to get injured, and we try to prevent as many as we can. There is something about playing football, though, where you react and you burst, which is different than training. You can train quite a bit and be in great shape, but then all of the sudden, the ball is in the air and you have to burst for it. That is oftentimes what happens with soft-tissue injuries. It is something that we spend a lot of time on trying to prevent. I would love to tell you that we could prevent all of them; I do not think that is realistic. It is the normal course of training camp, and you have to practice football in order to get ready to play football. Again, hate that it is out there. I do not think that we are different than most that we are dealing with some of it right now, but I am hopeful over the course of the next few days that guys start to come off of that group.”


On if the Browns will alternate kickers during individual preseason games:

“We will alternate the kickers with each opportunity. Coach Prief (special teams coordinator Mike Priefer) has done this before, and it makes sense to do it that way because if you do it by game, you do not know the opportunities that one guy is going to get versus the next game.”


On if Felton could be the ‘type of weapon the team did not have last year’ and Felton’s ability to learn multiple roles:

“The role remains to be seen. It is what he makes of the role quite honestly. To be able to do both in practice is not easy. It is not easy for a young player. It speaks to his intelligence. It also speaks to how he prepares. He works really hard to make sure that he is ready to go, regardless of what position he may be playing that day.”


On if he worries that Felton may not be getting enough sleep with all of the preparation, given Felton would not share when he goes to bed each night:

“He is up and at ‘em early so it seems like he is getting plenty of rest.”


On if the Browns expect all of the healthy rookies to play on Saturday, including CB Greg Newsome II and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:



On how excited the Browns are to see the rookies on the field in a preseason game for the first time:

“It is going to be great to see those guys. I also think about the sophomore class – a lot of those guys who did not have a preseason [last year]. To get them some game reps is just as exciting.”


On if CB Greedy Williams and T Chris Hubbard are expected to play at Jacksonville after returning from injury:

“They will play. With everybody, we have a plan for everybody to be smart about it, but the plan is for them to play. We will see how we come out of the next couple of days and see if that is something that we can do come Saturday night.”


On the trend across the NFL changing for the amount of playing time for starters during the preseason:

“It is a good question. If you kind of study what people have done over the past five years, different philosophies have taken hold. Certainly, last year was eye opening for a lot of coaches and players. Now, no one had a preseason last year. It was the same for everybody. We are just trying to do what we think is right for each one of our individualized players. That is the important part for us is ‘What does that player need to get ready for the season?’ The answer to that varies by player.”


On the ideal number of preseason games:

“That is a really good question. I think that is something that will continue to be discussed at a level much higher than mine.”


On if Owusu-Koramoah is fully up to speed after missing the start of training camp:

“He is working really hard to get caught up, and he worked hard while he was out of the building to make sure that he was ready to hit the ground running. He is a young player. He is a rookie. He is learning. He is making mistakes, and then you have to correct them and get better. He is going to make mistakes Saturday night. We get that. Hopefully, he makes them at 100 miles an hour and learns from them. He is working hard to make sure that he is ready to go.”


On if Browns players who will not play Saturday night will travel with the team to Jacksonville:

“Yes, they will be there traveling with us. We have a plan to work them out over the next few days to where they are staying in shape, working with each other, working individual drills and those type of things to make sure they just do not lose three days, so to speak.”


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