Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (1.6.23)


Opening statement:

“Excited for the opportunity. We have talked about it all week, going to Pittsburgh, a division opponent, it is exciting for us. We are not yet done with our preparation. Had a good day out there today. We will have some meetings tomorrow morning, and then we will get on that bus and head east. Again, we are excited about this thing.”


On if he spoke to DE Jadeveon Clowney prior to Clowney being sent home prior to practice:

“I did. I think you guys know me and you know what I am about. I am going to keep all of those discussions internal. What I would tell you is nothing comes above the team.”


On if Clowney will play on Sunday:

“Again, I will kind of keep those things internal.”


On how a situation like this one with Clowney affects the team:

“I know that locker room. I know what our guys are about. Throughout the course of the season, you have things that come up and you trust in your leaders in the locker room.”


On if he addressed the team as a whole regarding the Clowney situation:

“discuss a lot of things with the team individually, collectively and all of those things. I understand why you are asking, but I just think it is important that things that are in this building stay in this building. That is what we do.”


On if the Browns have decided whether Clowney will play or not and are simply not going to say anything publicly now:

“I am just not saying it right now.”


On if it is frustrating that Clowney ‘was frustrated for a long time and it came to a head now’:

“I wouldn’t characterize it as that. I just think every day you have to make decisions that are best for the team.”


On if it is fair to say that he is disappointed with what has occurred with Clowney:

“Again, I just think my focus is so Pittsburgh Steeler-centric and that is where my mind is right now so that is kind of where I am going to stay.”


On if the Clowney situation ‘caught him by surprise’ or if there were previous ‘rumblings’:

“Again, I am not going to get into my discussions with any of our players throughout the course of the season. As you guys know, we are all human. We all have things that come up throughout the season that we talk about, but I am not going to get into the specifics on this one.”


On if there are concerns about leadership and connection between coaches and players after experiencing the Clowney situation this year and issues between former Browns and LA Rams QB Baker Mayfield and former Browns and free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“I understand the question. Every team, all 32, we all deal with things throughout the season. Sometimes they stay in house and you deal with them, and sometimes they don’t. That is very similar to family. That is what we do. We operate as a family. Sometimes you make tough decisions, but that is what we are trying to do.”


On Clowney’s comment about only playing third downs against the Ravens:

“I am not going to get into the specifics. There are a lot of things there that I don’t think it is fair to go beat by beat on that.”


On if he disagrees with that assessment by Clowney:

“I am not going to get into that.”


On if Clowney expressed frustrations to him:

“I have had a lot of conversations with a lot of guys. JD is somebody who I respect. He is a veteran. We have had conversations, yes, but I just don’t think it is fair in this setting [to talk about those conversations]. I understand the question – I do – but I just think it is fair to our team that we keep those conversations internal.”


On four Browns defensive players being disciplined during the 2022 season:

“Again, I would tell you everything is case by case. Every team I have been a part of at all levels, you always have things that come up, and you deal with them. Again, I go back to it really is no different than family. Sometimes you get into arguments with your brothers – that is life – but you move on and you get past it.”


On if the Browns believe it was in the best interest of the team to move DE Myles Garrett, ‘the best player’ into desirable matchups, referencing Clowney’s criticism of the approach:

“I do.”


On it seeming normal in football to move the team’s ‘best player’ in Garrett into desirable matchups despite Clowney’s criticism:

“Again, not replying specific to that, but yes, I do think that it is best to move Myles around and try to play to his strengths.”


On if Clowney’s sentiments about the situation surprise him given Garrett is the most double-teamed DE in the NFL to date:

“Again, I don’t want to get into the back and forth of what was said and my response to it. I just don’t think that is productive.”


On if the Browns will take Clowney to Pittsburgh this weekend:

“Again, all of those things I will keep internal.”


On if the Browns have made a decision on whether or not Clowney will play this week:



On if he is not stating the team’s decision on if Clowney will play because he wants to address the team about it first:

“There are a lot of things. Just got off the practice field. Want to continue to communicate the right way.”


On if situations like this one further display how the NFL is about teams but is also a business, referencing his comments comparing team to family:

“I think you guys have seen over the course of different teams and different seasons, and there are things that come up. Listen, even when you are winning, there are things that are going on and you work through as that family. We will continue to do that. My focus is on Sunday in Pittsburgh. That is my 100 percent sole focus. That is the locker room, as well. I understand the story, I understand the questions and I get all of that, but we have a big one on Sunday.”


On why some team items become public despite his focus on keeping internal matters in house:

“Again, you try to educate the players throughout the season on things that you want to share, things that you don’t want to share and all of those type of things. Ultimately, guys will make their decisions, but is our job to educate them and just remind them. Again, this is a team game, and nothing is going to come in front of that.”


On if there is a ‘drastic difference’ in how the Browns defense is using Clowney, in references to Clowney’s nine sacks and two sacks in 2021 and 2022, respectively:



On the focus on establishing a strong culture with the team and if how the team is handling the situation with Clowney ‘sends that message to the locker room’ about culture:

“As you can imagine, I don’t send messages to the locker room. I just tell people to their face what I think and just be transparent with our guys and be fair with our guys. That is what I am doing.”


On building culture:

“We have talked about culture before, and you guys have heard me say this, culture is about people, bottom line. When you have the right people, you have the right culture. You are constantly trying to make sure that within your locker room guys are living up to what you believe in, but we do that every day.”


On the status of CB Denzel Ward, who was listed as questionable with a shoulder injury:

“Just going to let the next 48 hours determine that. Not ruling him out. See how he feels over the next couple of days.”


On T James Hudson III expected to start at RT in place of T Jack Conklin, who was ruled out with an ankle injury, and Hudson matching up against Steelers LB T.J. Watt for the second time:

“Last year is last year. He has done a very nice job this season. That is a tough task. We understand how good their defensive front is – obviously, No. 90 – but they have a bunch of really, really good players. That is a very good defense. It is a great challenge for us as an offense to go up against that group. It is a great challenge for us as a team. This is a really good football team. They are well coached. That is why we are excited for the opportunity.”


On if he heard the news that Bills S Damar Hamlin was able to FaceTime and speak with the Bills today:

“I did not know that. That is the power of prayer.”


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