Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (11.25.22)


Opening statement:

“Excited for the challenge down there Sunday versus a good football team. We are excited about that opportunity. It might be a wet and windy one down there. We will see what it is like down on the lake on Sunday. Had a good day today being outside and moving around so the guys have a good understand of what we are doing. Appreciate how they worked this week and then we will have some meetings tomorrow, walkthrough tomorrow and get ready to go.”


On if G Hjalte Froholdt will be expected to start at C after missing two days of practice due to an illness:

“I do.”


On the impact of not having CB Greg Newsome II due to a concussion:

“It is unfortunate. As you know, all injuries are different. Concussions, you have to make sure that you are following every protocol so we will continue to do that. Disappointed for Greg missing this one. He has to just continue to take care of himself, and he will be ready when he is ready.”


On the Buccaneers WRs’ size and talent:

“Their receivers are all so different. They are all very, very talented but different talents, and they are versatile. (Buccaneers WR) Mike Evans is just so physical, able to get to every ball and has a rare combination of size and speed. His speed does show up even with being a big player. Just an impressive group in total. (Buccaneers WR Chris) Godwin is really, really tough. Catches it over the middle, very good on wide receiver screens, gets his hands on it and gets north and south immediately. (Buccaneers WR) Julio (Jones), everybody knows how talented he is. The backs can catch. They have good tight ends. It is a good group, and obviously, they have a very good trigger man getting to the ball.”


On the Buccaneers’ improvement in run defense during recent weeks:

“They are built up front – physical, long. Their D ends are long. They play in their two gaps at times or they are getting into one gap at times. Obviously, with No. 50 (Buccaneers NT Vita Vea) in the middle poses a big challenge. Linebackers that can run. I just think you see a team that is doing a really nice job in both areas. They are ranked very highly in stopping the run and stopping the pass. They are really just playing a sound style of defense and playing physical.”


On challenges of game planning for Vea:

“He is a challenge for every offense that goes up against him. Like we talked a little bit earlier in the week, he is really, really big and really agile. He can move sideline to sideline, can move gap to gap and has power. He is somebody who you have to be aware of – have to be aware of where he is lined up every play. It is not always one person’s job to block him. Sometimes you are going to have to go two people to him.”


On CB Martin Emerson Jr.’s performance last week and overall development:

“He continues to get better. I really like the kid’s mentality. He is a hard-nosed kid, plays physical and is not afraid of those one-on-one matchups, which you often get as a rookie in this league; you are going to get some balls thrown at you. Quarterbacks and offenses, they are looking for rookies. He does not back down. I think he has been real impressive. I do think there is a growth to his game that I have seen over the course of this season.”


On G Wyatt Teller’s status:

“He was able to practice today on a limited basis. Hoping that he is looking like himself and ready to go.”


On if TE David Njoku will be able to contribute more this week after coming back from an ankle injury last week:

“I think that kind of remains to be seen. I think he is one week better, but we will see how the game goes.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett and Froholdt having opportunities to work on QB-C exchange in practice this week:

“Obviously, those guys get a ton of reps in the course of practice. You want to make sure that you are getting reps with the backup center. Today was important to get some reps. Leaving the field, they were still getting reps in that area so that is something that we will continue to do. Good to have [Froholdt] back in the building. Great understanding of what we are doing.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ consistent performance this season:

“Donovan is a player who continues to get better. I have said it many times, I can remember him getting on campus to begin with. His body has changed. He has worked hard on his body, nutrition and all of that. Just his game has continued to get better. Just little things from stance to coming off the ball. He has always been assignment sound and always has strong hands, but you do see growth in his game, which I give him a ton of credit and I give (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea a ton of credit for that. He has done a nice job in his opportunities. As you know, people pay a lot of attention to (WR) Amari Cooper so there are going to be opportunities for the tight ends and there are going to be opportunities for the receivers on the other side of the field.”


On C Greg Mancz:

“A very smart player. Not surprising, those centers oftentimes are one of the smarter guys in the room. He is picking it up. He has played with Jacoby before and he has played with (QB) Deshaun (Watson) before so those guys know him and know what he is about. He is spending extra time with it making sure he is going to be ready to go.”


On the biggest challenge for a player like Froholdt transitioning to C after mostly playing G:

“It is different. Sometimes you say, ‘Why can’t you just go from guard to tackle? It is just 18 inches.’ What happens is there is such a difference in rules from guard to tackle and even guard to center. There is just that space of when I am working a double team as a guard, sometimes I am working and likely coming off a linebacker, and as the center, I am likely overtaking that double team. There is some nuance to that. Then making calls. I think that is a big thing. Getting up to the line of scrimmage, identifying the front, making calls and making sure the two guys to the left and two guys to the right are on the same page.”


On matching up against the Buccaneers pass game:

“They are a tough matchup. They have good players. We have good players so we are excited about that opportunity. When they play their 11 personnel, they can get into 12 and just having multiple players in the pass game and then adding in their running backs to the equation because (Buccaneers RB Leonard) Fournette has caught a ton of balls, you have to be really be ready to defend their entire pass attack. Now for us, to your point, you do want to have multiple options with your guys, who is playing where and those type of things, but it is a tough matchup just because of their skill and then they have a good scheme.”


On what young Browns players have learned from Brissett and Brissett’s leadership:

“I think in each instance the guys are leading in their own way. For Jacoby this season, I think the No. 1 thing that his teammates have seen about him is the way he prepares. He puts a lot into this game. He is on the field early. He is staying on the field late. He is in this building very early. He is staying here very late. Just constantly working with your teammates. Sending them text messages of videos of routes and ‘here is how I would like you to run this. Are we on the same page?’ I think so much of that goes unnoticed to the general public, if you will, but not unnoticed to his teammates. When you have young players who you are bringing along in this league, when you have veterans who can show them the way, it is just so much more impactful than a coach. I just think when it is peer led, I think it really has a major impact.”


On the Buccaneers improving their running game in recent weeks while also being strong in the passing game:

“You have to play the game that is being called. To your point, they have been a heavy pass attack and then in their last game they did run it quite a bit. We kind of go in how we think the game may be played and then you have to be ready to pivot. I think early on in the game you will get a good feel for how the game is going.”


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