Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.10.22)


Opening statement:

“Injury front, like I mentioned yesterday, (CB) Denzel (Ward) is in the concussion protocol.


“The game, also like we mentioned, it was very frustrating. We want to go in there and get a win and we didn’t. Obviously, credit to them. They beat us, but we have to look at the areas that we beat ourselves, as well. I just think there were just too many examples – offense, defense and special teams, players and coaches – where we just beat ourselves. That is really the focus of today is looking at ways that we can get better. Things that need to be fixed, we have to fix them, and that is what we are going to focus on. We have another AFC opponent coming in next week Sunday to our place, a 2-3 football team just like us. Like I mentioned, we have to get to fixing these things and be ready to get to work on Wednesday.”


On the Browns trading for LB Deion Jones, who has been on injured reserve with the Falcons:

“We will see him – he gets in tomorrow. Obviously, we will put our eyes on him and that type of thing, but just felt like we could add a veteran linebacker to the group and thought it was the right thing to do.”


On how to fix the Brown struggles in run defense:

“Obviously, gave up 238 yards rushing so it is never one thing. It can’t be one player, it can’t be one scheme and it can’t be one position; it is everybody. We have to own it, and we have to fix it. We have to make sure that we look at everything. There is nothing that you can’t look at. We have to be very intentional about that because until you stop it, teams are going to always continue to do that.”


On the day-to-day plan with QB Deshaun Watson returning to the facility:

“Just saw Deshaun this morning for the first time. We will work through what we are allowed to do with him for the foreseeable future, which I believe is he is in the meeting rooms with our guys, and he is in there now with the guys, which is great for him and us to have him back with his teammates. I know he can’t be out on the field and working out just yet with the guys so we will just take that one day by day.”


On impressions of Watson’s work while away from the facility on and off the field:

“He is in a good spot. He worked real hard. Was in town working locally. making sure he was staying on top of it physically. Now, he just has to catch up a little bit in the meeting room.”


On identifying the most significant aspects that need to be improved in run defense:

“Again, of course, there are things that you identify, but it is really you have to look at the whole thing. You have to look at what we are asking guys to do and who is doing it. Obviously, there is a discipline to doing a job – I get all of that – but we have to look at all of it.”


On S John Johnson III receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after what Johnson potentially believed may have been an illegal blindside block:

“They didn’t’ call it so we can’t lose our composure in that situation.”


On if there are plans to make changes to help fourth quarter defense:

“Yes, it is my responsibility to get this fixed. We will spend some time talking about it and put together a plan. I do know this, I have seen these players, this scheme and these coaches, I have seen this group play winning football, winning defensive football – taking the football away, stopping the run and playing great on money downs. We have to go do it. It is very, very easy for me to say it and for us to say it, but we have to go do it.”


On the Browns’ difficulties in the fourth quarter in recent games and losses:

“All of those games are different, but just speaking to yesterday, we just have to go finish. We have a really good drive to get down there and don’t come away with any points. We had an opportunity at the end there, as well. Again, I can talk all about it, but we just have to go do it.”


On if there is a concern that the Browns’ LBs are too light with speed and that opponents may look to exploit it, along with the team employing three S formations:

“I understand the question. I do believe in run defense a lot of it is discipline, running to the ball and tacking well. It is our jobs to put the guys in position to make plays. That is obvious. Schematically, we have to make sure they are in position and then we have to tackle, which we just didn’t do a good enough job yesterday.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett’s three interceptions coming near end of games at key moments, and if it is difficult to put Brissett in those situations late in games based on how the team has performed leading up to it:

“I have a lot of faith in Jacoby. I think he is playing well, and that was a bad play. He knows that. He is beating himself up about that. He is making some big plays in these games, both with his arm and with his feet, to give ourselves a chance to go score points or whatever it is. Jacoby e will be in those moments again. It might be this week or it might be the following week, and I expect him to come through.”


On Watson’s demeanor retuning to the facility today and if Watson’s presence can provide a boost to the team:

“I just spent a little bit of time with him. Just kind of running to and from meetings. As you know, a busy day. He seems in a good spot. He is a very positive person so I think his leadership in any situation is welcome.”


On if the timing of Watson’s return is positive and could provide a lift after back-to-back losses:

“I think we have to really focus on that game yesterday and what we can do better in terms of now beating ourselves. Obviously, welcome Deshaun back, excited that he is back and excited that he can be around his teammates again, but really the focus is on what we can do to make sure that we go out and get a win this week.”


On how the Browns could have handled the team’s final offensive series differently, including if there were other options to get a closer FG attempt rather than the deep ball to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones:

“I would start with myself. Like you mentioned, we don’t want to kick a 54-yarder or whatever it was. We want to get closer in that scenario. Try to give him some opportunities and some completions there. On that play, we are looking to stop the clock on that play. On the play, you will see, there are guys who breaking out toward the sideline and there are guys who are going deep. If you have a one on one and you feel good about it, you can take it. That is what happened. Just left the ball a little bit too far outside.”


On if Brissett is pressing too hard or is too locked in on one receiver near the end of games when the interceptions have occurred:

“No, all of those games and all of those situations are different. Like I mentioned before, we are going to be in another two-minute. We are going to be in many two-minutes. That is how the game is. I do expect him to come through – I expect us to come through.”


On how Brissett has responded after mistakes early in the season:

“To play quarterback in the National Football League, you are going to have some tough moments. That is a hard gig. He made some really, really great plays for us yesterday. He has made great plays. There are going to plays that you want back. Like you mentioned, he is hard on himself, but he needs to and we need to turn the page and start pouring everything you have into this next week. That is what I expect him to do.”


On if he knows why T Jedrick Wills Jr. was forced to leave the field for one play and if it was concussion-related:

“I don’t. I don’t know if it was [concussion related], but he is fine and he was right back out there the next play.”


On recent breakdowns on defense despite having a larger number of starters returning from last year:

“We are five games in, and obviously, there are things that we absolutely have to address, have to look at and fix quickly. We don’t have a bye week and you don’t have two weeks to look at this. We have to fix it quickly. To your point, we have a lot of guys who have played really good football for us. I know they want to get it fixed. I know we as coaches do, as well. We will look at it, and we will just make sure that we do everything we can to get it fixed and fixed quickly.”


On losing the turnover margin in recent games despite the team consistently emphasizing protecting the ball and takeaways:

“You are right in that it is a major, major point of emphasis for us. We will continue to talk about it and continue to drill it because that is the No. 1 stat in this sport is turnover margin. We have to do a better job of taking it away. We have to tip balls. We have to strip at it. We have to punch at it. We have to do anything we can to get that ball when we are on defense and when we are on special teams. Then we have to do a better job of taking care of it. We and the rest of the league, when you don’t turn it over, you have a real good chance of winning those games.”


On if the Browns could continue move DE Myles Garrett along the DL and within the interior in certain situations as has been done in the past to help avoid double teams and chipping, understanding this was Garrett’s first game back from injury:

“I think there is a lot that goes into it, and like you mentioned, just coming back for the first time off the injury. It is definitely something that we have done with him, and we will see where we are this week. It is really a game-by-game plan for where you want to put him.”


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