HC Kevin Stefanski (8.7.21)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement:

“Good to see everybody. It is going to be a hot one out here. Get some good work in. We are going to bring the tempo down a little bit towards the end of practice just as part of our plan. We will be in the stadium tomorrow.”


On if a lot is being asked of the slot CBs like CB Troy Hill mentioned and how Hill has picked up the scheme:

“Troy has done a nice job. The scheme he played in, there are some similarities and there are some differences. You certainly are part of the run fit, you are in the pressures, you are playing coverage and you are playing man. He has a well-rounded game in there. You have to be really smart in there. Being part of that run fit, you have to think about different formations and how you fit in. He has done a nice job.”


On if Hill takes the mental side of the job very seriously:

“He does.  You have to spend time. There are so many looks you can get in that space, and the you have to be in coverage. You have to know how to disguise – that is a big part of it. Film study with those nickels is a big deal.”


On how nice it is to hear that Hill is excited to be a part of CB Greg Newsome II’s NFL journey:

“That is Troy Hill. I That is part of the reason he is here is those leadership abilities. He has been through a lot in his life. I think he is looking forward to mentoring guys in where he is.”


On the extra work that QB Baker Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham Jr. are getting on the side:

“When you are talking about the pass game in general, it is about precision and it is about being accurate when you are throwing the ball, getting the right depth, running the right route and quarterback getting the right feel for how a receiver runs a route because all the guys are different. There is great value in the work those guys are getting. It is scripted. The coaches know exactly what throws they want to get an in what order. Those two, that battery has gotten a ton of great reps over there.”


On when Beckham will join 11-on-11 drills:

“Appropriately is the plan. We are just taking in all the advice of the medical team and Odell himself, and just making sure we do this the right way.”


On how Ts Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. have handled facing DEs Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney in practice:

“Those guys are getting an honest day’s work. That is a great testament to how you can practice out here, push each other, compete and try and make each other better. Jed and Jack get really good work versus different styles. Myles and Jadeveon are different in how they rush, but certainly, the effort is there and they are going full speed all of the time. It is only going to make both sides better.”


On DT Andrew Billings:

“He is a big man. He is moving people in the run game. Can defeat double teams. He has a great motor. He goes sideline to sideline and is a big man running. He is not the loudest guy, but he brings an understated toughness to that group.”


On if there have been any hesitancies for the Browns to welcome back teammates who opted out last season:

“No, none at all. They were upfront with us last year. We were upfront with them and stayed in communication with them. No, nothing lasting from that at all.”


On if Billings will only be used on running downs:

“I do not think so. All of the rotations need to be played out and we will see how that goes, but certainly, when you are talking about his strength in there at the nose position – whether he is playing shade or a 2I – he brings power to the game. That can show up certainly in the pass game to push the pocket.”


On DT Tommy Togiai:

“I really like what Tommy has been doing. Going all of the way back when he first showed up here on campus, just in the meeting room, in the weight room and on the field, does everything that is asked of him and does it the right way. I see him getting better with some of the technique work that he is getting with Coach Kiff (defensive line coach Chris Kiffin) and (assistant defensive line) Coach (Jeremy) Garrett out there. Tommy is really putting in the work, and I am seeing it show up.”


On if Togiai’s strength and bench press ability is translating to the field:

“Definitely. You see it when the pads are on and those guys come off of the ball and can extend their arms versus the offensive line. You can definitely see that power.”


On if the team has to guard against players being overly aggressive in the weight room where they could get injured:

“Our strength coaches are smart about those types of things. They work with everybody at the level they are capable of, and we work hard in there. Talk about you want to be bigger, faster and stronger, a lot of that shows up in the weight room. We want to work hard in there, but we are making sure that we are being smart.”


On if bench press or power lifting is a better indication of strength:

“I am the wrong person to answer that (laughter). I will get you with one of the strength coaches.”


On how to ensure the team can consistently compete and last year’s playoff berth not be a one-off circumstance:

“We have talked about it with the team before – obviously, we have talked about it in this setting – every year stands on its own merit. You have to show up every day to compete, and that is where our focus is.”


On offensive line Coach Bill Callahan entering his second year working with the Browns:

“Work is a good word for Coach Callahan and those guys. They are constantly working. Scott Peters, our assistant offensive line coach, you have to include him in that group, too. Those guys really every period if you watch, we may be in special teams and they are over there working on something. That is just a great message to the veterans and to the young guys that you have to work on your craft. I think we have two experts in that area to work with those guys, and we have (offensive quality control coach) John Decoster over there, as well. I see a lot of technique going on. I have seen Coach Callahan on his hands and knees getting guys into three-point stances how he wants it. They are certainly learning from some coaches who I think have a ton to give them.”


On if it is a good precedent for players to think Callahan is a tough coach:

“Coach Callahan has a way about him. That is how he has been coaching for years. I have heard the stories going way back to his college days. He coaches them hard, and he is fair. I think the guys respect that.”


On T Chris Hubbard coming back from his season-ending injury:
“Hubb is doing a nice job. I think physically, he is doing really well, and then he has kind of picked up where he left off. In drills and on the field, he is looking like Hubb to me, which is a testament to the hard work he has put in to get to this point.”


On if the specialists will kick towards the Dawg Pound at tomorrow’s practice:

“If you want us to, we will (laughter). I will talk to (special teams coordinator) Coach (Mike) Priefer. We are going to have to wait and see. It will be worth the price of admission.”


On if DE Takk McKinley will return to practice today:

“We will not have Takk back today.”


On if there was an expectation for when McKinley will return:

“I really do not.”


On the next steps for QB Baker Mayfield: 

“It is Year 2 in the system for Baker so it is fine tuning on all the things that we have been building upon going back to last year. That is true of really all of our returning guys is building off of what you did last year and some of the hard work that you put in. Then as you get into Year 2, 3 or 4, the nuance of all of these things starts to become even clearer.”


On if Mayfield is allowing him in the QB RV:

“Nope, I did not get an invite to that either.”


On what he admires the most about Hubbard as a person:

“Great teammate. I think you can judge a lot about a player out here on the field in how they treat their teammates. He is always supportive and constantly around the guys offering any help. I think he is just outstanding in that regard.”


On what does it take to have the mindset and ability to come back year after year like Callahan:

“Coach likes to grind. He likes to coach, and he likes putting the gameplans together. He is somebody who is in the fray. He does a great job for us. His office is right next to mine. He is a huge resource to me with him being a former head coach, and he has seen so much. I just think the guy is outstanding.”


On what number training camp it is for him:

“I was not a math major so someone is going to have to figure that out (laughter).”


On if he knows what day of training camp it is:

“I do not. I get reminded sometimes the day of the week (laughter).”


On if he worked with Callahan before last year:

“No, I had not worked with coach Callahan before, but (former NFL coach) Brad Childress had worked with Coach Callahan back at the University of Illinois so there was a connection there.”


On Callahan having the most booming voice on the coaching staff:

“He is pretty good. (Tight ends coach) Drew Petzing, when he is in his meetings, he is an auctioneer – we can hear him through the walls. Prief can get up there in the octaves.”


On if McKinley will be back during training camp:

“I just do not have a timeframe yet, but I can’t really get too far into it.”


On if he can disclose if McKinley will be back for the start of the regular season:

“I am hopeful, but I do not have a timeframe.”


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