Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (12.16.21)

Opening statement:

“Just finished practice out there. I have to hand it to the players and the coaches, they did a great job with this week. It has been all about adapting, being flexible and adjusting by the minute and by the hour. They were able to get a good practice in there today. I was able to watch on Zoom. I should also give credit to (Video Director) Rob Pavlas and our video department because they were updating the video system throughout the day so I was able to click that on and watch it. Really well done across the board. With that, going into this game, we understand what is at stake. We understand it is an AFC opponent. I think the guys are excited for the challenge.”


On how he is feeling:



On if there are any updates on Browns players who were recently added to the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“Nothing new to report. Obviously, for the guys who we put on the list, constant dialogue with them to No. 1, see how they are doing and then No. 2 making sure that they are locked in, staying ready, staying in the gameplan and those type of things. We will just continue to follow the protocols minute by minute and hour by hour.”


On if today felt like a normal Friday practice, other than having some players missing:

“It was. Yeah, it was. Again, the guys across the board did a really nice job. We covered a lot of ground via virtual walkthroughs, virtual meetings and then finally getting them on the grass for what we term our Wednesday and Thursday practice. To get out there today and to get full-speed work in, I thought, was really important. Again, credit to the guys.”


On if he is currently ruling himself and Browns players who are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list out of Saturday’s game:

“I do not know that we are ruling anybody out yet. Certainly when they tell me we have run out of days in terms of negative tests and those type of things, then it will be official, but I do not know that we are ruling any of those guys out just yet.”


On if the deadline to activate players for Saturday’s game is 4 p.m. tomorrow:

“I do not know the answer to that. I am not sure.”


On if S Ronnie Harrison Jr. was the only positive COVID-19 test result from today:

“Yes, Ronnie is positive so he will go on the COVID list. Again, I think it just speaks to we are following the protocols really hourly and just making sure that we are doing everything that we needed to do to keep the guys safe.”


On if he expects DEs Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney to play on Saturday:

“I do expect both of those guys to play.”


On if having TEs David Njoku and Harrison Bryant back at practice today added a boost to the team:

“It looked good from my vantage point. David did a nice job. Harrison, I will continue to talk with the coaches and see how he is doing but was pleased with the work that he was able to get in today.”


On if the Browns need key players like Garret and CB Denzel Ward to step up even more for this game or if the message is just for every player to do his job:

“I think it is that – everybody do their job. Those guys are important to what we do. Certainly, you want them to show up and do their job. I think for the entire team – players and coaches – it is all about winning as a team and making sure you do your part. That is really the message to those guys.”


On if the rain and bad weather forecasted for this Saturday is a benefit to the Browns gameplan:

“I do not know who it helps, which team, but we certainly understand playing down there on the lake that you are going to get the elements. I thought it was good that we got some work in today with the wind and a little bit of rain. You have to be ready to play in those elements with our stadium.”


On if elevating QB Nick Mullens to the active roster is an indication that Mayfield will not be available on Saturday:

“I do not know that we are ruling anybody out just yet. We have some roster flexibility that we will continue to take in information and making adjustments as necessary.”


On if a COVID-19 elevation requires a player to remain active no matter the circumstances on Saturday:

“That is a good question. I do not know the answer to that. I have a direct line to (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry, though.”


On if he wants to share the direct line to Berry with media:

“I will after I talk to him (laughter).”


On reports following yesterday’s league meeting about discussions regarding changes to the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols to only need one negative result to return to the active roster rather than two over 24 hours:

“I know people in our organization are in contact with the league on things like that. Ultimately, we are just business as usual and full speed ahead. We are making sure that we are ready to go. That is our expectation.”


On the Browns’ options at nickel CB this week and the challenges facing Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow:

“A couple of options that we can do there. You mentioned Hunter Renfrow, he is outstanding. When the ball goes to him, he catches it. He can run away from you. Quick. Savvy. Understands the leverage and how to snap guys off. Great hands. We will have our work cut out for us, but we have a couple of options we can go with.”


On the Browns options at S if S John Johnson III and Harrison are unavailable on Saturday:

“Guys have to step up. That is kind of the name of the game here. We have plenty of guys who have gotten reps back there and have gotten game reps. We will work through that as a staff in terms of how we want to start the game, how we want to rotate and those type of things.”


On when special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will fully take over as acting head coach, if he is unavailable for Saturday:

“We have had some experience with this. It is one of those deals where we are in constant communication throughout the day and throughout the week. Once gameday arrives, those final conversations that you have going into a game and talking about the conditions, what the conditions are on the field during pregame and those types of things, but once it hits 90 minutes, I can certainly hand the keys over, like you said. I trust Coach Prief and I trust all of the coaches to do the job that is required.”


On how much time he spends going over the in-game decision-making process with Priefer heading into Saturday’s game:

“We talk every week with our game management group. As you know, there are so many things that come up in the course of a game that you want to make sure everybody is on the same page. You talk about how you think the game might unfold, and sometimes we peg it exactly right and sometimes we do not, but we want to have a plan going into it. More importantly, we want to be ready to adjust based on the variables of that particular game.”


On if the Browns made a decision to have DE Jadeveon Clowney and Garrett spend some time away from the building this week to ensure they would be available on Saturday:

“With Jadeveon, he has an illness so it just felt like it was prudent to keep him away. With Myles, just kind of going through the process of this and making sure that we are being smart. He was out there with his teammates at the end of practice there so just trying to be smart with him.”


On confirming Garrett was present at the end of practice today:



On confirming Clowney has an illness but has tested negative for COVID-19:



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