HC Kevin Stefanski (8.3.21)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement:

“A couple of updates from yesterday. (LB) Anthony Walker has a knee injury. It won’t require surgery. He will be out. (S) Sheldrick Redwine has an ankle injury. It won’t require surgery. He will also be out. Looking forward to practice today. As you guys know, the pads are coming on so it should be a spirited practice. We will be in the red zone, also, so get some good work down there as well.”


On a timeline for Walker’s return:

“We will see. It is a week-plus, but we will see. I can’t put an exact timing on it.”


On if Walker’s injury was non-contact:



On plans for LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah today:

“He will do individual period. Outside of that, we will be smart.”


On WR Anthony Schwartz practicing on the side yesterday:

“Just normal individual practice planned stuff with each one of the guys.”


On if he has to remind everyone that this is Day 1 of pads and to not get carried away:

“I have reminded them, and I will remind them again.”


On if he has a strict no-fight policy or if he talks about that aspect with the team:

“We talk about it. It is football. It is emotional. At the end of the day, you have to be smart. If you do that in a game, you are going to get thrown out. I think the guys understand that we need to practice hard, but we also have to take care of each other. We have talked about it, and then we are just going to have to do it.”


On how WR Rashard Higgins has developed over the past year:

“He is doing a nice job. We are moving him around the formation, challenging him a little bit to play some other positions. When I got here last year, he made a bunch of plays in practice and then he had to wait for his opportunities last season. While he was waiting, he was busting his butt on special teams or the look team or whatever. He is really a guy who has done everything that has been asked of him. He rolled his ankle the other day, still practiced and pushed through it. I think it is a great example to some of those young players – not just young receivers, the young players – you need to push through and grind when you get into training camp.”


On if there is a bigger focus on situational football during training camp this year compared to last year:

“We are doing it similar to last year in terms of hitting all of hitting all of those situations. We spend a lot of time talking about them in the meeting rooms and out on the practice field. We talk a lot about shared situational awareness. It does not matter what I know or what (QB) Baker (Mayfield) knows, we all have to all know it together because that affects our decision making throughout these games. We did fourth downs yesterday. We did a bunch of third down work. We will be in the red zone today. Two-minute is coming in later in the week. We are trying to hit all of it not all at once. It is really important because so many of these games are decided in those situations.”


On if it is almost a requirement for WRs to be able to play multiple positions in this offense:

“I would not call it a requirement. It is helpful when you can line up guys all over. We are very fortunate to have intelligent players really throughout our skill positions. It is helpful as coaches because often times, we will draw a play up and be like, ‘How do I get this guy here and this guy here?’ You go to the playbook and look at the formations and you figure out a spot for them that they can go play fast and break the huddle and have confidence in what they are doing, but we do have a bunch of smart guys.”


On if LB Jacob Phillips will take over some of Walker’s reps:

“We will see. We are going to work a bunch of guys in. I think that is what (defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods) and the defensive staff have talked through. Really working a lot of guys into a bunch of different positions. Where you may see someone playing at say the MIKE today, he will play the WILL tomorrow. That is the same with safeties and corners. Moving the guys around, it is all part of the natural progression as you get started in camp.”


On how Mayfield’s work on his body in the offseason has translated to his work on the field compared to a couple of years ago:

“Well, I was not here a couple years ago. I think he is in a good place. Like we talked about, he came into camp in really good shape last year and did the same this year. He is in a good spot. He is constantly trying to get better. We are adding throughout this camp to this install and adding some nuance to what we are doing, and he is owning it. He is doing a nice job.”


On if Mayfield’s footwork is quicker or velocity is faster as a result of his physical shape:

“So much of what AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) does with those quarterbacks is footwork related. You really work the ground up with the quarterbacks. AVP obviously has an outstanding feel for that and how to teach these guys. Specific to Baker, AVP is always harping on their feet and making sure they are right, and Baker is working those reps hard right now. I do think he is getting better.”


On if the Browns can get a better look at the lines of scrimmage with players wearing pads today:

“Yeah, they should. I really think even if you do not have the shoulder pads on, like you saw the last couple days, there is a way to practice, take care of each other and not dump a guy on the ground but still come off the ball with aggression. I was really pleased the last few days in some of the periods with the run game where guys were fighting off blocks and trying to reach a guy and whatever it may be, and we got a lot of good work done safely. When the pads come on, obviously, it may ramp up a bit, but I think the guys understand how we need to work and work safe.”


On T Greg Senat:

“Greg is doing a nice job. We had him there for a little bit last year and brought him back this offseason. He is working hard. He has great length that really shows up in the one-on-one drills and in practice. He is somebody who really is taking to what (offensive line) coach (Bill) Callahan and (assistant offensive line) coach (Scott) Peters are bringing him from a technical standpoint. I have been pleased with how he is coming along.”


On DE Curtis Weaver:

“Curtis is working hard. He has been in there. Had some really good one-on-one reps and then a few that he is I am sure going to work through. With (defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiff (Kiffin) and (assistant defensive line) Coach (Jeremy) Garrett, there is no shortage of time that those guys are spending in the pass rush game. I would anticipate he keeps getting better.”


On to what extent Owusu-Koramoah has been able to keep up with things while working virtually:

“He has been definitely brought up to speed. I will tell you, it is kind of like last year when we finally got the guys, there is a difference between virtual and doing. He is similarly going to have to have a sense of urgency to pick things up. He understands what is at stake and the work that needs to be put into it. He will be just fine.”


On if Owusu-Koramoah will need to go through a personalized acclimation period after missing the first week of training camp:

“I will get back to you on that. I am not entirely sure. I was pretty sure he can go, but I will get back to you.”


On if Van Pelt chants ‘Chubb’ into his headset:

“The fans take care of that (laughter).”


On RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt’s evolution together and if they will be used in more ways this year:

“There is really no shortage to what you can do with those two players, and then you have to figure out what is the sweet spot and do the things that make sense and make sure they both are playing or you are utilizing them both to their highest potential. Those are conversations that we have had throughout the spring and summer. We will see how it evolves, but two competitive guys who push each other.”


On how rare it is to have two RBs of Chubb’s and Hunt’s caliber on the same team and the luxury of the Browns having both:

“It is a luxury to have those two guys – 1A and 1B. We feel strongly that both of them they can all do anything that we asked them to do in this offense. (Run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump Mitchell does an outstanding job with those guys throughout the week, but especially on game day, Stump has a really good feel for who needs a break, when it is Nick’s time to go in there and when it is Kareem’s of how to utilize those guys in the best way. Stump is really good.”


On how crucial it is that Chubb and Hunt are unselfish in their roles on the team:

“Yeah, that is pretty important. With those two guys and their personalities, they are all about winning and they are all about the team. When you have that from those two players, it makes it easy to one guy is in, one guy is out or maybe they are both in, ultimately, it is what is best for the team, and that is what they are about.”


On WR Rashard Higgins saying he watched the playoff loss to the Chiefs multiple times for motivation and how many times he watched it:

“Probably more than Rashard (laughter). They are our first opponent so we have watched a lot of [them]. Once that schedule comes out and you see the first opponent, that is kind of where the majority of your film watching happens in the spring.”


On if it is difficult to watch the tape from the Chiefs game and what he hopes to get out of it when watching, referencing Higgins citing it as motivation:

“We are trying to find a way to get a win when that time comes is really all it is. The motivation is showing up every day and trying to get better.”


On if his heart beats a little faster when he watches the game:

“No, I know the ending.”


On if he is ever surprised by plays DE Myles Garrett makes given one of the plays he made in practice yesterday:

“Yeah, I am glad we do not have to play him. I told AVP, ‘Let’s not run that play to the left again.’”


On what he hopes the team is good at this year aside from winning:

“The beauty of our sport is it is wins and losses, and that is the frustrating part too at times. I would tell you, one thing that we do not do very much is have that big picture view. We are such a narrow focus group. Ultimately, yes, it is about wins and losses, but I can tell you, my mind is certainly on this practice field and being in the red zone the day and some of the situations that we are going to be in. I try not to get too far ahead of myself. I am sorry that I did not have a better answer.”


On WR KhaDarel Hodge:

“A really good football player, Last year – similar to we were talking about (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) yesterday – when his number was called, he was available and made plays for us. Very intelligent, competitive. Plays on special teams. Does not say much. Another understated guy, but he gives you great reps when he is out here at practice, fights in the run game in the games and then makes a play on the ball when it is in the air. Really pleased with where [Hodge] is, and he fights for everything. Nothing is given to him. He is constantly scratching for everything he can get.”


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