HC Kevin Stefanski (8.17.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

On if offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt has called plays during the first two practices:


On if that is an indication Van Pelt will be the play caller during the season:

“We are going to work through that. With practices, they are scripted. It is really just relaying the play that is already scripted. We are working through that and will announce that when it is appropriate.”

On if practices have been conducted at a brisk pace and if there is more urgency to get in work in a shorter amount of time:

“I am glad you noticed that. We are trying to practice fast. We want to play fast so that will be a point of emphasis on offense, defense and special teams. Do I feel a sense of urgency? That is not why we are doing it. I feel the sense that every rep has to count – every walkthrough rep, every 7-on-7 and every team rep. We just have to make the most of the time that is available to us.”

On C JC Tretter’s medical procedure was on his left or right knee:

“I am going to be honest with you, I do not know.”

On if C Nick Harris is having difficulties in areas expected, understanding all rookies have challenges when starting in the NFL: 

“No, I see Nick as all of our rookies out there. These guys are getting challenged every day physically by some pretty good players and some pretty good veterans, and we are throwing a lot at them. We are in an installation schedule so every day they are getting plays that they are going to be required to run through that day, not that they are hearing them for the first time, they are hearing them for the fifth, sixth or seventh time. There is a lot going on with these guys. Every single one of these rookies at some point you are going to see them maybe slow down their play because they are thinking. That is where the next couple weeks come into play where you get to play and keep playing and get rep after rep. Hopefully, it starts to click and they get to play fast.”

On if Harris had the attitude he was hoping when told he would be practicing with the ones:

“Yeah, I would hope so. Unfortunately, injuries are part of this game. It is the oldest cliché in the book, but next man up, and I think Nick is ready to roll.”

On if DE Myles Garrett will participate in today’s practice and the team’s timeline for Garrett’s and other injured players’ return:

“Myles will not be out there practicing, but I will just defer to the medical experts on that. I will trust them and trust the plan that we have for those guys.”

On if it is important to make sure players do not get overly aggressive during the first padded practice:

“We had that conversation last night. The pace of practice should look exactly the same as it did yesterday in shells. They have to understand how to practice hard and take care of each other regardless of the dress or the attire that they are wearing.”

On cultivating maturity on the roster, given DE Olivier Vernon’s comment about the team’s maturity last year: 

“I can’t speak to last year, but I can tell you, I like the group we have. I think we have the right mix of veterans and young guys. It is early, but I do think there is some leadership on this squad and that is where the great teams that I have been around have a real strong locker room.”

On if Vernon is part of that mix of leadership and veterans:

“Absolutely. A veteran has done it for a long time. He is a respected voice. Yes.”

On how motivated Vernon is after restructuring his contract and battling injuries last year:

“I think anybody who is dealing with an injury and then a season maybe that does not go the way you want… OV is an example of a guy that really dedicated himself this offseason, made sure he showed up in great shape and he did. He is a committed guy, and really excited to be around him. Excited to see him out there on the grass today.”

On if the S position has become even more prominent as offenses evolve around the league:

“Yeah, I think you are right. There are a lot of playmakers in this game at that level of the defense playing safety, and you have some guys that that attack the ball. I played [safety], but remember, I did not play it well (laughter), but I do know what it looks like when it is good. I am excited for the guys that we have on the roster – again, young and old. You mentioned (S) Grant (Delpit) is a player that we are going to see develop here over the next couple of weeks.”

On what the Browns are doing to try and prevent soft tissue injuries:

“Yeah, I think we are very mindful of soft tissue injuries in this setting. That is where we are fortunate to have an excellent medical staff inclusive of sports science that you mentioned. We are going to let the science guide us in terms of how we structure practice, maybe how long we go and how hard we go at times so it just will not look like that the whole way through. We have to be using all the avenues we have here and all the resources we have to make sure that we are putting our players in a safe environment.”

On if the team is still tracking workload for players to determine when they may be more at risk for a potential soft tissue injury:

“We do something similar to that. With all the technology you have, you know how far, how long and how hard guys are running so you can come off of practice and understand the load that they had of that day and be mindful for the next couple of days.”

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