Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (8.9.22)


Opening statement:

“Good to see everybody. Another good day today. We will still be in training camp mode. I know that it is game week and we have a game on Friday night, but we will treat today as truly a training camp day. Tomorrow we will spend some more time on Jacksonville. We will practice a little bit earlier. Tomorrow afternoon get on the airplane and get down to Jacksonville tomorrow night. Looking forward to a really good day today.”


On if he has set the plan for QB playing time at Jacksonville:

“I do. I have not shared that with the team yet so I will wait on announcing that. We have a framework for how we are going to handle this preseason. As you know, you always reserve the right to change your mind based on how practice goes and those type of things, but we are pretty confident in the plan we have.”


On if QB Deshaun Watson will make the trip to Jacksonville:



On if he can share if Watson will play at Jacksonville:

“Not right now, but I will at some point.”


On if the Browns will start the first team OL at Jacksonville if Watson plays:

“I would tell you it kind of remains to be seen. I will have those types of conversations later in the week.”


On today being his final press conference of the week prior to Friday’s postgame session, in relation to sharing playing time information:

“Darn, I did not know that (laughter). I will let you know. I will let you guys know. Not keeping it a secret. I just want to make sure I tell the team first.”


On RB Kareem Hunt participating in team drills yesterday and if the ‘things are better now’ regarding Hunt’ situation:

“Just like last time, I do not really want to get into those type of things. I feel like those are internal. Those are between myself and the players and this team and the players. That is how we will handle those type of things. Like I told you guys yesterday, I have a ton of respect for Kareem as a person, and he is a really good football player.”


On if he is ‘at least comfortable with where the relationship and situation’ with Hunt are now:

“Again, I am not going to make a comment on those type of things.”


On if the Browns’ plan for starters’ playing time in the preseason will be similar to 2021:

“I think it will be similar, but I think you have to make decisions based on your team, and every year, things are different. I think the one thing of note is we have Philly coming in (Preseason) Week 2 to practice versus them. I do think that is a great opportunity to get two really good days of work in a controlled setting where you do not have to play your starters as much in that (Preseason) Week 2, per se. I do think (Preseason) Week 3 we still treat as a dress rehearsal so to speak. Is it exactly the same plan as last year? No, just because it is not the same team, but I do believe that (Preseason) Week 2 practices allow you to maybe not play guys in that second game as much.”


On the NFL schedule now having three preseason games and if roster evaluations may pivot more to the first two preseason games, given there no longer is a fourth preseason game and the third is still treated as a ‘dress rehearsal’:

“Potentially. I think you are right in that we do not have that fourth game so you have to find opportunities for those guys because we are going to have to make those tough decisions, and I want to give those guys a fair shake. They get reps out here. As you know, they do not get a ton of reps when you are talking about the threes so I want to give everybody a fair shake.”


On if he abides by the concept that if the starting QB is playing that the starting OL will also play:

“I would say it depends. It depends on who you your players are in those scenarios.”


On the Browns’ plan at QB and if the number of reps QB Jacoby Brissett has taken with the first team in in practices will result in Brissett playing more during the preseason:

“I am confident in our plan. Obviously, like I have told you guys, we will adjust based on information. I am comfortable in what Jacoby has done to date with his reps. He has gotten a lot of them. He has gotten some with the ones and some with the twos, and we will stick to our plan absent any new information.”


On if in his career he has been able to allow a player express emotions, like skipping practice periods, and be able to return in good standing with the rest of the team:

“I would just tell you, not specific to what you are saying, but with all of our guys, we are all human. We have 90 guys on this roster and all of these coaches. We are all human. We all are dealing with things outside of this building. I am respectful of that with all of our guys, and I think you have to meet everybody where they are in that moment.”


On if WR David Bell or WR Anthony Schwartz will play at Jacksonville: 

“We have not talked about it. I have not made a decision yet. I do think it is important that we get our guys good reps both here in practice and in the games, if that is what they need, but those two guys in particular, I will wait to make a decision.”


On how Bell and Schwartz have been in practice since returning from injury:

“Not a lot yet to be fair – just 10 team plays or so the last time we were out here. It is just going to be a matter of adding more reps to what they are doing. You have two really intelligent football players and guys who I do want to see more of obviously, but you have to be mindful of they are coming off injury.”


On DT Perrion Winfrey’s energy and sharing he wants to save most of it for the field and the ‘virtual sack’ earlier this week: 

“I like that, ‘virtual sack.’ There were other sacks in that two-minute drill, too. Since you brought it up, I told the defensive line, I am going to let them play. There are going to be sacks here, but I am going to let you play. Sometimes it could be misleading when the offense moves the ball down the field in the two-minute when it likely would have been sacked. Perrion, as you know, full of life, full of energy and full of personality. I do think he understands that this is his job. He is a professional. He is a young player so we are going to bring him along like we do with young players and mentor him both from the coaches and the veterans on this team, but I do think he gets the seriousness of this and that he has to work on his craft.”


On traveling to Jacksonville tomorrow and if one factor of the decision for the longer trip is that the team spends all of its year and training camp at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, rather than another site: 

“A little bit of that. I was with the Vikings for a bunch of years when we went to Mankato all of the time, which was an hour and 15 (minutes) down the road. I think there was something to that collegial element of being together. I wanted to do this regardless of where we were going. It did not matter where we were going, I wanted to do a two-day trip and get some things done. Fortunately, I think we have a good plan.”


On if he can share the team-building activities planned in Jacksonville: 

“I can’t because it is a secret to the team. I have not told them about it so I can’t tell you yet.”


On if the team plans on doing team activities outside of the hotel:

“Yes. Will you be down there? A stakeout? Waiting for us to sleep? (laughter) Yeah, we will be doing some team activities.”


On T Jedrick Wills Jr. starting earlier in the day that he believed he was playing at about 50 percent of his ability while battling through the ankle injury last season:

“I will take Jed at his word if that is how he felt, but I do think going back to those moments, a young player battling through injuries and still playing, I thought, at a pretty high level I think says a lot about him and that in turn his teammates see that. I do think that is important because you never feel 100 percent in this game. You just do not. You battle through some nicks and bruises and those type of things. Now, when you are injured, you are injured – I get that part – but to see a guy push through and perform, I thought, at a high level was impressive. Now, does he want to get better? Yes, and obviously, being healthy allows him to do that.”


On what Winfrey has shown the team on the field during training camp:

“He is working really hard. I go back to we had him for nine weeks in the offseason, and he made strides there as he learned about our system and how we play. Then we brought the rookies in four days early. He made strides there. Even now, I think you will find him out here early with the coaches working on his craft. All of the young guys, they just need time to work on their craft. There is no secret and there is no shortcut to this thing.”


On the importance of Browns rookies and young players receiving mentorship from veterans, including as it relates to building team chemistry:

“I think it works both ways. I think we have veterans who are willing to work with young guys, and obviously, the young guys are listening and taking what these older players say to heart. I just think that is part of being a really good team is bringing your rookies along because the truth is in the NFL, you are going to need your rookies and they are going to play early. That has certainly been the case for us the last couple years so we want to bring our guys along as quickly as we can.”


On how significance of having fast LBs in the Browns defensive system:

“Speed is a big deal when it comes to our defense. It is one of the principles of this defense that (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) has built. We want guys who are able to run sideline to sideline and guys who are able to with their length defend some of the unique offensive attacks that you get in the modern day and age.”


On Peter C. Harvey potentially ruling on discipline for QB Deshaun Watson while the team is in Jacksonville, including while conducting team-building activities:

“I think you know me well enough where we are just dealing with today. I do not know any other way to do it, and I think the team understands that, as well.”


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