HC Kevin Stefanski (9.23.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“Preparations are underway for Washington. We look forward to getting back in our building on Sunday. This is a good football team. Two 1-1 football teams squaring off against each other on Sunday. Offensively, you can see what they are trying to do. It is a lot. It is multiple. It is really going to test our defense because they have the scheme and the personnel to go with it. They are doing a nice job of mixing up who is touching the ball. They have a bunch of running backs. No. 17 (Washington WR Terry McLaurin) is a game-changer so a really good offense. Defensively, 11 sacks in two games gets your attention immediately. They are just a really good front, a really good defense and defensive team. Speed across the board. They do a nice job on special teams. No. 15 (Washington WR Steven Sims Jr.) is an excellent returner. This is a well-coached football team. (Washington Head) Coach (Ron) Rivera has been doing it a long time and doing it at a very high level. You can see they are not turning the ball over and they are getting takeaways. It is going to be quite the challenge for us Sunday.”


On LB Mack Wilson, CB Greedy Williams and CB Kevin Johnson returning to practice Monday and if DE Olivier Vernon and DE Adrian Clayborn will practice today:

“Those three guys – Kevin, Greedy and Mack – will be out there again today working on a limited basis. OV and AC will not be out there yet today on the practice field working, but they are still working. We are just going take it day by day, like we do with all of these, and see where they are by the end of today and then see where they are tomorrow and so on and then make a decision as we get later in the week.”

On he has found a sense of normalcy with the new routine this year:

“We talk a lot about the routine and the process and making sure that you are sticking with a very sound plan for each day. It is Wednesday. I know exactly what Wednesday should look like feel like. We are creatures of habit as coaches so we are going to make sure that we stick to that process.”

On Washington’s DL:

“Five first-round picks. Obviously, with (Washington DE Montez) Sweat and (Washington DE) Chase Young on the outside, big, athletic, fast, strong. Guys with force, guys that can play with power inside. Guys that are slippery as rushers inside. It is a very, very formidable front.”

On if he sees similarities between Washington’s DL this year and San Francisco’s DL last year:

“I do not think about comparing them to other teams. I just know you turn the tape on and they are getting home to the quarterback over and over and again. We are going to have our work cut out for us.”

On if QB Baker Mayfield is getting more comfortable and confident in the offense, particularly after a strong performance on Thursday:

“I would hope all of our players do. On both sides of the ball, we are implementing new systems so I really believe that we should see growth from all of our players week to week, and Baker is no different in that regard.”

On K Cody Parkey’s kickoffs not reaching the goal line on all attempts and the Bengals having return opportunities:

“I think we are looking for our kickoff unit to be a weapon for us. That obviously takes all 11 guys. Cody is big part of that. When we are looking to cover, we have to get those guys on the ground, use it to our advantage and play this field position game.”

On what the Browns are expecting from Washington DE Chase Young:

“It is so early in the season and early in his career, but he has played on both sides, he has gotten home, he has applied pressure even when he does not get home and he makes plays in the run game. He makes effort plays. He makes plays just off of size, strength, power and quickness. I think it really runs the gamut.”

On if G Wyatt Teller’s improvement is due to Teller’s offseason work, coaching, the new system or Browns players:

“I think it is always a combination of all of those things. To Wyatt’s credit, he works very hard in the weight room and on the practice field. He works at his craft. He is always getting extra so I think that shows up.”

On if S Ronnie Harrison Jr.’s time on defense is expected to increase this week or if there is ‘indecision’ on how to incorporate Harrison into the defense:

“I would not say there is indecision. With all of our players, we have to figure out what they can do, what they can do well and how they can help us. Ronnie just showing up on campus a few weeks ago, we are definitely learning more about him as he learns more about us and our system. We are looking to put him in places where he can help us, and I think his role will continue to grow.”

On if CBs Denzel Ward, Terrance Mitchell and Greedy Williams can also play inside or if they are simply outside CBs:

“They definitely could end up inside.”

On T Jedrick Wills Jr.’s performance in his first two games and the challenge Washington’s DL presents:

“These guys are going to present a challenge for all five of the offensive line, the tight ends and running backs. Jed in particular – I think we have kind of talked about it – he has been taking coaching and he has been performing. At times, he is a rookie and he is going to make a mistake, and we understand that. Then it is just can we teach from that mistake? Can we learn from that mistake? He is definitely getting coached, and he is definitely taking the coaching to the practice field and to the game.”

On if Wills is fairly even keeled behind the scenes, given that is how Wills seems during media interviews:

“Yeah, I would say so.”

On T Jack Conklin potentially returning to play this week, the benefits if Conklin can return against a formidable Washington defense and if the team has full trust in Conklin’s awareness of readiness to come back from injury:

“Jack is a trustworthy guy. You take what he says definitely to heart. Nice to have him out there. He is a good football player. There is a reason we brought him in here. He brings a level of toughness to what we do. A very heady football player. Excited any time he is out there.”

On Pro Football Hall of Fame RB Gayle Sayers, if Sayers impacted him as a young football fan and if he has shared film of Sayers with his children:

“Yeah, thanks for asking that. I am a history buff, and I am raising two football history buffs. We watch a lot of YouTube highlight clips so they definitely know who No. 40 for the Chicago Bears was. Condolences to the Bears franchise, the Bears family and the Sayers family.”

On how does he and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt help manage Mayfield’s mindset to trust reads when also wanting to get all of the Browns playmakers opportunities:

“The quarterback, it is such a hard position to play in of itself. You kind of just have to stick to your reads and trust what you are seeing and the ball goes where the defense dictates it goes oftentimes. It is our job as coaches, like you mentioned, to design an offense where we make sure our guys are touching the ball. We are very mindful of it as we put a plan together. We are mindful of it on gameday. The quarterback has enough to worry about other than making sure he is getting X player X touches. That is just more a function of our offense.”

On NFL coaches receiving fines for not wearing their masks during Week 2 games:

“This thing (pulls mask up to cover face) is not coming off.”

On what kind of organic growth he has seen from of the Browns offense thus far:

“I think it is baby steps. I just go back to it is September, we need to build on it and it has to be a constant growth type of thing offensively speaking. It is the run and the pass. If we can be balanced, meaning we have a threat of the run and a threat of the pass to be efficient in both, I think we are playing offense to our strength, but it is definitely something that I would expect should grow throughout the year.”

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