HC Kevin Stefanski (9.17.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“Good team win. Good to be back in our building in front of our fans. They did a great job. They really did. It was loud in there. Credit to the faithful. Just proud of the guys. The defense is exhausted, but they kept coming at them. They were rushing that quarterback. Offensively, really challenged the offensive line. Man, they did a great job. I do not think they allowed to sack. Obviously, the run numbers with (RB) Kareem (Hunt) and (RB) Nick (Chubb) and what they did was very impressive, and it always takes 11 guys so credit to the O line, the tight ends and the wide receivers. Special teams, some solid moments and some moments we need to clean up. The bottom line is there is a lot to clean up in a win and in a loss. We need to make sure that we identify and correct and then just get one game better each week.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance tonight: 

“I thought he did a nice job. We moved the ball. He had some explosive plays. He made some plays with his feet. I thought he was good on third down and made some really heady plays on third down. Always going to try to learn from a mistake so that interception at the end, I know he wants it back. The bottom line is we have to learn from it and put that in the memory bank.”

On Chubb’s and Hunt’s performance tonight: 

“Obviously, those are two talented backs. They complement each other, and they push each other. We are going to always look for unique ways to get them the rock. They did a very nice job tonight.”

On his first win as a head coach and if the win is a significant morale boost after Sunday’s loss: 

“I do not know so much about the morale [boost]. We do not ride the wave. We just show up and play, and we try and learn from our mistakes and be one game better each week. The guys understand that. It is not a marathon. It is 16 sprints. We had our second sprint tonight, and then we are going to look at the tape, and guess what? We are moving onto Washington.”

On DT Sheldon Richardson’s performance tonight:  

“He was in the backfield. He also wanted to get in the offensive backfield. He was pining the join the offensive goal line set there one of those times. Sheldon, he really plays hard. You get everything that he has on gameday, which I appreciate. He looked to be very active.”

On if the Browns’ running and passing game balanced was what he hoped and how the team fixed it during the short week:

“We want to be balanced, but balanced does not always mean 50/50. I think balance means the threat of the run and pass are there. We were productive tonight. Had a very short we could practice, but we kind of know what our system is and we know we want it to look like. I was proud of the guys and how they responded.”

On the decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal in the third quarter and DE Myles Garrett’s strip-sack following the Bengals’ goal-line stand: 

“We want to be aggressive. I think sevens over threes are just a huge deal. Knowing that if you do not get it, you are going to pin them back. That is how you script it if you do not get it. Obviously, you hope it comes right back to you like that, but we are just going to trust our guys in moments like that.”

On Chubb’s and Hunt’s six consecutive runs during the final scoring drive and the ability to rely on them during that series: 

“We should also mention (FB) Andy Janovich. I thought Andy played a really nice game. It is a different feel when he is out there. I enjoyed seeing No. 31 doing his thing. Anytime you can, in four-minute, they know we are running it, we know we are running it and it is just mano y mano football, and I thought the guys responded.”

On Mayfield connecting with WR Odell Beckham Jr. for a long touchdown and Bengals QB Joe Burrow’s performance:

“Great throw and catch on the touchdown to Odell – really well-executed. We just want to keep growing as an offense. I hope this is not the ceiling. We have to get better offensively, defensively and special teams. We have to get incrementally better each week, each quarter of the season or whatever it is. We just have to focus on the work.

“Joe Burrow is really a good football player. He is a gamer. He is always coming at you, making plays with his feet and throwing the ball. I am very impressed with that young man.”

On bouncing back from the loss to the Ravens four days ago, understanding his comment that the team doesn’t ‘ride the wave’: 

“I am not going to ride the wave.”

On if he ever doubted the Browns would bounce back:

“No, it is football. These games are hard. You really have to take them as one-week seasons, like I said earlier, and pour everything you have. Everything I got from those guys for a week and give me everything you have for 60 minutes. We can’t look behind or look ahead. We have to focus on what we have in front of us.”

On if Mayfield rolling out of the pocket what part of the gameplan today or based on what the Bengals showed today during the game:

“Each week calls for a different gameplan, based on what the opponent is giving you. Really, that is where we need to be good enough offensively to be able to pivot to what works versus that defense. Tonight, that was the gameplan. It could be different next week. You just have to be able to really have these gameplans that are attacking a defense while doing things you feel like are your strengths.”

On the decision not to play T Jack Conklin and T Chris Hubbard’s performance at RT:

“I am glad you brought up Chris. No sacks, the way we rushed the ball, Chris coming off of an injury, I could not be more proud of Chris Hubbard, impressed by Chris Hubbard. He is a good person. He is a good football player. I just think the world of him. The decision was we just did not feel like it would be right to put Jack out there. Jack fought his butt off in the last game and was not feeling great with that ankle, and he just grinded. I did not want to put him out there. Sometimes, you just have to protect guys from themselves. He was not totally ready to go for 60-plus plays. I thought it was a prudent thing to not start him and just have him available in case of an emergency.”

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