HC Kevin Stefanski (8.31.21)

On how remarkable it is for DT Malik McDowell to make an NFL roster, given how long it has been since he played:

“I think it is a great example to all of us that you had some things go on in your life that he ultimately is responsible for and he owned up to it, and he has made sure to make the most of this opportunity. He is going to have to continue to do that, and he understands that.”


On how McDowell has been off of the field:



On what McDowell brings to the Browns defense:

“He is very powerful – you saw that on tape – but also has versatility to play either tackle position and to slide out and play D end for us so has versatility in that way.”


On if McDowell has continued to progress through training camp and then that showed up in the preseason games:

“Exactly right. I think that is the beauty of our sport is the tape is your résumé. When you out there on the practice field and it is showing up and it also shows up in the game film, that is who the player is.”


On how the connection evolved between the Browns and McDowell:

“I do not know the entire story.”


On if McDowell’s versatility influenced the decision to keep only three DEs on the initial Browns 53-man roster:

“I think, yes, in all of those roster discussions, you are talking about versatility across all positions really. When you can bounce around the depth chart, so to speak, it really helps you from putting the 53 together.”


On if he met with McDowell before signing with the Browns:

“Yeah. As you can imagine, we talked to everybody. Talked to Malik, obviously. Brought him in for a visit and sat down with him. He is well aware of what is at stake. From the moment he has been with us, he has done everything that has been asked of him.”


On if Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager is looking to add a fourth DE or if that is not a need because of McDowell’s ability to play both DT and DE:

“I would tell you, as you guys know, this initial 53 is fluid and really the roster is fluid throughout the entire season. Just specifically to Malik, he does provide the ability to go out there. How that relates to the 53, I would not speculate.”


On if there are Browns players who are candidates for IR soon and could return later in the season now that roster cuts have been made, including S Grant Delpit:

“I think we will see the next couple days how that works out. I would tell you, all of those guys are progressing really well.”


On if RB Demetric Felton is the team’s kick returner:

“I would say he is our kick returner, and like any player, he has to earn the role and then keep the role. He has to keep working.”


On if Felton will also return punts:

“I would say we have Demetric that can do it, and we have (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) that can do it.”


On WR Rashard Higgins and DT Malik Jackson not being at practice today:

“Malik, Rashard and there is one other, they are all excused for personal.”


On if the Browns coaches have to work extra with LB Tony Fields II to get him up to speed:

“Yeah, you think of JOK (LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah) early when he was out of the building and Tony has been in the building but standing there at walkthrough so it is a lot of extra time. I would tell you really with all of the rookies and young players for that matter, these coaches spend a lot of extra time with them both before meetings and post-practice here out on the field. Any position coach has to work extra with his guys to get them ready, and typically, it is those young rookies.”


On how well T Chris Hubbard has worked in his recovery following last year’s season-ending injury:

“Hub has worked really, really hard going through that surgery and then the rehab is not easy; it is strenuous. He has had the right attitude throughout. Really pleased with him and how he was able to work through camp.”


On how tough it was to cut WRs KhaDarel Hodge and JoJo Natson, understanding it is challenging to cut any player:

“I will tell you, all of those decisions are really hard. It is not easy to get this roster to 53. I told the guys that the other night after the game that I wish I could keep everybody, but it is just not the reality of this NFL.”


On if the Browns will wait until next week’s practices to start preparing for the Chiefs:

“We will wait until next week. Obviously, it is a huge challenge, so I do not want it to be misconstrued that we are not working on them yet. We will get to them next week. The coaches have certainly started working on them.”


On if he feels like there is more depth on the initial 53-man roster this year compared to last:

“I do not remember last year, though – you would have to fill me in (laughter). I would tell you, again, getting this roster to 53 is very, very difficult. I think that speaks to the depth of the roster.”


On his message to K Chase McLaughlin:

“I do not know that I have a message for any of our players really. It is show up and work for all of our guys.”


On his message to McLaughlin about his status with the team:

“Again, I do not think I have any message for anybody on our 53. They just have to continue to get better.”


On if teams stocking their practice squads with their own player cuts was unique to last year or if he sees that continuing this year:

“I think definitely unique to last year or I should say last year was unique in that there was no preseason so there were very few claims even last year, and you did not have preseason tape on that class. I would anticipate that it may be different this year. There are definitely a lot of guys who we would love to have back on our practice squad.”


On if Owusu-Koramoah is restricted at all in practice:

“He is good to go.”


On if the Browns players who were excused from practice for personal reasons are expected back later this week:



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