Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (1.5.22)

Opening statement:

“Getting ready for our final game here in front of our fans versus the Bengals. Starting our normal Wednesday preparations. We had our team meeting. We will have some more meetings and then bring the guys in this afternoon. Looking forward to getting out there on Sunday and trying to go get this win in front of our fans, which is a great opportunity for us. Just do want to make mention of congratulations to (Browns Legend and radio analyst) Doug Dieken. Absolutely incredible career for the years he spent with this organization. Job well done. A good, good man. I just want to make mention of Doug.”


On if he have Dieken call plays on Sunday:

“Yeah, sure – let’s send him out (laughter).”


On DE Myles Garrett’s development, leadership and on-field performance, given Garrett today was named the Cleveland Pro Football Writers of America’s Joe Thomas Award winner as the team MVP:

“It is easy to talk about Myles. Obviously, the on the field stuff what everyone sees is so impressive. Incredible talent. Special, rare talent. He has come up big for us in big moments. Then off of the field, getting to know Myles just the last couple years is just a tremendous person. He is very inquisitive, very smart. To see the type of person he is becoming and continues to grow, like all of us, I think it is an impressive sight to see.”


On if any Browns players who missed last week’s game due to injury are expected to play on Sunday against the Bengals:

“We will work though all of that. The one guy I can rule out will be (LB) Sione Takitaki with a shoulder injury. For the rest of the guys, we will work through it this week.”


On if a date has been set for QB Baker Mayfield’s surgery on the left, non-throwing shoulder:

“They are still working through that, but I do not know that it is finalized.”


On if Mayfield will be placed on injured reserve:

“We will work though that. I do not have a firm answer for you there. He is here today, but I am not positive on that.”


On CB Denzel Ward’s performance this season:

“Denzel has come up in some big moments for us. Obviously, the last time we played this team, a huge play to start the game. He has made big plays on third down, in the red zone and all of those situational football moments where our best guy has to come up big, and he has done a nice job in those moments.”


On the process for determining if Browns players who are dealing with injuries will play on Sunday:

“We will talk through all of those type of things, and we expect to win. They are keeping score. We are in front of our home fans. We want to go out there and win. If guys are available, they are going to play. If they are unavailable due to injury, obviously, they will not play. Our full expectations are to go out there and play well, and the players know that. We have to use this week to make sure that we are prepared to get ready to go.”


On if the Browns can continue to make improvements to help prevent some soft tissue injuries next season, understanding some injuries are unavoidable:

“We are absolutely going to look at that, and we do want to prevent the ones that you can prevent. Like you mentioned, sometimes as we know in this game, those muscle injuries do occur, but if there are any that we can prevent due to whatever in our operation or things that we do, we are going to absolutely look at that.”


On if RBs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are making strong pitches to play on Sunday:

“With all of those guys, we will see how this week goes. Today is going to be more of a walkthrough. Tomorrow will be practice, Kind of getting through tomorrow, I will have a better sense on all of those guys.”


On QB Case Keenum and Keenum’s ability to ‘rally the troops’ on Sunday against the Bengals:

“He is a pro. Just in my conversations already with him this week, he is ready for the opportunity. He very badly obviously wants to get a win like the rest of our guys do. That is the role Case has played for this team throughout this season as a backup. Obviously, he played there in that Denver game, but constantly providing leadership from his role.”


On how Keenum will respond with the Browns likely missing a few players on offense this week due to injury:

“Each one of these games, you are always without someone due to whatever the reason. Very rarely do you have your full complement of players. That is maybe Week 1 that you have that type of roster. I think Case, any of our quarterbacks, really across the board and as coaches, you have to make sure you give the players a plan with the guys you have available and then we just have to execute.”


On his message to Browns fans about the 2021 season, given the excitement entering the year:

“I think the time for that type of message is next week. I respect the question and understand where you are coming from, but for us as a team, we are focused on this week, and the time for reflection would be more for next week.”


On his relationship with Mayfield heading into the offseason, given the challenges the Browns offense faced this season:

“In terms of relationship with any of the players, I think it is something we always as coaches work on and try to challenge our guys and support our guys so I feel no different with Baker. I know it is easy to look at the frustration that we have had offensively and you want to pin it all on one player, and that is just totally unfair. That would be my answer to that.”  


On Hunt missing multiple games due to injury this season and how that has impacted the Browns offense, as well as Hunt’s efforts to return from injury and be available to the team:

“All of these guys, injuries are frustrating, and they work very, very hard to get back, and it is all of those things that we do not even see. I know those guys are working in the training room, working in the weight room and pushing their bodies to get back. It can be frustrating. I know Kareem obviously has missed more than he would have liked to, but that is part of his mental resiliency, his ability to stay with it and continue to support his teammates in any way he can.”


On if Mayfield sustained any new injuries against the Steelers:



On if the Browns considered starting QB Nick Mullens over Keenum in order to get a better evaluation of Mullens:

“No. Obviously, we are happy that we have Nick. It is good to see him now that he is back off of the COVID list, but Case will be the starter.”


On explaining the number of pass and run calls during the Steelers game, given external criticism that Chubb and the running game were not used more:

“I am kind of past Monday night at this point. Listen, we are always going to try to do what we feel like is best for the team. Anytime you come up short, I fully understand the criticism, but we are going to really focus on this week.”


On WR Jarvis Landry not speaking to the media recently and if Landry ‘has a morale problem’ at the current time:

“He does not have a morale problem.”


On why Landry has not spoken with the media recently:

“I will ask him and I will report back to you, but he has been great.”


On defensive coordinator Joe Woods and the Browns defense putting together several strong performances since Week 10:

“Joe and the defensive staff deserve credit for some of the growth of the defense throughout the season. They have adjusted and we have run some things in some different games that we have not run so I think you have seen some adjustments from them. Our defense has played really well in division games, which I think is a big deal, and constantly searching for ways to improve. I think they have done a great job.” 


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