HC Kevin Stefanski (8.27.21)

Opening statement:

“Good to see everybody. A really good practice today in these conditions. It was hot. The guys pushed through it. It is all part of acclimating for Kansas City because it is going to be hot at Arrowhead for sure. Guys put in some good work this week. The plan for the game, we will have some select starters play in this game. (QB) Baker Mayfield will play in this game. There are other guys who we are going to hold. We are just making decisions individually based on who needs to get some reps, making those decisions based on these practice reps, based on the joint practice reps and based on game reps so we will hold some other guys out.”


On if the starting OL will play:

“I am not going to go through who is playing and who is not. I gave you Baker. You have to tune in Sunday night – NBC wants me to keep it a secret (laughter).”


On the decision to play Mayfield:

“The thinking is making a decision based on every single player and what we feel like they need to get.”


On if he spoke with Mayfield to see how he felt about playing on Sunday:

“It was not really speaking with them to see how they felt. It was more just making sure they understood what the plan was.”


On if he consulted with Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith to see who Atlanta would be playing:

“Yeah, I talked to Arthur. I talked to (NY Giants Head Coach) Joe (Judge) obviously the week prior. Just what our plan is. We are not drawing up a treaty of any sort. Just let him know what I am thinking of doing, and he does the same.”


On how much Mayfield will play:

“We have a plan, but I want to see how it goes.”


On weighing risk versus reward with playing Mayfield:

“It is football. We try to be smart about everything we do. That is why I think the joint practices are so important because it is a controlled environment where our No. 1’s got close to 60 reps against their No. 1’s in a controlled environment. It is all part of it. The way you practice and the way you play is similar, and it is all good work is the way I look at it.”


On if the week off next week factored into the decision to play some of the Browns starters at Atlanta:

“All of it factors in. There are a ton of considerations when making our decisions about our team. This is the third preseason game. I see it the exact same as the previous year’s third preseason game where we just do not have a game next where it mostly would be younger guys. The way I see it is it is just the third preseason game.”


On how many roster spots will be determined by this game, understanding the evaluation will take into account all of a player’s body of work:

“It is a good question. It has been such a competitive camp for these roster spots. I am so appreciative of the way the guys have worked. Those conversations are ongoing. This is all part of the evaluation process. I can’t tell you exactly how many spots there are, but I do think these game reps are really valuable in the overall evaluation.”


On if LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will play on Sunday due to the helmet and cut on the forehead:

“JOK is not going to play on Sunday because of that helmet issue.”


On if it is disappointing the Owusu-Koramoah will not play:

“It is unfortunate, but just make him wear a helmet in the weight room next time.”


On if he will game plan for FGs to continue to evaluate K Chase McLaughlin:

“Yeah, and honestly, we tried to do it last week and they had that sack called on (QB Kyle) Lauletta where we were hoping to get a long field goal there. There are going to be moments where we definitely want to get some opportunities for our field goal unit, not just the kicker. We want to get the guys being able to block and that type of thing.”


On if DE Takk McKinley will play on Sunday:

“He is doing a nice job out here, but again, I am not going to go down the roster and say who is playing and who is not.”


On if LB Tony Fields II practiced today, given some players swapped uniforms that created a ‘jumbling of jerseys’:

“Fields was out there, yeah. The jumbling of the jerseys was I think to make life hard on you and me (laughter). It worked. That is a one-time only deal.”


On if he was given an updated roster with the jersey numbers that were swapped today:

“No, I did not have the crossword puzzle in front of me.”


On if a significant amount of the Browns starting defense will get more reps together on Sunday, given the starting 11 have not had a lot of time together in practice:

“For all of those guys, whether you are on the practice field, you are in a walkthrough or you are in a preseason game, I think it is a great opportunity for guys to communicate with each other, to change the front and to change the blitz on motion. All of that is invaluable. The guys that are out there on Sunday night will certainly get some reps, but I do not discount the reps that we are getting out here.”


On if the Browns will make any roster cuts before Tuesday:

“That is a good question for (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry). I do not know.”


On holding WR Rashard Higgins and CB Troy Hill out of practice:

“Just being smart.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr. joining team drills:

“With everything that we have been doing with Odell – we have talked about it – it is all a part of a process. I am just listening to the medical staff on what he is ready to do. This is the normal ramp up period, if you will.”


On overall thoughts on training camp and if there was anything that was not accomplished:

“No, I think we stuck to the plan. I think the guys worked very, very hard in some adverse conditions. I just reminded them out there that was not a fun practice. It was hard. We put them in some hard situations, and we pushed them. I think that is how you have to handle this. Have we been smart about it? Yeah, but I have seen a group that has worked really, really hard over the course of these weeks, and they understand that we have a ways to go.”

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