Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (7.28.22)


On Browns players wearing guardian caps on top of their helmets during practice today:

“Talked to the team about it. It is something that was jointly agreed upon with the (NFL)PA and the NFL. Anything we can do to make our game safer, we are all about. That is something that is new this year. I think the guys are open to it. Like anything, I am sure there is going to be [some] getting used to it and those type of things, but we used them with the rookies in that first camp when we had just the rookies and the quarterbacks out here – we had them on. I think it will just become the norm likely in our game.”


On if the feedback was positive regarding the guardian caps:

“That was the rookies wearing them so their feedback is no feedback, right? They will not tell you anything (laughter). We really have not had them on so today will be the first time with the veterans having them on.”


On when teams must wear the guardian caps per the NFL-NFLPA agreement:

“It is through the second week of the preseason. It is O line, D line, tight ends and linebackers. Just at practice.”


On if the guardian caps affect the ability to do more physical short-yardage drills:

“No, everything we do, we keep the head out of it. Whether you are tackling or blocking or taking on a block we are trying to keep our head out of it. That is good technique. Putting these things on does not automatically make you a battering ram of any sort so we are still being very safe in how we teach, and the guys know that is how we operate. We do not use our head in that way.”


On if guardian caps are open to other positions besides those that are mandated with the NFL-NFLPA agreement:

“Exactly, that is right. It is mandatory for O line, D line, linebackers and tight ends and then open to anyone else who wants to try it.”


On if any Browns players will voluntarily wear the guardian caps today:

“I am not sure.”


On when the Browns’ first practice in full pads will occur:



On WR Amari Cooper saying it is his job to get open regardless of who is playing QB:

“I co-sign what Amari said. Yes, I agree. Honestly, our receivers, they have their job to do, and they have to get open and they have got to catch the football. I do not think they spend a lot of time thinking about that. Conversely, quarterbacks do spend time thinking about how guys come out of breaks, getting used to a player’s length or maybe lack of length and how you throw to them. Receivers, they are getting open and they are catching the ball.”


On having continuity at DB entering the 2022 season:

“I think as you guys know, there is a lot of communication that occurs in the back-end. Often times, it is nonverbal communication. You are signaling to each other. You are watching a guy’s demeanor to understand what he is doing. You are making adjustments based on the formation, based on stacks, based on bunches and those type of things. Anytime you have the same group together, communication does become easier. Not to say that you do not work at it, but I think continuity allows that communication to be more seamless and maybe move a little bit faster in settings like this.”


On how DE Myles Garrett can improve this season, given Garrett said there are areas where he can improve:

“We mentioned this before, we will sit with all of the players when we get back to the offseason program, and we spend a lot of time looking at the tape and identifying things that every single player [can improve]. A guy like Myles who is a great player, there is always something that he needs to get better at. Next year, it is going to be the same message. I just think that is players that push themselves. I am not going to get into the specifics, but there are always things in technique that you can improve upon. I think Myles, along with (defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiff (Kiffin), has identified those things and they want to make sure that they start working it here on the practice field.”


On Garrett’s high sack production early in the season and it decreasing during the second half of the year and what led to the drop in production:

“I do think that you need to be careful because sacks do not tell an entire story. I think pressures really tell the story oftentimes. All of us do it and you look at that sack number, and that is maybe not the best indicator of a player’s impact on the game. I thought Myles had a significant impact throughout the season.”


On S John Johnson III’s comments regarding S Grant Delpit growing as a leader:

“I think with Grant, going back to the offseason program, he just did a really nice job in understanding what we are doing and was efficient in his movement. I think any leadership probably comes from him being more comfortable out there on the grass. This is in a lot of ways Year 2 for Grant. I think he is just getting more comfortable. Then natural leaders, that starts to come out of them when they can process information quickly, can react quickly and are doing their job. That is when the leadership thing starts to show up.”


On excitement about young Browns WRs but still needing consistency from that group:

“I think you hit it. Consistency is really, really important for any position, but that receiver position, certainly we are looking for guys who can perform on a consistent basis. We do have (WR) Amari (Cooper) who has done it at a high level throughout his career, and we do have young guys who we are excited about. On whole, it is a group that we are excited about.”


On Cooper’s down-to-earth personality compared to the big personalities of some other No. 1 NFL WRs:

“I think you guys are getting to know Amari just like I am getting to know Amari and spending time with him. He is a little bit more lowkey, not loud and boisterous, but he is a great teammate. He is brilliant, smart. I sit right behind him in meetings. He is as smart of a player as I have been around. I really enjoy having him out here. I enjoy watching him work. He is such a big, imposing figure at that position, and to watch him go through drills and take extra reps, he will not take himself out. (Wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator) Coach (Chad) O’Shea is the one who has to manage those type of reps. He is a pro’s pro all of the way.”


On what the Browns have learned about C Nick Harris:

“With Nick, as you know, he practiced so much because (former Browns and free agent C) JC (Tretter] was really on a pitch count, if you will, and we were being careful with JC’s knees throughout his career. With Nick, we saw a lot of him. There were a ton of reps that we got with him. He got to in the meeting room be able to study with JC with (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan, (G) Joel (Bitonio), (T) Jack Conklin, (G) Wyatt Teller and some of the older players, more established players. I think he has been brought along the right way. Then to his credit, he has done everything we have asked him to do. He is another guy who has worked very, very hard in this building to transform his body so I am excited about Nick.”


On how players like Harris getting additional practice reps earlier in their careers accelerates their growth:

“Very much so. There is nothing like doing. You can be up on the board as much as you want, but doing the job is really what will allow you to learn any of those tasks.”


On if evaluating the trade opportunity to acquire a No. 1 WR in Cooper starts with him or Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry:

“That particular one I do not remember. What happens is you spend a lot of time on potential cuts and potential trades so you kind have that list of guys. Amari was a guy we had done work on prior to that deal so I had watched him, the coaches had watched him and the scouts had watched him. I would tell you he was on our radar as a guy who may be available.”


On if both the coaching and personnel departments are involved in deals such as the one to acquire Cooper, regardless of who initiates the conversation:

“Yes, very much so.”


On if time is specifically dedicated for players to get to know each other during training camp or is it more organic:

“Good question. I think a lot of it is organic, and it is so much easier when you are standing next to somebody. In our locker room [with COVID-19 protocols], if you remember, we had the plastic up and it was every two lockers were empty. Now, everybody is next to each other. We are walking out to the practice field together. They can ride over together if they want to. They can go break bread together. I think so much of that happens organically. When you get back together – for instance when we got back together in April or we got back together a few days ago – you always do spend time to find out what everybody has been up to and share with each other – guys are having babies, guys who are getting married and all of those type of things.”


On working with various personalities as a head coach:

“I do not think it is any different than any business. Quite honestly, I think there are some different personalities around this circle right here (laughter). That is just who we are. That is how we operate certainly with different people and respecting people where they come from and where they are, and that is kind of what makes it fun is having different personalities.”


On if Browns players are grouped by position in the locker room or if it is spread out so offense, defense and special teams are intermixed:

“We have it spread out. You are always taking care of [veterans]. There are some premium positions in that locker room – guys like to be on the corners – so that will go to some of the vets and the older senior players, but we have them spread out.”


On his advice to chief of staff/assistant wide receivers coach Callie Brownson when serving as head coach of Women’s USA Football during the upcoming 2022 Women’s Tackle World Championship:

“We told her she is not allowed to come back without a gold medal is what we told her (laughter). She is ready. She is going to do a great job. I do not know if she needs my advice, but we are excited for her. She was able to be here for our team meeting on Tuesday night so we kind of wished her well. Excited to hopefully get to watch some of that it. It will be streaming. We are looking forward to her doing her thing and coming back with a gold medal.”


On his message to QB Deshaun Watson as a decision on a potential suspension is coming:

“With Deshaun, I know there is that uncertainty, like we talked about yesterday, but we can only control what we can control. I think that is what he has done a very nice job of. So much of that is football is there is a lot of volume to what we are doing right now when it comes to football so there are a lot of meetings, there is a lot of install and there is a lot of workout, walkthrough and practice. He has really thrown himself into that.”


On if he is empathetic to how challenging the uncertainty can be for Watson:

“Sure. I think everybody is going through certain challenges in training camp. We have to be ready to navigate those, like we have talked about, but we are trying to support all of our players.”


On the climax of last year’s training camp preparations seeming to be joint practices with the NY Giants and if that will also be the case during this year’s camp and joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles:

“I do not know that it was that [last year]. I know that those two days versus the Giants were some really good work. We will get in some really good work versus the Eagles obviously out here, but we still have more room to go post-that. Yes, to your point, we will really shift into regular season mode for that third preseason game versus Chicago. We will go to a regular season schedule, if you will, so you will notice that, but we have thought long and hard about how to plan this training camp so it is maximizing our ability to get this football team ready and minimizing any risk of injury.”


On what gives the Browns confidence that DT Jordan Elliott is ready to take on a significant role:

“He is another guy who did an awesome job here throughout the offseason and the summer. He has been diligent about his work. He looks great. I think he feels great. Excited about what he has. He has given us some really good moments in his first couple of seasons. I think he is ready to take on that bigger role. I think he is excited about it. Just the way he has attacked this offseason showed me that he is trending in the right direction.”


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