Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (10.5.22)


Opening statement:

“A great challenge at home in front of our crowd versus an AFC opponent. Both teams are 2-2. Understand what is at stake. I think the guys are really understanding who this team is that we are facing because week in and week out, it changes. The personnel changes and the scheme changes week to week. Really diving in right now on this Chargers team. They are well coached. We are similar and they are similar to last year. There are some new faces in there on both sides. You do have the tape from last season when we played them early. A lot of games in between for both teams to look at, as well. I think what you start with their defense, some really good players No. 1. (Chargers OLB) Khalil Mack, who I have gone against quite a bit when I was with the Vikings and he was in Chicago, a very, very powerful football player. We played against him last season when he was here with the Bears. In the back end, (Chargers S) Derwin James (Jr.) can show up anywhere. He can be the post safety. He can be a half-field safety. He can play linebacker. He can play nickel. You really have to know where he is. He is just an active football player. I think he had 16 tackles versus us last season. A really good football player. Multiple fronts. Multiple coverages. An impressive group. Offensively, the No.1 pass offense so that gets your attention right away. A very good quarterback (Chargers QB Justin Herbert), as we all know. A good young quarterback. Accurate. Strong arm. Makes great decisions. Athletic. Still moving around really well despite the injury, but you really don’t see that affecting his play. Weapons on the perimeter. A really good running back (Chargers RB Austin Ekeler) who can hurt you in a bunch of different ways. A good tight end (Chargers TE Gerald Everett). It is an impressive group across the board. Sound special teams. Really getting to know this team right now, diving in and understanding some of the adjustments we are going to make on offense, defense and special teams in this game. Putting together plans so guys can go play fast on Sunday.”


On if DE Myles Garrett will be a full participant in practice today:

“He will be out there. We will see how it goes, but he will be out there.”


On the Browns defense performing well in the first three quarters of games but not playing as well in the fourth quarter:

“Obviously, you are trying to play four quarters of football – offense, defense and special teams. Unfortunately, we have had some issues in the fourth quarter that have led to points. I think back to Week 1 and Week 2 where we unfortunately gave up big plays that really can’t happen and shouldn’t happen. I think we have gone a long way in working on those type of things. We just have to continue to play sound football, get lined up No. 1, play the defense and execute.”


On the Falcons’ success running the ball in the second half last week:

“Prior to that long drive, it was keeping them in check. I want to give them credit. Obviously, that is a good run offense. Prior to that, doing a nice job. They got theirs, which is going to happen, but it is always a combination of things. It is always one guy here, one guy there. You always question, ‘Could I have put them in a better position on the play call?’ All of those things. There is not one answer to that.”


On Garrett returning to practice today and what boost that can provide the team:

“Good to have Myles just even in the walkthrough just having his presence and having him in the meetings. He is a big part of what we do so good to have him back out there. I haven’t seen him practice yet. He has worked out obviously off to the side so I will get to watch him practice today and then get a good feel for where he is.”


On if DE Jadeveon Clowney will practice this week:

“I hope so.”


On CB Greedy Williams being designated to return from injured reserve and if Williams may play this week:

“This is kind of the first step in getting him out there to practice. He is doing great. He has been doing a great job off to the side in his rehab. Get him into practice, get him some plays here and see how he responds.”


On the Browns defense’s performance in the fourth quarter last week and if players who are not accustomed to playing 30-plus snaps a game may have contributed to it, including a couple of long drives:

“Yes, obviously when a team goes on a long drive, you are tired on defense, and they are tired on offense. It is one of those things we understood guys are going to have to step up and play a little bit more than they are used to, but that is just part of the game.”


On how Herbert is different this year compared to last season:

“I think he is evolving, and he is getting better. I think young players just get better with more and more reps. I see a young man who sees it very clearly – big, can see it from the pocket, can just drive every throw and can throw with anticipation and touch. They do a really nice job schematically in getting the ball out of his hands. He doesn’t take sacks. Then moving him on the pocket, max protecting and take some shots. (Chargers WR) Mike Williams, as we know, is a very, very good wide receiver, and across the board (Chargers WR) Keenan Allen, the tight end (Everett), it is a really impressive group.”


On defensive breakdowns in the fourth quarter and if a lapse in focus has been a contributing factor:

“It is definitely an important part of the game is playing 60 minutes. That probably goes without saying. For us, what we try to do always is letting our team know that you have to lock in for 60 minutes. It is a prerequisite when you are playing NFL football because you just don’t know when that play is going to turn the tide is going to occur. Locking in for 60 minutes is always going to be an important part of this game.”


On if it is easier to correct communications issues on defense that led to big plays earlier in the season or technique issues that led to a long pass last week against the Falcons:

“Obviously, when you are playing good defense, everybody is on the same page. That is No. 1. With technique, in the run defense, if you are out of your gap, the ball can get in that gap and you have to tackle him for maybe a 5-yard gain, a 10-yard gain or what it might be. Same thing in the pass defense, when you are out of your position, so to speak, which happens – the game happens fast – if you are out of position, those big passes can turn into big plays. That is kind of what we saw there last week.”


On if there are specific benchmarks this week in Garrett’s and Clowney’s progression to identify whether or not each will play:

“I think they are both on two different progressions, and we will treat them as such. See how Myles looks today and then obviously just kind of wait and see with Jedaveon.”


On if Mack is taking on a bigger role on defense with Chargers DE Joey Bosa on injured reserve:

“I don’t know that he has taken on a bigger role. He is a great player. He is very, very powerful. Has unbelievable bend. Plays hard. Very, very good at rushing the passer, as we all know. Has multiple moves. In the run game, can win at the point of attack and can win as a chase player. He is a big part of their defense, but he was from Day 1 when he got there. Obviously, I know Joey Bosa is out on IR, but Khalil Mack is a great player.”


On S Grant Delpit mentioning players need to have a ‘killer mentality in the fourth quarter’:

“It just goes back to playing a 60-minute game. You do have to lock in for those 60 minutes. Whether you call it a ‘killer mentality, a ‘finishing mentality’ or whatever it is, I think it is important that offense, defense and special teams have that mentality because that is required in the NFL. We all have seen examples in our season and multiple people’s seasons where you have to play a 60-minute game.”


On if the Browns secondary will be more locked in going against the Chargers No. 1-ranked passing attack, especially given the high-scoring game last year:

“Yeah, without a doubt. I think part of when you are playing this team, the Chargers, they go fast. They go fast, they get lined up and then they have multiple shifts and motions. Getting aligned is really important. It is doubly important when you are at home in our building, which is really, really loud when we are on defense. All of that nonverbal communication at home is really important.”


On Garrett or Clowney playing some of a game is better than not playing at all:

“I think that is fair to say, yes. (laughter).”


On what Garrett and Clowney mean to the Browns run defense:

“I think it kind of goes back to what we were talking about with Khalil Mack. I think every coach wants great players out there, and you are always asking the general manager, ‘Hey, give me more great players’ – it makes you a better coach. With those two players in particular, they are both really physical football players, and I think it shows in the run and in the pass. When you are playing run defense and you are knocking people back and you are setting the edge and sometimes you are setting the edge so that somebody else can make the play. I think both of those guys are adept at that.”


# # #


***Visit the Browns Media Center for materials provided by the Browns communications department, including media schedules, press releases, quotes, photos, media guides, rosters, depth charts and more.***