Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (8.3.22)


Opening statement:

“Good to see you guys. A warm one out here today, which is good. We need the work in the heat. We have Jacksonville coming up. Lord knows what that temperature could be down there at night. We need to work in the heat so I think we are all looking forward to it. The message with that obviously is to hydrate and take care of ourselves. That is what we are looking forward to doing today. Congratulations to (Chief of Staff/assistant wide receivers coach) Callie’s (Brownson) team (USA Women’s Tackle). They won today. They beat Finland, 28-10. I think they have one more game out there – the gold medal game – so we are all keeping a close eye. We will have that game streaming on the TVs in there today.”


On T Jack Conklin recovering from the season-ending knee injury:

“We have talked about it. I am really impressed with Jack and how he has worked. He has taken every single day as an opportunity to get better and get stronger. It is one thing to rehab an injury and get healthy. He is trying to get stronger, and he has done that. I have been very impressed with his work ethic, and I think that rubs off on his position.”


On what kind of stabilizing force Conklin is when on the field:

“I think any of those vets who have kind of been there, done that and have seen a lot of football can be a great stabilizing force for guys across the offensive line. Think about young players, you can have a veteran next to you in that huddle. With all of your guys; I think it does make a big difference.”


On if LB Jacob Phillips can step up this season after battling injuries early in his career:

“I think he is in a good spot. We are excited about Jacob. Like you mentioned, being healthy is a big part of it, and he is. He is doing a nice job. He is getting a ton of reps out here. His athleticism as you know shows up in practice and certainly as we get into games. He is right on schedule, and we just need him to continue to work.”


On Phillips is ‘the final piece’ to see the end product of the Browns defense, given his speed and size:

“Certainly, as you know, we value length, and we value speed. That is Jacob’s game. He is a smart, tough, physical football player. Excited to see what he can do. Part of it again, I know he is going into his third year, but he has not been in the lineup all of the time. For practice, it is just huge getting him rep after rep after rep. I would single him out though as another guy who worked really, really hard. He was here a lot in the offseason, and those guys who stay here seem to get bigger, stronger and faster.”


On the similarities and differences in the personalities of RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and how well they continue to work together after several years with each other:

“I think that just speaks to those two people. They are very, very different, as you know, but they both love football, they both love to win and they both love to push each other. Different people, different players, different styles and all of that type of thing, but they do push each other.”


On the Browns WRs not being as ‘strong personalities’ as some other NFL WRs and if the team needs a more vocal WR as a leader in the room:

“When it comes to leadership, you can’t force that. You can’t be somebody who you are not. You mentioned the wide receiver room, obviously, (WR) Amari (Cooper) is the veteran in there. Amari just being himself, he can be a leader because you can lead by example in that way. I would not encourage anybody to try to take on a leadership role by being something they are not.”


On what has surprised the Browns about WR Michael Woods thus far in training camp:

“I do not know that anything has surprised me. He has played football on the big stage in college. He has done a nice job from the standpoint of being assignment sound, which is not always the thing that you will see from young players. I have been impressed by that aspect of it, and then as (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea says, ‘Get open, and catch the ball,’ and he has done that.


On if the Browns will hold a scrimmage or simulated game this weekend:



On the benefits of Browns players staying at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus during the offseason to train and/or rehabilitate:

“I stayed here, too (laughter). I respect guys who go home and go wherever they workout – they work hard, too, so I do not want it make seem like you have to stay here. I get to see it firsthand the guys who stay here who come in the building every day who are in early, put in the work with their teammates and put in the work with our coaches. I have seen those guys take great strides. Again, not to say the guys who do not stay here do not, but it is fun to see a guy in the middle of March here working on his craft, whether there are some guys who are rehabbing from an injury or some guys are just trying to get better.”


On how the Browns offensive sets are similar and different than what QB Jacoby Brissett has run previously in his career:

“There are similarities between every offense. They all have these common threads, and there is nuance which varies scheme to scheme. Jacoby has been in a couple of different schemes already going back to New England, Indy and Miami. There are definitely plays that he has run that we run that he knows exactly what those plays are about. As we have evolved over the last couple of years here, we have added and tweaked certain things that we do so he is getting up to speed on that.”


On whether he prefers a ‘boisterous group’ of WRs or an ‘all-business’ WR corps as O’Shea described the group in 2022:

“I do not care. I really do not. Again, I think it goes back to the previous question about leadership. You just want everybody to be authentic and to be themselves. There are a bunch of boisterous rooms in there. I hear them so it is not like we have got a bunch of choir boys. Guys are having fun. They are being loud. They are excited about playing football. Ultimately, we just want them to be themselves.”


On the Browns traveling to Jacksonville early:

“Just one day early. It is something I wanted to do. I have a couple of things that I want to get done down there.”


On if the Browns will have team activity in Jacksonville:



On if the Browns have heard anything regarding a potential appeal by the NFL on the QB Deshaun Watson suspension:

“I have not.”


On if Browns players are off tomorrow:



On if he encourages players to be in the facility tomorrow or stay home and if there is any formal team activity tomorrow:

“No, there is nothing formal. We have a bunch of modalities that we can offer them here. We certainly are here for guys who want to recover. Luckily, they will have something to recover from after today. What they do with their off day, so much of it is getting their mind, body and spirit right for the next day.”


On what the Browns learned about LB Jacob Phillips last year when unable to play due to the biceps injury:

“He was in every meeting. Again, that is not always the case with guys who are injured and going to be out for a long time. He was in every meeting and knows exactly what we are doing. To play that MIKE linebacker role, you have to know what you are doing inside and out because you are directing traffic oftentimes. I think Jacob is a student of this game, and I think (linebackers) Coach (Jason) Tarver does a great job with him so that he can really dive into this game and some of the different things that we do off of the scheme.”


On if he has seen Browns players taking advantage of the resources available by the team to help recovery and combat injury:

“Yeah, I have. I think that we are offering it and we are encouraging it obviously. Everything we do from how we structure this practice to really how we have structured training camp is to make sure that we get this football team ready to play and we do it in a safe manner. Part of that is each guy taking it upon themself to recover with their body. There are many things in there that we can offer them in that regard, but that is so much of being a pro is taking advantage of things that can get your body back after practices.”


On the mental and emotional components of recovering from injury:

“The mental health piece of it for anybody, if you have ever been injured and you are not playing in that moment, you can be isolated from the team. It is easy to sit there on the training table and not feel a part of it. We really want to encourage our guys when they are not in and getting those reps – maybe they are on injured reserve at that point – we always are encouraging guys to make sure that they still feel a part of this team because they are a big part of it. I think back to guys over the years that are on IR and they are just in the building and they want to be around the team. That certainly is a big part of what we encourage.”


On why players are off Thursday after three days of practice to start the week:

“Just the way the schedule comes out. We are just trying to be mindful of things. Then knowing that we are going to be going down to Jacksonville, just trying to work the schedule as we see fit. Everybody’s preseason games do not come on the same day so you will start to see a little bit divergence of schedules throughout the league.”


On if he had to reinforce the message of players taking care of one another after yesterday’s ‘dust up’ between WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and CB Martin Emerson Jr.:

“I address those types of things really every day with the guys. It is a competitive practice. It is a competitive sport. It is a physical sport. All of those things. I do understand that guys are going to play hard and there is a chippiness to every practice that we have ever been a part of in all of our lives, but we just do not want to waste time dealing with those type of things.”


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