Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (11.5.21)

Opening statement:

“Excited for the challenge. A division opponent on the road. A really good football team. I have a ton of respect for (Bengals Head Coach) Coach (Zac) Taylor and what they are doing. They have great players. They are playing really good ball so we have to be ready for a 60-minute affair. I know you guys got the statement on (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.). It is disappointing. Obviously, unfortunate how it all went down, but I wish him well.”


On why the situation with Beckham ‘deteriorated’ the way it did:

“I would just tell you, we are moving on. It is unfortunate how it happened. I think it is unfortunate for both sides, but we have to move on and put our focus on this game versus Cincinnati.”


On when the Browns knew Beckham wanted to leave the team:

“I am not going to get into the specifics of all of it – I understand the question – but I think it is more important that we focus on Cincinnati. I understand the attention this has gotten. We understand it, and obviously are not going to ignore it, but we really, really have to focus on going down there and finding a way to win.”


On S John Johnson III saying ‘the majority of the locker room would want Beckham back’:

“I think John and all of our guys are great teammates, and they do not want to see any of their guys leave the team in any fashion. We talk about injuries are part of this game and then the next man has to step up. I would say that is our teammates always standing up for each other.”


On how QB Baker Mayfield will move forward from the situation:

“I think all of us have to move forward. We have a challenge on Sunday right in front of us. Baker had a good week of practice, and I think he is ready to go.”


On if the situation could ‘galvanize’ or divide the team:

“I think a win would galvanize this team. That is where our focus is. We have to find a way to win this week.”


On if the Browns have to change the team’s gameplans without Beckham:

“I think we have to adjust. We have to adjust as always. Sometimes you adjust week to week. Sometimes you adjust day to day, in the middle of the second quarter and those types of things. We just have to adjust.”


On if at any point of the week did he believe the situation with Beckham might be salvageable:

“I think I told you guys on Wednesday that he was excused and our side and their side were discussing things. That is kind of where we were in that moment. Now, obviously, coming to this point where we are moving on.”


On if he has any regrets about not getting Beckham more involved in the Browns offense:

“I think I have told you guys this and I believe this, it is my job to get the most out of our players. I am always disappointed when I can’t do that.”


On how Browns player leadership has helped the team handle the situation:

“I think the guys understand that we have a very, very big football game on Sunday against a really good team, and we have to focus there, understand what is going on on the outside and do our best to keep that focus on what we all have to do. We all have to go do our job. That is a pretty simple way of looking at it.”


On if he has spoken with Beckham this week:

“I have not spoken to him. I will reach out at some point. I think you guys know this, it is an unfortunate situation. I hold no ill will, but both sides, I think, are going to move on.”


On the last time he spoke to Beckham:

“Probably Sunday.”


On if everything was done to try and bring Beckham back to the team:

“I think this situation was handled the right way on both sides – on their side and on our side. We have to move on. It does not mean I am not disappointed. For all of our guys, you want to make sure you get the most out of them. This is how we are going to handle it, and again, I do wish him well.”


On if Beckham was not a fit with the Browns scheme:

“I do not know if I can get into all of the specifics. I would just tell you it did not work out. Again, I am disappointed that I could not do a better job, but I think both sides are going to move on.”


On if there is somewhat of a sense of relief that the situation with Beckham is not hanging over the team now, it is a clean cut and the team and Beckham can move on from it:

“I would not use those words. I just think as a team, we have a big game this week. The focus really goes right to there.”


On if he has seen the desired focus from the team this week heading into a significant game:

“I really have. Our guys are pros. They understand in a given week in the NFL there are certain things that are going on, and it is our job to do our job. That is where the focus goes.”


On the status of Browns DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley:

“They got some work in. We will see how it goes over the next 24 hours, but I think we are trending in the right direction.”


On CB Denzel Ward’s status:

“He had a good week of practice, but again, we have to see how it goes the next 24 hours.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ status:

“Really all of those guys [we will see how it goes in the next 24 hours], but for the most part, feeling good about a lot of those guys.”


On if Clowney’s status is similar to C JC Tretter where the team is managing Clowney’s injury and workload throughout the week to get Clowney to the game:

“With any player – you mentioned JC – guys who have an injury history, we are going to be smart about it. Obviously, they have to practice, and those guys do practice and make sure that they get the work that they need, but we have to be smart about all of these guys because all of them have a different injury history.”


On if the Browns need a third TE for Sunday if TE Harrison Bryant, who is listed as questionable, is unable to play:



On if he has had additional conversations with WR Jarvis Landry since Wednesday regarding the situation with Beckham:

“I will keep all of those conversations private with all of the guys.”


On if Landry will be able to full focus despite the situation with Beckham:

“Yeah, he is a pro.”


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