Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.12.22)


Opening statement:

“A great challenge this week in front of our fans at our place. An AFC opponent, 2-3 just like us. We know that we are going to have to be about our business if you want to try and beat this team. As we know, they are very, very well coached. Offense, defense and special teams, very sound in everything that they are doing. A bunch of good players. Offensively, not sure if we are going to see (Patriots QB) Mac Jones or (Patriots QB) Bailey Zappe. We have to prepare for both guys. We saw Mac Jones last year so we know what he is capable of, and I think this young quarterback (Zappe), I am very, very impressed with what they have done with him and how he is playing and operating for them right now. A really good group on offense. I think they are very, very physical. A huge offensive line. They are running the ball well with multiple schemes. They have very good passes off of those runs, whether it is play-actions, keepers or screens. They are very balanced, but it is a very physical group. Defensively, it is a huge challenge for our offense. They present issues in the run and the pass – multiple fronts and multiple coverages. Very, very versatile football players that can align really everywhere, but good players throughout that defense. Special teams, again, very well coached and very physical. Kicker (Patriots K Nick Folk) is kicking at a high level as he has been for many years. Good specialists. A dangerous returner. Everything adds up to a great challenge, and I think that is what our guys are focused on right now in our meetings, in our walkthroughs and our practices is making sure that we prepare really, really hard this week because it is going to be a very good challenge.”


On if the Browns plan is to have LB Deion Jones ready to play on Sunday:

“Hard to say. We will see. I wouldn’t rule him out at this point. Just met him for the first time yesterday. Learning some of our terminology. There is some carryover with what he did with DQ (Falcons defensive coordinator Dan Quinn) down in Atlanta so he does have a basis of what we are doing, but need to see him practice and all of those things.”


On how the Patriots offense is different with Zappe at QB compared to Jones:

“Not a whole lot different. They are running the ball really well. They are efficient in the run game. He has a very good understanding in the pass game of where to go with the ball so some of the drop-back it is progression reads where he is getting through it quickly and getting the ball out of his hands in a timely fashion. I think they are running their offense truly, regardless of who the quarterback is. I think both guys are very talented.”


On how much Jones’ NFL experience will allow Jones to better acclimate to the Browns defense:

“I think it is a process, and it is different for each guy. Deion is a very smart football player, very intelligent. Has been in a similar system so we will see how much he can catch up. Like I said, we just really got to meeting with him yesterday so it is crash course when you acquire a player midseason. We will see what he can handle.”


On practice squad DT Tyeler Davison:

“I think all of those guys, with all of them, you are kind of just getting out there, get them practicing and see where they are physically, see where they are mentally and those type of things.”


On the Browns acquiring a NT:

“As you know with us, we are always adding guys to the practice squad and taking a look at players. That is it.”


On if there is any concern with K Cade York’s mindset after missing two FGs last week:

“No, I don’t.”


On Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson:

“Very, very impressive running back. Powerful. Good feet for a power back. Can carry the load. Good in their run types that they are running with him. I really think he can gap-scheme and he can wide zone. Runs behind his pads. A physical football player.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett’s comment that the Browns offense’s struggles is more often the result of the team beating itself than the opponent stopping it:

“First, I would always give credit to the opponent. Now, having said that, you want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to be successful on offense and not have mistakes, whatever they are, to hold yourself back. We have played some really good defenses. We are going to play some really good defenses. We are playing a really good one this week. You really do have to control what you can control on your side and try to be as sound and as disciplined as you are because these are challenging fronts and coverages that you face week in and week out.”


On CB Denzel Ward’s status:

“He is in the [concussion] protocol, but he is working through it.”


On if Ward may return from concussion protocol prior to Sunday’s game:

“I really don’t know.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney’s status:

“He is going to rest today. He plays through a lot of things, as you know. He is resting, and he is recovering.”


On if Clowney had a setback with the ankle injury sustained earlier this season:



On if CB Greedy Williams is expected to play this week:

“I think it is trending that way. Again, just got back to practice next week. I want to give him the chance to get through these next few days, but he looks good.”


On if there is a specific message being sent to the Browns defense by acquiring two new defensive players after the rushing yards allowed in the past two weeks:

“No. We don’t send messages like that. As you can imagine, a lot of those moves are being discussed over weeks. I wouldn’t read into that.”


On if creating a gameplan is different this week when facing Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick due to the NFL experience:

“Whenever you are playing any defense, if you go back and watch 100 games, you are going to be preparing for a lot of scheme. We go back, and you can watch four games or you can go back and watch 10 or all of last season. They are really good at giving you multiple looks and playing multiple coverages. What I think is most impressive – they have always done this – is just having versatile football players that really can line up everywhere so that they can give you a look out of sub that looks like their base and they can get in base and give you a look that maybe you weren’t anticipating. That is a credit to their coaches and a credit to their players being able to mix up their looks.”


On Patriots LB Matthew Judon:

“A great player. We have played against him. Playing at a very high level. He rushes the passer. He is savvy, but he is also just very athletic, just watching him chase people down and how fast he is and long. I think he is a great combination of size, speed and athleticism but also a really good awareness in his rushes.”


On if Brissett’s time in New England provides any advantage this week:

“I really don’t think so. Jacoby was there some years ago. He knows some of the coaches and some of the players, but offenses and defenses evolve over the years. Of course, there is some familiarity, but it is not like they haven’t changed either.”

On how Browns players have responded to the emphasis on fundamentals in practice, particularly the Browns defense and tackling:

“It will be. Today we will do some extra. You drill fundamentals every single day. You talk about them, you drill them and you watch tape. I think so much of this game can be distilled down to fundamentals and techniques. Certainly, for our defense and for a football team, tackling is a huge part of that. We can’t ever lose sight of that.”


On if the Browns will do extra tackling drills in practice today:

“I don’t want to overstate it either, but we will have extra emphasis – put it that way.”


On if technique or effort needs to improve to decrease the number of missed tackles:

“Listen, there are some very good ball carriers so you are going to miss tackles, but that is where being relentless to the football and having 11 guys running to the ball can help that. It always does go back down to tracking. Ultimately, tracking, putting yourself in good position and then the techniques when you arrive at the ball carrier.”


On how the Browns can practice tackling without physically taking players to the ground in practice:

“Again, we drill tackling every day so this is not something new, but we are just going to make a renewed emphasis as a group on some of the different techniques that we need to work on. Just sharpen up. Not too dissimilar to when you are on the other side and there is a certain combination block that you didn’t do quite as well as you think you should. Pretty simply, you just make sure that you drill it the next week.”


On the most significant differences with the Patriots offense with Patriots offensive line coach Matt Patricia calling plays this year:

“That is a good question. I know Coach Patricia. I have a ton of respect for him and what he has done having competed against him over the years. (Patriots special teams coordinator) Joe Judge I know well, an awesome football coach. They have some really good, talented coaches, and I think you can see them putting together some really good plans where the run game marries up with the pass game. You have to defend the run obviously just with how physical they are, but they certainly know how to scheme guys open in the pass game off of that run game.”


On the value of Brissett’s experience and accountability after throwing three late-game interceptions in helping move forward from those moments:

“Without a doubt. You are playing quarterback in this league, I think we all recognize how hard that is. There are going to be moments that you absolutely have to bounce back from. Just the makeup that Jacoby has, the things he has seen and the things he has been through, I have no doubt in my mind that he will be ready to go on Sunday.”


On takeaways from last year’s loss at New England:

“We didn’t do anything right, let me start there. Offense, defense and special teams, we did not play anywhere near a sound football game or a complete football game, and it got away from us. You can’t beat yourself ever in the NFL. You just can’t beat yourself against a Patriots team. They are well coached. They are not going to beat themselves so you have to be about your business.”


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