Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (5.13.22)


Opening statement:

“Great to see everybody out here. Awesome to have these young guys on the field. We got some really good work in there with the coaches – offense, defense and special teams. They are working very hard. We are throwing a lot at them mentally so they need to study, and they are studying. They are spending extra time in the morning and in the evening time, and they are doing a nice job in the classroom, the weight room and out here on the field. Looking forward to getting a couple more good days with them, and then we will keep them here next week.”


On any significant takeaways from last night’s schedule release:

“Not really. When you first get it, you always look to where is that bye week, how may back to backs, where are the division games and those type of things, but nothing in particular.”


On if the Browns feel better about where the bye week falls this year in comparison to last season:

“I think there is value [in having the bye week] in the middle of the season. I really do. It kind of worked out that way for us this season.”


On if the Browns are now starting their preparations to face the Panthers in Week 1 following the schedule release:

“You do. It is an opponent we have not played in the past couple of years. We have to get to know their coordinators and get to know their personnel so that is something that we are working on right now.”


On first impressions of DT Perrion Winfrey:

“He has done a nice job. This was obviously just a short practice out there. He has really good size. Comes off the ball explosively. He is working very hard.”


On if the Browns want to give K Cody York the maximum amount of reps to be ready to kick at FirstEnergy Stadium and other NFL stadiums:

“Yeah, I think it is a little bit. With a kicker, you are trying to maximize – maximize is a great word – every moment you have. You can’t kick every day. You just can’t do that. What are you doing on those off times? You are studying tape with the coaches, you are looking at what you can do better and you are working on your body and those type of things. He is going to make sure every minute counts.”


On WR David Bell:

“Organizationally, we are very excited to add David. He was somebody who throughout the process I know our coaches, our scouts and everybody was excited about him. He did a nice job today. He does not say a lot. He is pretty reserved, but he is very intelligent, did a nice job with what we gave him today and I expect him to continue to take strides every day.”


On G Dawson Deaton being listed at G and where Deaton will play:

“Interior – guard and center.”


On QB Jake Fromm joining the Browns rookie minicamp as a tryout player:

“Take a look at him. We brought two quarterbacks in – a rookie (QB Felix Harper) and Jake obviously has played for a couple of years – just to take a look at them.”


On what about Bell’s film made the team recognize Bell could be a fit in this offensive scheme:

“A very competitive player. Catches the ball really well. We thought he had some savviness. When you are looking at the draft, there are so many guys who can fit, and you better have a lot of guys who can fit in your scheme. It is really what traits do you feel like you can exploit, so to speak. We thought he was really competitive at the catch and has some versatility to play outside and inside.”


On if the Browns marked special teams as a top priority to improve this offseason, understanding the team wanted to improve in all areas:

“(Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) every season has tried to make some roster decisions to add good players, whether you are talking specialists or guys on your roster who you feel can be core players. I do not know that it was different this year. Obviously, we went out and signed (P) Corey (Bojorquez) and drafted (K) Cade (York) so I understand we added to that room, but that is always going to be something that is front of mind for him.”


On the Browns also improving in the return game with personnel added this offseason:

“I think it was more of the market and the availability of those players.”


On the challenge for TE Marcus Santos-Silva transitioning from basketball to football and Santos-Silva’s strengths:

“With the tight end position – we have all seen it – the guys who have transitioned from basketball into the pros, the body type first of all, you look at the frame and the ability to put weight on. Oftentimes, those undersized No. 4s who are in the 6-4 range and have a frame and/or are already in the 250s, they typically have great ball skills as basketball players. You are thinking about them in and around the hoop – there is a hoop right there (referencing nearby basketball hoop; laughter) – and the ability to snatch the ball. Then it is their ability to use their length. Some of the guys – you can think about (Pro Football Hall of Fame TE) Tony Gonzalez – using their length and body position. When they enter the ball into the post, similar to a stick route, hey, you can stick your hands out and go grab it. A lot of those things apply from basketball to the tight end position. We are always looking for guys who can maybe do that when given the chance.”


On what about WR David Bell’s skillset provides confidence playing as a slot WR:

“He has versatility outside and inside. Again, I do think he has a natural competitiveness both in route running and in route catching. The ability to make contested catches and the ability in the route-running game to set people up, drop your weight and those type of things.”


On who on the staff is beginning the process of getting to know the Panthers coordinators and schemes now that the Week 1 opponent is known and if that starts with the quality control coaches:

“That is a good question. It starts with the quality control guys. In their role, you do not want to use up a lot of your time prior to knowing the opponents and breaking down a bunch of tape because for instance, if you broke down a bunch of Carolina prior to the schedule release and they were the last game of the year, you just wasted a lot of time. For them, they just kind of wait for that schedule to come out and then it is the first three opponents who you are really focused on getting the tape and getting some work done on them early. You will have the preseason tape on them, but it certainly starts with quality control to break it down, and then as a staff, once it is broken down, you can chop it up and look at it every which way.”


On the Browns starting 3-1 in his first two seasons as head coach and if he is pleased with the team’s performance at the start of the season in his first two years, despite losing both openers:

“Both years in the last couple of years were different. Obviously, the [first] COVID year was different and last year was a little different offseason and then having a preseason. We have learned things the last couple of years that we like that we will continue to do. There are a couple of things that we would like to tweak. Ultimately, we do feel like between the coaches, the strength coaches and the medical staff, I do think we are putting our guys in position to be ready to play Week 1.”


On York’s ability and work related to the mental aspect of kicking:

“He is a naturally confident young man, which is great for that position. I do think that is something that all kickers, I am sure, constantly are working on the mental side of things. Really, all players are. That is something we take seriously here. I am sure that he has had a plan and he has had a system, if you will, that he has gone through in his past. I think you really want to stick to what works, but he is somebody who will constantly trying to find edges anywhere he can.”


On how York has already spoken to Browns Legend K Phil Dawson about Cleveland and kicking at FirstEnergy Stadium:

“I think that is great. I think Phil has been an outstanding ambassador for our team and certainly our specialists. To be able to connect with Phil and talk through FirstEnergy Stadium is an important part of it.”


On CB Martin Emerson Jr.’s size and length:

“Were you guys paying attention to the first drill? He put on of our coaches on his butt – probably should not have (laughter). Length with corners especially, it allows you at the line of scrimmage to really deter the release of the receiver. As receivers, they want off. They want the ability to sell the go-route and come off the ball. When you are somebody like Martin, they are going to work at the line of scrimmage versus you, but even if they gain six inches, you have maybe 33 inches to go with your length to make them get around you and get you off your precision-timing game.”


On WR Mike Woods II’s status:

“Working through a lower-leg injury, but he will be OK.”


On if all of the Browns draft picks will stay in Cleveland next week and if it will be their first time with veterans:

“Yes. Correct.”


On Emerson’s potential playing as a slot CB and if the team is in the market for a veteran CB who can play in the slot:

“I think we have multiple guys who can fill that role and have filled that role in there. I think that is why we talk about versatility. If you are playing corner or if you are playing safety, you are going to be trained to play in the slot and play our nickel position. I think we have multiple guys who can do that.”


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