Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.4.21)

Opening statement:

“On the injury front, I will have more information as MRIs come in and everything, but (CB) Greg Newsome (II) is progressing with the calf. (T) Jed (Wills Jr.), we will see how he is with his ankle and how he does throughout the week. (S) Ronnie Harrison (Jr.) was evaluated for a concussion – he does not have a concussion, but protocols held him out of that game. (T) Chris Hubbard with his triceps is getting better and making progress.


“Talking about the game, like we talked about yesterday, I thought the defense was outstanding. The defensive line consistently pressuring the quarterback, hitting the quarterback and sacking the quarterback, they affected the game and really played lights out. I thought the guys were sticky in coverage, which was a big thing going into that game. Offensively, we possessed the ball and did not give them any short fields. I think their average starting field position was the 22. Special teams was good. (K) Chase (McLaughlin) making his kicks and doing his job. Plenty to clean up and plenty that we can improve upon, and then we are going to go on the road and play a really good Chargers team this week.”


On if the Browns are awaiting MRI results on Wills’ ankle:



On if Browns would consider resting Wills next week to allow the ankle to fully heal:

“I think everything we do is really weekly. We make these decisions daily. We make these decisions with the information available to us. It was unfortunate that he got his ankle caught there, but everything is on the table there.”


On what has led to the Browns defense’s turnaround in the past two weeks:

“There are probably a bunch of answers to that. I would just tell you in terms of gelling, one of the main things I would say is up front because you run line games, you move and you play off of each other. Getting a few games under our belt, I think you are seeing the fruits of the labor of that defensive line and what they are doing at practice. I could probably cite you a bunch of other examples because guys are playing at a high level.”


On if there is a reason QB Baker Mayfield ‘was not himself on Sunday’ after reviewing the game film:

“I think we know that we want to be better in the pass game. We want to be more explosive in the pass game. There will be opportunities for us to improve, and that is what this week is for really is making sure that we are getting on the same page and then having a good plan for the Chargers.”


On if Mayfield had any technical issues on Sunday with footwork or other areas:

“I think you can go through every play and whether I need to call a better play to get guys open. I would take you to the first drive there, the third-down play did not get anybody open. The fourth-down play, did not get anybody open so those are things I have to do a better job with.”


On clarifying that Harrison did not sustain a concussion yesterday after being evaluated in the first quarter and not returning:

“He was evaluated for a concussion and really was not cleared until this morning. That is just the protocols and how it works.”


On S Grant Delpit’s performance yesterday after evaluating the game film:

“He did a really nice job. He was physical and made a really big play on that far cross on their sideline to (Vikings WR Adam) Thielen. He did a nice job.”


On the Browns defense performing well in the past two games and the team getting wins, despite not playing a complete game as a team:

“You have to find a way to win any which way you can. Certainly, yesterday our defense took us home. It was an outstanding performance. This week, we will see how the game goes. You just do not know. Special teams comes up big for us. We will play and call the game that is called for, but in the NFL, if you want to be a good team, you have to find a way to win.”


On if DE Myles Garrett gave him a present, given Garrett’s comments during a postgame T interview yesterday:

“He did not. He does not owe me anything after that performance. He just needs to bottle that up and do that every week.”


On Mayfield’s run down the sideline and if he considered challenging the spot:

“We looked at it, but I do not know that we got a great look at it in time to make a decision. About that first challenge, did not have a great replay on that. Just felt like it was a big enough play and losing a timeout in the first half was not as concerned about that. It was very clear shortly thereafter that he (Vikings WR K.J. Osborn) was in.”


On CB Greedy Williams’ performance in the first start after overcoming a season-ending injury:

“I am really proud of Greedy. I think all of you guys know that it was a hard year with that injury, a lot of waiting and a lot of getting work in the training room and in the weight room, and finally got good news after really weeks and months. That was hard on him. He came back, and the guy has just been so singularly focused on helping this team win. To see him out there, play well, play physical and get his hands on guys – that is a really good passing unit out there – he was up to the challenge. To come up with a big takeaway, again versus a quarterback who does not throw many of those, he went up and got it, and it was a really good decision.”


On how the Browns defense could open up after the Browns DL produced so much pressure on the Vikings:

“I thought those guys provided consistent pressure, whether we were rushing four, five or six, and even at the end of the game we rushed three, and we got pressure. That was an outstanding job by those guys. I do not want to lose sight of the run defense either because they did a great job versus the run, as well.”


On if Mayfield’s left shoulder injury is affecting passing accuracy at all:

“I do not think so, based on what I see at practice. I do not think so.”


On takeaways from Mayfield’s incompletion to WR Odell Beckham late in the fourth quarter:

“Well, you would like a completion. Listen, there are going to be plays that we hit, and there are going to be plays that we miss. When we talked through it, a bit of a miscommunication, and it is unfortunate because of the moment of that, but that is why we work. That is why we spend a lot of time in these meeting rooms and spend a lot of time on these fields. We have to get it right, and we will.”


On what LA Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley has shown thus far as a head coach:

“I will be honest, I have not peaked at them yet. I will get on the Chargers here shortly, but I know Coach Staley a little bit. I know what he is about. He is a former quarterback, and coaching defense, he learned under one of the best in Chicago with (Broncos Head) Coach (Vic) Fangio. Then he did a great job with his year as a coordinator. I know he is carrying on a ton of that success with what he is doing right now.”


On T James Hudson III’s performance on offense yesterday:

“I think he was OK. He had a false start penalty there. He is getting better. He is somebody who we get a good look at him at practice, and he gets a lot of good reps. Part of Jed being out at some of these practices has given him an opportunity to get some really good reps. I think he is progressing and working really hard.”

On factors when considering whether to go for it on fourth down, including analytics, momentum and team performance:

“There is a lot to consider. We spend a lot of time talking about how we think the game is going to play out. I think 14-7 was not how we thought it would play out. Points are a premium, but also, we felt like we had to score touchdowns in that game so that was the first drive there. That adjusts throughout the game as you get more information. Really, it adjusts by game, as well.”


On there are concerns about chemistry between Mayfield and Beckham following yesterday’s game:

“That is not really a concern of mine or ours. I would tell you, when you throw the ball deep, you are not going to hit all of those. We had some opportunities where we felt like we could throw it deep, and we just did not connect. Your completion percentage on deeper throws, as you know, obviously is going to be not as good as shorter throws.”


On if the timing between Mayfield and Beckham was better in Week 3 compared to yesterday:

“That is why I would just tell you honestly it is week to week in this league. You have to work at it. Sometimes, you are going to up against a really good defense and a really good scheme, and you have to improve. It is similar to how things early in the season on our defense side we wanted to clean this up, and we cleaned them up. That is where anything that we feel like needs to improve, we will put some effort into it and make sure it improves.”


On Garrett and Mayfield stepping up in leadership roles to impact accountability and team performance early in the year:

“I just think those guys are being themselves. That is how they lead. All of us lead in different ways, and I think those are two guys who know their role on this team, and they have the respect of their teammates.”


On if the Browns expect LB Anthony Walker Jr. to return from injured reserve this week:

“I think we will see how it goes. I am not sure yet.”


On if the familiarity between the Browns and Vikings coaching staffs played a part in the 14-7 game, which is not what was initially expected:

“I do not know. It might have. They did a great job. Their defense did a very, very nice job versus us. I mentioned the red zone there where we did not do a good enough job of getting our guys open. It was a hard-fought game, and I think it is a good win on the road against a really good opponent.”


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