Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.19.21)


On if QB Baker Mayfield will practice today:

“He is going to be practicing on a limited basis.”


On Mayfield saying he needs to ‘let it loose’ and see how he feels in order to determine if Mayfield can play:

“Yeah, I think with Baker and all of these guys, it is a short week so you have to get out here, see how they look today, see how they look tomorrow and make a determination.”


On if he expects Mayfield to play on Thursday, given Mayfield says he expects to play:

“I think you guys know Baker – he is a fighter. He is as tough as they come. I expect him to fight like crazy to get to Thursday. I think that is a great message to our entire team, and we have talked about that as a team. On these Thursday night games you have to fight, scratch and claw because it is hard, but it is hard on both teams.”


On if RB Nick Chubb will play on Thursday:

“I am going to rule Nick out.”


On Mayfield saying it is his own decision to play on Thursday:

“With Baker and with all of our players, they have significant input in these decisions because it is their body. I just rely on what they say and I rely on the medical staff when making those determinations.”


On if the medical staff has advised Mayfield to sit:

“I do not think we are far enough into the week to make that call.”


On if WR Jarvis Landry will be available on Thursday:

“He is going to move around today, and again, we will see.”


On how Landry looked at practice on Friday:

“Good. Limited work so I think we will get a better understanding today.”


On if the mindset of having Landry practice on Friday last week was to prepare Landry to play on Thursday:

“Not necessarily for Thursday. It was just part of the rehab. That was when he could go and see if he could make it last week. See if he can make it this week.”


On T Jack Conklin’s and T Jedrick Wills’ status:

“Jack and Jed, they did some work already today. I am going to hold them out of the practice today, but they did some good work already today.”


On if he is ruling out Conklin and Wills for Thursday:

“No, I am not ruling them out.”


On when he will make a decision on who plays QB on Thursday:

“I think over the next 48 hours probably.”


On if he will make the decision before Thursday:

“Is that 48 hours (laughter)? In the next couple days.”


On the confidence in QB Case Keenum to start on a short week, if needed:

“I honestly have a ton of confidence in all of our backups. I really do. I think these guys stay ready so they do not have to get ready. I think they do a great job in the meeting rooms and on the practice field. Specifically to Case, he is a pro. He will be ready if we need him, and that is no different than a lot of these guys.”


On if WR Odell Beckham, Jr. will practice today:

“I am not sure exactly how much he is going to get done.”


On if Beckham has a chance to play on Thursday:



On what stands out about the Broncos:

“Really well-coached No. 1. They have a bunch of playmakers on offense. They have a bunch of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball and really all three levels. (Broncos Head) Coach (Vic) Fangio does an outstanding job and always has. It is a major challenge when facing his scheme, which is really working its way around the NFL right now. We saw it a little bit versus Chicago. We saw versions of it versus Chicago and versions of it versus the Chargers. Just a really good football team, a good AFC football team.”


On how practice reps this week will factor into who will play QB on Thursday:

“The practice itself, just based on the fact that it is Tuesday and it is not going to be a normal practice, if you will, you are not going to get every single rep so that will not factor in a big part.”


On if there is scenario where Keenum could start and Mayfield would still be able to play, if needed:

“I could not get too far into specifics. I just think we are really focused on today.”


On if Conklin’s and Wills’ availability will factor into who will start at QB:

“I do not want to say specifically yes. I think all of this at every position, we take everything into account when making these decisions.”


On if there is a benefit to the timing of this year’s Thursday night game and mini-bye week, given the team’s bye week is so late in the season:

“Where this is placed is helpful to having a Week 13 bye. I think this Thursday week being somewhat in between is helpful.”


On RB D’Ernest Johnson’s strengths as a runner:

“You guys saw D’Ernest in there last season at times, and he was very dependable and he was very accountable. Broke some long runs for us. Can really catch the ball. Similar to the earlier question, I have a ton of faith in D’Ernest, just like all of these guys who may be called upon.”


On if Johnson is a player who can accelerate when in open space:

“Yeah, you have seen him return kicks before for us, and he has great vision. Like you mentioned, when he puts his foot in the ground, he can really accelerate.”


On if RB Demetric Felton or RB John Kelly will be the primary backup RB:

“I think all of those guys… I know we will probably put out a depth chart, but it is [all of them].”


On Felton’s position flexibility and how that impacts the backup RB role:

“John is a running back. Demetric might be back there. He might be a wide receiver. I think it is very, very fluid.”


On if the Browns are confident Chubb will return for the Steelers game, given the team did not place Chubb on injured reserve:

“We will deal with next week next week.”


On his familiarity with Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater and Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur:

“Pat, a great friend. Extremely instrumental in my development as a coach. Teddy, one of my all-time favorites. Just a great, great person and a great football player. Excited to see both of those guys.”


On the process in preparing for the short week and if the Browns quality control coaches started Broncos preparation last week:

“Yeah, those guys have not slept in a few weeks (laughter).”


On Fangio saying he ‘took a peak’ at the Browns on Saturday and if he did the same with the Broncos:

“I did not. I try not to cross streams, if you will. I have spent a lot of time obviously on these guys.”


On if the Broncos offense is the same as when he spent time with Shurmur in Minnesota:

“No, I think he has definitely evolved, like all of the good ones do. Pat is certainly changing up what he does.”


On DT Malik Jackson sharing DE Myles Garrett coordinated a meeting for the Browns defense and Garrett as a leader:

“I have seen Myles grow just in my year-and-a-half, two years with him. I have certainly seen his leadership role grow. He takes that part of his job very seriously. I think it is natural for him. Every once in a while, you have to hear from the big guy.”


On if he has seen Browns players respond well to Garrett’s leadership:



On if Bridgewater’s comeback from injury is ‘one of the most amazing stories’ he has seen:

“It really was. I was fortunate to be around him when we drafted him. I got to coach him when I moved to quarterbacks. Just to see what he went through and the positive attitude that he kept throughout the whole trials of all of that was inspiring to really the team and all of us. He is an all-timer.”


On how he has seen Browns players respond to the mental challenges in the past two days while preparing during the short week:

“I think you are really forced to. You have to. It just comes at you. You start the meetings and you very quickly address the previous week. Then you are on to Denver, and you are full speed ahead. There is so much that goes into these games. There is so much from a preparation standpoint that you really do not have time to dwell on what happened – win, lose or draw – the week before. I have seen all of our players and I have seen the leadership step up and understand this is a really big football game Thursday night.”


On if the Browns can use the mini-bye week in a similar fashion to last year’s midseason bye week based on that experience:

“Honestly, I do not go that far back with it. We understand the task at hand. We have to play good football – offense, defense and special teams – against a good team, an AFC opponent. We are really putting the focus there.”


On if the Browns expect CBs Greg Newsome II and Greedy Williams to split time at CB opposite CB Denzel Ward:

“We will see. Greg was on a little bit of a pitch count last week. I think he is doing better so we will see.”


On if CB A.J. Green is expected to return from injury this week:

“Another one I have to get through today, especially to see him move around.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ performance the past two weeks:

“I mentioned it before, he is very, very dependable. You do not know sometimes where the ball is going to go because you just do not know how the coverage is going to be on some given plays. He has worked extremely hard this entire season. Had some opportunities last week and the last couple of weeks, and he has made the most of them. That is kind of what he does.”


On preparing to face Broncos OLB Von Miller:

“A lot goes into planning for him. He is a special, special player. Extremely disruptive. He gets a lot of attention from opposing offenses. Incredible bend. Just the physical skillset and traits, I do not see any difference from five, six or seven years ago with him. It is really, really impressive.”


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