Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (6.16.21)


On the biggest difference in QB Baker Mayfield compared to last year when getting to work in person together now:

“You get Year 1 under your belt. We learned a lot about him, he learned a lot about us and you hope to build off of that. Having him in person here like you mentioned, working with AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt), working the drill work, getting into the seven-on-sevens and all of the team work, I think all of it is valuable. Great opportunities to communicate at the line of scrimmage, in the huddle, etc. I think, like all of the players here, are really getting better.”


On one specific example of something he has learned about Mayfield during this minicamp working together in person this year:

“Hard with specifics. He is throwing the ball really well. I do think what I would tell you is anytime for any player, when you have comfort in what you are doing, you can cut it loose. Specifically in Baker’s case, I think that is true. Also, you think about some of our young players, rookies especially, they do not have a firm grasp on it so it is hard to play fast when you are thinking. Year 2 in this system for Baker, you hope that there is a comfort level where his play happens fast and the processing happens fast.”


On the NFL announcing new protocols for training camp and the preseason and if he can provide an update on the percentage of Browns players who have been vaccinated:

“I am not going to share the number. We are not 100 percent so we are going to make sure we continue to educate our guys on how this can help themselves and their families. We have talked about how it is a competitive advantage. We want to make sure that they have a ton of information as they make their choice, but I am not going to get into the specifics of who is vaccinated and who is unvaccinated.”


On NFL Network stating at least half of the teams have 51 or more players vaccinated and if the Browns are among that group:

“I will confirm whatever the league said – we are higher than 51.”


On where team stands heading into the six-week break before training camp:

“We have plenty of work to do. We definitely worked very hard. We have another day tomorrow, but the guys that were here, the guys who were on the Zoom calls and wherever the guys where working out, I know they worked really hard. We covered ground. Even today, we got a lot of good situational work in today. I am not going to tell you how I feel overall. I just know there is a ton of work left to do. You are right, we have a day tomorrow, there is a break and then we have to get ready to roll because it comes at you fast.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr. doing a little bit more field work today and if that is an attempt to test what he is able to do when training camp starts:

“We were not testing him. It is all just part of the rehab and part of the process. He is coming off of that surgery. As you know, he works really, really hard. I think he is progressing nicely and then we will see where he is once training camp rolls around.”


On the Browns having strong competition for the No. 3 WR spot:

“Competition is great. I really do think we have it at a bunch of positions, not just the wide receiver position. Those guys push each other. They know that everybody when they walk in this building, myself included, you are fighting for a job. That is the competitive nature of this game. It just pushes everybody to elevate their game.”


On if the Browns could use more three WR formations than last season:

“We will see. We will see how the roster comes out. Play to your strengths is what we tried to do last year, and we will certainly try to do this year. Again, I think that is something that will apparent as we start playing games.”


On if there is something that stood out most this week about DE Jadeveon Clowney, who seems to really be taking to the team and camaraderie in the building with the joy shared:

“That became obvious to me that he does enjoy people, being around people and joking around. He loves this game. You watch how he plays and throws his body around, you know he loves this game. It does not surprise me seeing him around his teammates, and they have obviously welcomed him into this family. I think he is excited to be a part of it. That is the fun part of getting all of those guys on the field. They are on the field together, they are on the sideline together, they are in the stretch lines together and they are constantly talking and they are building these relationships.”


On if he allowed himself to dream about having Clowney and DE Myles Garrett on the field together:

“They will be out there together quite a bit. That is something that is the fun part for us in this business and with (defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods) and the defensive staff is we want to use all of our guys. We want to use them to their best ability and use them in different ways so that is certainly something that we have been doing.”


On which of the seven guys working on the side today are expected back at the start of training camp:

“You would have to ask me specifically, but I am also not going to get into the injuries too deep. The guys who were over there, they are working through things, but I expect they will all progress nicely.”


On if T Chris Hubbard will be fully ready for training camp:

“He is hitting all of his benchmarks on his rehab so we will see over the course of time.”


On if he expects the beginning of training camp will be similar to last year with the slower ramp-up period before contact:

“I do. There will be an acclimation period mandated from the league, and we will also use our own science to guide us as we put the plan together to make sure that we are ramping up safely as we start training camp.”


On Clowney saying he loves his teammates and if that is a byproduct of the members of the team or if it is something the team works to cultivate:

“There is work to be done, for sure, but we like it when there is personality out there and we like it when there is juice and they are having fun. I think what you have seen is guys have spent some time together. Outside of the building, they have spent plenty of time on Zoom calls. Finally, they are playing football. Let’s not forget, this is a kid’s game. To see those guys out there having fun, obviously, that is important to us.”


On referencing ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ given the team was apart for all of last offseason and the team having success last year, if there is a sense of having to ‘manage togetherness’:

“That is pretty deep (laughter). Good question. I think the guys certainly like being around each other. They like being on the field playing football. That is part of the gig is you can only work out so much; you have to go play football, and you have to go practice football. I think the guys are enjoying that. I think it also helps that the weather has been incredible so they are enjoying being out there on the fields.”


On WR Rashard Higgins working on the side of the fields today:

“He will be fine.”


On if S Grant Delpit working on the side after some on-field work is part of the planned rehab process:

“Yes, all a part of the plan.”


On his message to the team for their time between minicamp and training camp:

“I have to think through it first. Obviously, anytime you send your players away for some time, the message of making sure they are staying in shape and making sure they are staying safe obviously will be a big part of it. It is a really good break that the NFL has and has had for years where it is time to go charge the battery because as we all know and you all know, it is a long season, and it got longer by a game in the regular season. We really want to make sure that when we are away from the building that we get to recharge while maintaining the shape that these guys are in. Just charge that battery and get ready.”


On if defensive coordinator Joe Woods is ‘on the hot seat’ to perform this year as some external people speculate, given the defensive talent added:

“I do not answer to the external people, that is the first thing I would tell you. I am on the hot seat. We are all in the hot seat. The second we are in this building, we have to fight for everything we get. We are earning it every day. That is no different for myself or all of our players. That is my mentality.”


On if there is a percentage of how much of Woods’ defense and scheme was played last year, given some key pieces may have been missing:

“I would not put a percentage on it, but I will tell you, Year 1 to Year 2, you evolve, for sure. That is what we are doing offensively, and we are definitely doing it defensively, mindful of adding some new players to the scheme, but we are constantly evolving. I would go to having the entire staff back is a big deal. Our defensive staff one year under the belt together, we are so much farther ahead as a staff in terms of what we want to do, how we communicate, how we get to the players, etc. That is a big deal, as well.”


On how excited he, Woods and the Browns defense are to see the opportunities available with the new defensive additions:

“Joe and the defensive staff, they are excited. I will tell you, though, we have a lot of work to do as a team. Joe and I were talking about that on the field today. We have a lot of work to do. There is another practice tomorrow. Training camp is on the horizon. We are going to make sure that we focus on the work. Just in terms of the players we have added, of course, we have talked about that before. We are excited to add these guys to all levels of the defense. Now, it is a matter of getting to work and seeing who can do what.”


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