Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (11.7.22)


Opening statement:

“Good to get that extra workday in with the guys with some meetings and some work out there on the field, which is really good, got some competitive periods, which we needed and then we will set our sights on Miami come Wednesday. We just felt like it was important to get the guys back in here, talk to them a little bit in these meetings and then get out there on the field.”


On if CB Denzel Ward and G Wyatt Teller are trending toward playing this Sunday:

“I think they are trending appropriately. Both in different injuries and all of those type of things, but I think they are both making steps.”


On the Browns self-scout during the bye week:

“I think it is always good. You have to be doing a self-scout each week. You can’t wait until you are four weeks in, eight weeks in or whatever it is [when the bye occurs]. You are keeping close tabs on that, but I do think it is a time that bye week, especially where ours was, to really take a big step back and look at what we are doing offense, defense and special teams and look at the things that we are doing well and some of the things that we need to clean up. Really, was helpful to go through that process.”


On if Ward has fully cleared concussion protocol:

“I think he is still in the next step of the process.”


On if there is optimism that LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and TE David Njoku will practice this week:

“I think we will have to see on those guys.”


On how or when Ward sustained the concussion:

“I don’t know the specifics. I am not sure.”


On the team’s focus following the bye week and time off:

“With that time, you are trying to get guys healthy and you are trying to get fresh, and I think the guys were able to do that. It is still a time to rehab and those type of things. For the players, if they can sneak out of town for a little bit and be with their families, I think that is important. There were a lot of guys here working and a lot of guys getting better from a rehab standpoint. It is always a good time where the guys can get a little bit of a recharge.”


On the challenges facing the Dolphins, particularly Miami’s speed:

“Obviously, you start to watch their tape, and those two receivers are special (Dolphins WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle). The quarterback (Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa) is playing at a high level. Like I said, we will get into more of the specifics as we get going this week, but just watching them, they are doing a real nice job of being able to push the ball down the field and get the ball in their hands on some catch-and-run opportunities.”


On the strengths the team can lean into during the second half of the season following the bye week and self-scout, including ones that may not have been expected heading into the start of the season:

“You definitely look at that and then kind of see where the tape goes and see where the numbers go. It is true, I think year in and year out – you can get as specific as you want in terms of a run type or a coverage type and those type of things – there are some things that you come out of the spring feeling like you will be good at, and then you are just not for whatever the reason and there are always many reasons, but I think that was part of the process of looking at those things and saying, ‘Can we get better at that particular thing? Can we put in the work to get better at that?’ If the answer is no, you have to move on and try something else.”


On RB Jerome Ford’s status and if Ford will be available this week:

“I think it is too early to say one way or the other. I think he is rehabbing very hard. He was here all weekend trying to get better. I think we will certainly know more as the week goes on, but it is hard to handicap it right now.”


On DE Isaiah Thomas’s performance this season and in recent weeks and how much Thomas’ hand injury early in the year impacted development:

“Any injury, and in that case with him not being able to stick his hand in there and really playing on only one side, that is tough to work through. As you see him getting more opportunities and a little bit more exposure to him, I think you are seeing a player who is going to do his job every play. He is going to know what to do, and he is going to do it. He got his hand on a ball, and he has gotten a sack. I just think he is a good all-around football player the more reps that he gets.”


On if injury impacting Thomas’ early development is a similar experience for WR Michael Woods II:

“I would say very similar, very similar. Woods was working through injuries towards the end of camp and those type of things, but he is healthy. Getting more of an opportunity and was active for the first time a few weeks back so he is somebody who you definitely could a little bit more of if he earns that role.”


On if there is anything in particular he can share from the message to the team when returning to work today:

“No (laughter).”


On if he spent time thinking about the message to the team today when returning to the building:

“Today is important and the bye week is important to reframe and look at where you are as a team and spend some time on each one of those levels. We spent some time as a team this morning talking about where we are and things that we want to do better. I think then you break up and you do that from the offensive, defensive and special teams level. You break into positions. You really go back to each player and say, ‘Alright, here are some things you are doing well, and here are some things that we need to do better.’ If you have that mindset of each part of this team is going to try to do their job and do their job a little bit better, I think that is where improvement comes from.”


On if there was a renewed sense of belief today that the Browns are in the playoff hunt after the bye week:

“No. I think the guys are focused on the work and focused on getting back out there on the field off of the long weekend – individual period and just moving them around, I think that is kind of where we are, not really thinking big picture.”


On if the Browns have identified areas to improve and be more consistent on special teams:

“Definitely. I think there will be opportunities for us to help this team win in the coverage phases and the return phases and obviously field goal and extra point. Every phase is going to have an opportunity to help us. There are definitely areas that we need to shore up. I think the coaches are working real hard on that and players are working real hard, and I feel good about where we are going.”


On if the Browns’ plan is for Ford to resume the kickoff return role when healthy and available:

“I think certainly that is an option. Need to see where he is physically over the next couple weeks and see if that is where this is heading, but I was liking the things he was doing prior to getting injured as a kick returner.”


# # #


***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.***