Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (12.12.22)


Opening statement:

“Injury front, JOK (LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah), still getting some more information on that foot injury so I will update you guys later in the week. (WR) Amari (Cooper) is dealing with that hip injury. He is day to day working through it and battled yesterday.


“Yesterday, like we talked about after the game, very disappointing obviously to go down there and not come away with a victory. You put a lot of effort into this thing. The guys played hard, but it just wasn’t good enough yesterday, and that is frustrating. We know this, we play Saturday in front of our crowd [against] a division opponent so that is really where our focus has to go. It really has to turn quickly so that is what we are doing.”


On how long Owusu-Koramoah may be out with the foot injury:

“Still waiting final confirmation so I just want to wait until I get that before I say.”


On where QB Deshaun Watson made the biggest improvement in the second start of the season:

“I thought he definitely made strides. I think that is part of, like we have talked about, being away and then having that first game and getting that one out of the way. Then the second one, I did think you saw some improvements in decisions and improvements in technique, footwork and all of those type of things. Just making sure that all of those game reps he keeps adding on to what he is doing.”


On Watson seeming to miss some opportunities with open receivers and if it is part of getting more comfortable in the Browns offensive system:

“You are going to miss throws. You are going to miss a couple of reads. That is every quarterback that is going to happen to. Yeah, I think getting more comfortable and then just playing on time, I think that is so much of this game is playing on time and listening to your feet. He did that a few times, and it was very, very well done yesterday.”


On if the Browns brought QB Jacoby Brissett in for the fourth-and-1 on the opening series because the team likes the threat of Brissett’s ability to QB sneak in certain situations:

“Yeah, that is the basis of it. There are things that we can do that he has been good at in short yardage that we feel like that gives us an advantage. Obviously, frustrated in the result there, and always looking at what we can do better and what I can do better. That is honestly the idea behind it.”


On his reaction to people outside of the building criticizing him:

“I think all of that goes with the territory. As you can imagine, I kind of keep the focus on what I can control, what is going on in our building and those type of things. Always looking for ways to improve. Always looking for ways to put our guys in position to succeed. That is what I have to do.”


On if there are consistent factors that have led to the Browns not being as successful in the running game during some contests this season:

“It is always a combination of things. I think first like I told you guys yesterday, you have to give them credit. They did a nice job. They won a few of their one-on-one matchups yesterday. That is historically a front and a scheme that we have had some success in the run game with utilizing some of those schemes. It didn’t happen yesterday so we have to make sure that we look at it and things that we will do differently next time.”


On the Browns going for it on fourth down more than any other NFL team:

“I think for me, it is just trying to put our guys in position to make a play, stay on the field and convert potential threes into sevens. It is a philosophy that I believe in. We are going to try to be aggressive, and I think our players understand that we are trying to be smart while being aggressive.


On if he considers the 15 failed fourth-down attempts to be similar to turnovers on offense:

“I think you can look at it in either way – I think it is a fair question – but you are also looking at opportunities for points in those situations.”


On the Browns OL seeming to struggle yesterday compared to having successes earlier in the season:

“Any issues are issues that we are having together. It is always never one position. Can we play better? Yes, we can, but we have to make sure that we give our guys and opportunity to go play fast. We will make sure we look at those things today.”


On if the Browns saw a big jump in Watson’s second start yesterday:

“I don’t know about ‘jump.’ Just progression. I want and he wants to continue to get better with more game reps. I think you saw at times he was really comfortable, was playing on time, let it rip and did a really nice job. Looking to build on that.”


On the Browns’ penalties yesterday, particularly in the first half, and if they can characterized as physical or mental mistakes:

“Really, we had that string there with roughing the punter, then hands to the face which negated a sack and then DPI, all that came almost consecutively. That is frustrating obviously. Are they physical mistakes? Yeah, they are physical. That is part of playing football and trying to play fast. (LB) Tony (Fields II) that you can’t run into the punter. That was a mistake, but it is not for lack of effort. We have to be better there. We can’t put ourselves in that position when we are about to get the ball. Those happen in football. We have to overcome them.”


On the Browns OL often pulling in the running game and if the Browns are continuing to do that and/or making adjustments to scheme with Watson, given Watson’s mobility:

“I think that is an evolution of what we are trying to do – add some elements of things that Deshaun has done and things that fit him – but it is all within the framework of things that we have also done. Where you are pulling the guard and the tackle, we have done that, just not with the quarterback, per se. You are not wholesale changing what you do. You are just trying to add a few different elements to ultimately just try to put the defense in a bind. I think that is what you see from a lot of teams that are running similar schemes is you try to just make the defensive end make a decision and make an off-the-ball linebacker make a decision.”


On if G Michael Dunn could return to practice from injured reserve this week and if the Browns will consider other personnel changes at OL this week:

“I am not entirely sure yet on Michael. I know he is getting better and spending some time getting better at rehab. We will look at all of those type of things. With this being a short week, we will see who we have available to us as this week progresses.”


On if the Browns ran more three-WR sets yesterday because Watson is more comfortable in that formation:

“No, I wouldn’t say that. Really each game, depending on what you are expecting from the defense really dictates where we go with our personnel.”


On if the Browns using more three-WR sets than multiple-TE formations factored into the team’s struggles running the football yesterday:

“No, I don’t think so. We have had plenty of success running the ball out of three-wide.”


On if TE Harrison Bryant was supposed to be on the field during the fourth-and-1 attempt during the team’s opening offensive series:

“No. Throughout the course of a game, you have guys who come on and come off for various reasons. Him not being out there was not the cause of us not converting on that play. Both of those guys had repped that play. It wasn’t like it was one guy over the other.”


On if the Browns determined Watson would be the team’s starting QB for the remainder of the season as long as Watson was healthy and if the Browns were confident Watson gave the team the best opportunity to win yesterday’s game:

“Yes. He is our starting quarterback. I am encouraged with how he played yesterday. He is going to continue to get better, and I think we will continue to get better as an offense with him.”


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