HC Kevin Stefanski (8.18.21)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement:

“Good to see everybody. Last day out here in front of our fans. Just want to take the opportunity to thank our fans who we are able to come out here and watch practice. They definitely make a difference. We appreciate them and then looking forward to seeing them in FirstEnergy Stadium.”


On if he has a sense of what the joint practices with the NY Giants will look:

“I think it is going to be about two hours long both days. The second day, we will have some red zone work with them. We will get two-minute drills on both days. It will be good practice for us.”


On the process of talking to New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge on the joint practice structure:

“Joe and I spoke way back when in the spring and talked about doing this, and very open at with, ‘What do you need to see? What do we need to see? Here is what we have done.’ Share some schedules together and then modify it with the coaches as the coaches talk to each other.”


On if the joint practices will consist of ‘best on best’:

“You are not running [scout team] cards. To that point, there will be competitive periods, but AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) will script the offense and give that to their defensive coaches and say, ‘Hey, we are in this personnel on these plays,’ so they can script their defense. You are working together to make sure you get good work.”


On if Judge is still mad that he beat him for the QB job:

“Joe is a good coach, a good man. Excited that he is going to be out here. Cannot wait to catch up with him.”


On if Judge was defined as someone who would stay around football for the rest of his life 25 years ago:

“Yeah, without a doubt. I know his dad played football. It is important to Joe’s family. I played with Joe’s older brother Jim (Judge). Definitely a football family.”


On how his relationship with Judge factored into the idea of hosting joint practice:

“It is a huge deal. I know what Joe is about. I know what he believes in. There is that relationship there where we know our two teams and then I think you can get good productive work when you have that.”


On what level of speed the teams go tomorrow:

“Full speed.”


On if there will be live tackling periods:

“Not live, but full speed.”


On if it is fair to say that Browns players who do not practice today will not be out there Thursday and Friday:

“I would not a blanket statement any one player. We will just continue with all of our guys to listen to the doctors, listen to the trainers and make the smart decisions.”


On if the team will do one-on-ones against the NY Giants before the team period:

“We will.”


On how Ss Grant Delpit and Ronnie Harrison Jr. looked in practice coming back from injury:

“Good to see them out there. We are obviously not going to have them run 60 plays. It is still being smart about how we do that. They looked good to me. Both Grant and Ronnie have good understandings of what we are doing schematically. I thought they did a nice job out there.”


On LB Mack Wilson not missing significant time with his right shoulder injury, particularly given Mack practiced yesterday:

“Yes, we are all day to day (laughter). Any injury in any game, when a guy leaves the game, you hate to see it. Your mind immediately goes, ‘I hope this is OK.’ When we get the MRI imaging back, we are hoping that we get good news. With Mack, I feel like we got some good news. He is injured so he is truly still working through an injury, but it was great to see him back out there.”


On if he knew right away he would be able to play RB Demetric Felton at both WR and RB:

“He played both in college so you knew he would be able to do both. We have always planned to bounce him back and forth. There have been some injuries to the wide receivers that have made it really necessary for him to go into that room for some extended periods of time. He has done a really nice job with both. We are going to try to keep him at the running back position as much as we can this week and get a good look at him there, but with his tape and his experience, it is not surprising that he can do both.”


On if the Browns feel more comfortable with Harrison in the defense after spending a year with Harrison:

“Without a doubt. Has he been here a calendar year? When did he get here? A testament to him that he was able to come in and learn. It was a similar scheme that he was coming from in Jacksonville, but he really took it upon himself to understand what we were doing and then grow his role as the weeks wore on. I just think it is a great example of guys who come in midseason, late in the season or training camp, and you want them to hit the ground running. Ronnie certainly did that.”


On if it is fair to say WR Odell Beckham Jr. is not quite physically ready for live team snaps:

“We are just following the discretion of the medical team is what I would say.”


On if stating jobs could be settled over the next few days:

“With these two days, obviously, it is great work against a really quality opponent and then with the preseason game, but we do not want to overvalue these two days versus last week, Thursday or whatever it is. We want to make sure that this whole thing is a body of work. Will it be a good opportunity for guys to go up against a different scheme? Absolutely, but to say that jobs will be decided by these two, I think, would probably be a little strong.”


On determining how many carries RB Nick Chubb gets per game:

“Historically, you have to think about a 17-game season and how many carries you want a guy to come out of it with and how many touches you want a guy to come out of it with. Seeing where Nick is in that part of the season with Nick in mind helps us with a magic number, if you will. (Run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell) does a great job of monitoring it and making sure that the flow of the game is what is most important. We are not overly dogmatic about, ‘It has to be this,’ but we want to start somewhere and say, ‘Here is the ballpark that we are looking for.’


On if there are times when Chubb gets going and the team sticks with him for longer than expected:

“Again, I would tell you that is where we are lucky to have Stump Mitchell. Stump has a great feel for that when a guy is breaking off a couple big runs and you can keep him in there. There are other times when Stump can see him and his body language that he needs a break. That is where the next guy comes in. You will see that with (RB) Kareem (Hunt), as well. Kareem will get his opportunity to break off a couple and then here comes Nick because Kareem needs a blow.”


On if he has ‘magic numbers’ for reps across all offensive skill players:

“I would say it is more important from the running back position. We talk about how many times we would like this player to touch it in a given game, but those are conversations that happen during the week and then it is hard to stick to it too much on a Sunday.”


On if a team can teach and emphasize takeaways on defense or if it is more random:

“We emphasize it. You achieve what you emphasize. We say we are all about the ball here. If you pay attention to right after a stretch, we go right into a turnover circuit with the defense. Conversely, it is important that the offense understands how important it is to protect that ball, whether you are the quarterback touching it every play, the running backs, tight ends, wide receiver or whatever it is. We want to make sure that on both sides of the ball we recognize how important winning that turnover margin is. It is definitely something we emphasize.”


On if it is important for Felton to get practice reps at RB and WR in the same day before he plays both positions in a game:

“It is a good question. I think once we get to a game, we will have honed in on a specific position for him. Knowing the kid and knowing how he prepares, I am pretty confident that he can go and do either within the course of a game.”


On if Felton could be used at different positions each week depending on the game:

“Potentially. You have to also think about how defenses are going to treat him. A lot of defenses when they play against a running back that is lined up in the slot or empty a lot, they treat him as a wide receiver so you may get more of a nickel defense. Those are the type of things that Demetric, if he is deserving of being here, he needs to carve out his own role. That is a work in progress, and we will see how it shakes out over the next couple of weeks.”


On how important it is to have varying perspectives among the coaching staff and if Mitchell has an ‘old school’ perspective:

“It is really important. That is something we set out to do. We wanted to have a diverse staff in thought, a diverse staff in age and just making sure that we heard from different people from different backgrounds. I think Stump is an old school coach. He coaches his guys hard. He has the respect immediately of the players and of the coaches with his background. We are lucky to have him.”


On Mitchell joking that he would get yelled at if he went over the number of desired reps for Chubb and Hunt:

“Yelled at by me? I am not yelling at Stump. Have you seen Stump? I am not yelling at Stump (laughter).”


On what is appealing about three Ss in a dime package:

“I would answer that, what is appealing about tight ends that can do different jobs? When you have players that can line up in multiple positions and perform at a high level at those positions, I think you give yourself interchangeable parts from a defensive or offensive perspective, and I think it makes life harder on the opposing team so when they see who is on the field, they may not know exactly what you are going to line up in, whether it be with safeties, tight ends or what have you.”


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