Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (5.25.22)

Opening statement:

“Good to see everybody. A really great day out here. Again, we had a really good day yesterday so to be out here OTA No. 2, some really good moments for offense, defense and special teams. A ton to clean up as you would expect when you are in OTA 2. We are going slow. We are building the foundation as we have to do. We have to take our time, but the guys are getting great reps. It is just great to have these moments. OTAs you can make great strides. Just great to have this many guys here and working together so really was a good day. Also, it is great with COVID non-restrictions, if you will, to have the military out here today so we can celebrate them. We have a bunch of people who grew up in military families – obviously, (special teams coordinator) Coach (Mike) Priefer being a Navy Man. Any opportunity we get to celebrate them, we are going to do that. Yesterday, we had athletes from the Special Olympics out here so it was great to see them. Tomorrow, we are going to invite some local high school coaches out here. Using these opportunities to highlight people in our community, which is really important. Again, really good day.”


On G Joel Bitonio and DE Myles Garrett not attending practice today:

“That is kind of filed under this is voluntary. We have never intimated that it is anything but voluntary. The guys who are here obviously get good work out here with the coaches, but that is how we will operate.”


On how QB Deshaun Watson is looking in practice and if there was a boost with the offense spending more time together recently:

“Deshaun had another good day. I thought he was really sharp yesterday, as well. I think all of that work matters. I think the work that they do in this building together and the work they do outside the building, it all adds up. You have heard me say it before, it is added reps so he is doing a nice job.”


On if there was ever a time in his career where a team added three new QBs and if that presents a unique challenge:

“I do not recall. I am sure I am thinking back to when we got (Vikings QB) Kirk Cousins and I think (former Vikings and Bears QB) Trevor Siemian was new so at least two new guys going into that year. I think it is all good work. I think that all this work that we are getting out here, we are starting at the very basics of what we are doing. The work we are getting done in that classroom is so important, and to teach three guys on the field and we are getting really good questions from all three of those guys because it is new. I think it is a benefit to have an offseason as we have it where we can go slow, we do not have to rush our installations and we can use up all these OTA days and all of this minicamp to make sure that we have a true teaching progression to how we do things.”


On if Watson needs to shake off rust after not playing last season:

“I think it is a good question. I think he is doing that. I think any time you are practicing, you are doing that, but certainly game speeds and those types of things, that is something that will come in preseason games. I definitely think for all of these guys they are shaking off an element of rust just from that break.”


On how Watson has handled what ‘could be a pretty extreme distraction for him’:

“I think Deshaun, like all of our guys, are professionals, and when they are here we have a job to do and we try very hard to block out and leave outside outside and make sure that we are focusing on the day-to-day tasks at hand when it comes to football.”


On if he watched HBO Real Sports segment last night on Watson’s legal proceedings:

“I did not.”


On why did he not watch the HBO Real Sports segment last night on Watson’s legal proceedings:

“I read about it. I would tell you, we did a lot of work on that. As we talked about, we have done a lot of work on Deshaun the person, and there is legal proceedings ongoing and there is an investigation ongoing so I will not comment much further than that. We understand with respect to that it is something that we are going to be dealing with as these proceedings go on.”


On how much the Browns’ first teams could potentially change between now and training camp:

“I would say quite a bit because we are trying different things in these OTAs. This is the time to move guys around and try different positions for them and things that they maybe have not done in the past so this is really a trial in a lot of ways. I would say a lot can change.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney re-signing with the Browns:

“Great to have JD back. He is a very active player. He was very productive for us last season. He is very popular in this building so having him in the meeting room and having him around the building, you felt his energy and the guys were excited that he was here.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ progress last season and opportunities to improve more in 2022:

“I think what you have seen from Donovan going into Year 3, I think he does continue to take strides – take strides regarding his body, very understanding of our scheme and our system so we are moving him around the formation quite a bit. I think is just more rhythming up with Deshaun, rhythming up with (QB) Jacoby (Brissett) and (QB) Josh (Dobbs) and understand a little bit of how we are installing and adjusting a few things, just making sure that he is on top of those things.”


On external speculation that the Browns may add another veteran WR to the roster and if the team having not yet done that is an indication of its confidence in WRs Donovan Peoples-Jones’ and Anthony Schwartz’ ability to be the No. 2 WR:

“I do not know what it says like you mentioned. Comfortable with those guys. Comfortable with that room. Like we have mentioned before, we have a bunch of guys who can play different roles for us and have played good football for us so feel good about that room.”


On if the Browns were ever ‘nervous’ about Clowney’s future while a free agent or if the team was confident Clowney would return:

“I think with free agency and all of these things, you stay in constant communication, and you really can’t tell when it comes to the marketplace of how things are going to go. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and JD’s crew stayed in close contact really throughout.”


On the Browns having a basketball hoop out on the practice field:

“It is out there to watch (LB) Anthony Walker brick shot after shot (laughter). This is a true story, I bought that hoop at DICK’s Sporting Goods in Minnesota maybe three or four years ago. When we moved out here, I was living in these condos over here so we got that hoop delivered to the condos two years ago. COVID times so we brought the basket and had it here in the parking lot so me and the kids would come over and shoot when we were living over here. When we ended up moving here, we left the basket here so that is my hoop. Don’t break it, A-Walk (laughter). Having it out here, it is amazing how much these guys love to shoot hoops. They just love it. They do not care that it is on the grass or they do not care if the rim is bent and it is an old basket. They just love that. Part of what that is No. 1 is have fun but No. 2 just competing. Deshaun and (QB) Jacoby (Brissett) played knockout yesterday. Just to watch these guys compete, it is just such a pillar of what we are trying to do here.”


On stating that all players are somewhat rusty at this point in the offseason program and if Watson taking almost every offensive snap today is to help acclimate Watson into the Browns offense:

“He is our starter. We have a rotation there. I do not have the exact number of reps, but Jacoby got his fair share of reps. That is kind of how we operate.”


On the significance of Clowney entering the offseason and season healthy, given Clowney stated last year he was the healthiest he had been entering that offseason and past injuries:

“All of these guys battle injuries at certain points of the season. Sometimes you are out a few games. Sometimes it is one game. Sometimes it is a quarter. A part of this game is working through those. Obviously, everybody feels healthy at this moment. We are not doing anything contact out here so we are trying to be smart about everything we do. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of this game so we try to make sure that we are smart about the work that we do and then understand when you do get injured, in varying degrees of severity, you have to work back to the field.”


On RB Kareem Hunt missing multiple games due to injury last season and how that curtailed the Browns offensive scheme:

“Kareem is a good football player. Yeah, we missed him. We do not ever want to go a stretch without Kareem. He has been a very, very productive player for us in the run and the pass game. Excited for him to be healthy and getting some offseason work in right now”


On if Watson addressed the team this week about the HBO Real Sports segment:

“Respectfully, I am not going to get into really anything that we talk about inside. I would kind of leave that to the team.”


On if K Cade York is kicking at FirstEnergy Stadium:

“Kicked yesterday at the stadium, yeah. We are going to get down there quite a bit with our battery with our holders, our long snapper and Cade. He will get some opportunities to work out here. Just a normal course of getting comfortable in our stadium, and have to get comfortable out here. We will have plenty of opportunities to kick out here, as well.”


On what the Browns like about CB Greg Newsome II playing in the slot:

“Smart player. Played in there a good bit for us last season. Intelligence is a premium when you are there because you have to be able to fit the runs, you have to be able to pressure, play man and play zone. He is a smart player. He is physically built to play inside or outside. He is somebody who we will continue to work in there and really among a bunch of different guys who will work in there.”


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