Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.21.21)

Opening statement:

“On the injury front, (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) has a groin injury. He will get an MRI on that. He did that in pregame warmups. (CB) Denzel (Ward) has a hamstring injury. We will also get an MRI on that tomorrow morning.


“That is a great team win. I am really proud of the guys for fighting like crazy to get to this game. Guys who were pushing through those injuries, it was just incredible to see these Thursday night games and what they put their bodies through. I am really proud of them. Just the game itself, playing complementary football. Whatever took it in any of that game, whatever it took offensively, defensively and special teams, I thought the guys really played complementary ball. We got a team win. I could single out a bunch of guys, but (RB) D’Ernest Johnson to me is a warrior and a great teammate. What he has fought through in his career and then to go have a night like that and to end it how he did on that this down, I thought was just outstanding.”


On QB Case Keenum’s performance, including the fourth down conversion:

“Case fought like he always does. I thought he orchestrated the operation. He took care of the football. That was a huge play in the end zone there on fourth down just to make a play and fighting for extra yards, but he did a great job fighting.”


On the difference between calling play for QB Baker Mayfield and Keenum:

“I would say no difference. We did not materially change who we are.”


On if Keenum took first team reps on Tuesday in practice:

“He did not. He got walkthrough reps, but he did not get the full-speed reps. When you are a backup in this league, you do not get reps.”


On the decision to receive the ball to open the game:

“We just felt like the wind might be a significant factor in the second half so we felt like we wanted to have it in that direction in the fourth quarter.”


On Johnson responding to convert third-and-seven to seal the win after having a run taken away due to a penalty:

“Disappointed in the penalties overall. I would tell you, that is what you get on a short week with no practice. I hate it and I am not pleased with it, but I certainly am not surprised we had some errors like that. We just wanted to make sure we ran that clock and got it down to 20 seconds or whatever it would be. I think that was very similar with the Colts game last year with D’Ernest. We called a very, very similar run. It was a very similar result.”


On if going for it on the fourth down is a ‘guts or confidence’ call:

“In these scenarios, you believe in your guys. We think it makes sense to do it, but like I said to you before, we will not do that just for the sake of doing it. We are doing it because we think we have a chance of getting a first down in that situation and a chance to get seven points in that situation, and as you saw, that was important.”


On the Browns defense’s performance, especially in the first half:

“I thought they were lights out in that first half. We were getting them into third-and-longer situations. We were playing tight in coverage, were in our zones and sound in what we were doing. We were rallying and making tackles short of the sticks. I thought the guys were really executing the defense.”


On how much of the 182 team rushing yards is scheme and how much is depth at RB:

“We have high expectations for our team in general, specifically to the run game. We had (T) Jed (Wills Jr.) back in there and (G) Blake (Hance) is playing well for us. We still had our tight ends and still had the receivers fighting on the outside. I thought D’Ernest had a really nice day, and got (RB Demetric) Felton some carries in there as well. The guys did a great job.”


On Hance’s performance, particularly against Broncos OLB Von Miller:

“Von Miller is a Hall of Famer so he got our attention. Obviously, he did not play there in the second half, but I thought he fared well.”


On what it meant to the team to have WR Jarvis Landry back:

“It meant a lot to this team. Having him come out of that tunnel last, I think it meant a lot to our fans. He brings the juice, no pun intended. He brings it to our sideline. Having him out there, a guy who fights, I could be talking about a bunch of different guys, but he is one. He fought like crazy to be out there with his teammates. (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) fought like crazy to be out there with his teammates. To see those guys do that throughout the week and then get out there and not feel perfect but do whatever it took, I thought was so impressive.”


On a report that Mayfield sustained a fracture to the shoulder:

“I am not going to get into specifics of Baker’s injury at this time. He is another guy who is fighting, and he will be back out there as soon as he can.”


On if Mayfield could play in the next game against Pittsburgh:

“Of course there is a chance for all of it, but it is too far away to give you a good number.”


On if Mayfield’s fracture changes a potential return:



On knowing tonight’s game would be a grind and ugly with all of the injuries on the short week:

“It did not have to be ugly, but we knew with the limited practice reps and with the guys that were banged up and then Donovan goes down in warmups, we knew that it might be a challenge getting the guys in the huddle and guys knowing their role. That is credit to (pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach) Chad O’Shea to have the pulse of that room and understand how to move those guys around by formation because we walked through a lot of plays in one formation, and we had to call it in a different formation. Those are the type of things on a Thursday night game that typically happen, but by and large, I thought the guys executed pretty well.”


On K Chase McLaughlin’s 52-yard FG into the Dawg Pound:

“We felt confident in Chase, and that is from him demonstrating that he can kick into the Dawg pound. He can make those. He has done it in games He does it in practice. It is certainly a weapon for us in those areas where we do not want to punt and we can’t go for it. We do have faith in him to come through.”


On the decision not to challenge a QB sneak on fourth down by Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater:

“Yeah we thought about it, but they felt upstairs that he got it.”


On if WR Odell Beckham, Jr. will be able to continue to play through his shoulder injury:

“I do not know long term. I can’t give you a great answer. Odell wanted to play very very badly, and he wanted to be out there with his teammates very, very badly. He does not feel 100 percent and a lot of those guys do not, but to good what he did, fight through it and make a play late in the game for us, again, really proud of those guys.”


On Landry’s status:

“I think he is OK.”


On Browns players battling to play through injury and if that is part of trying to ‘instill a culture’:

“I am not trying to instill any culture. I will just tell you that our team and our players understand that we need to give everything we have week after week in the NFL. For them, again on a short week in some of the areas we were banged up, I think the guys were not going to take no for an answer. They were just going to make sure they were out there to battle for 60 minutes.”  


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