Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (9.12.22)


Opening statement:

“Like we talked about yesterday, a good team win. Thought it would be a 60-minute game, and it was. The guys fought until the very end. Plenty to clean up, and that is what you have to do. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, we got a win. Let’s move on.’ There is stuff that we are cleaning up right now as we speak in those meeting rooms. Then we have to turn the page. As exciting as it was, we have to turn the page when the players walk out the door here in about an hour. We are on to the Jets so that will be our mentality. Some unbelievable individual efforts yesterday that we were really, really excited about, but really looking to the things that we can improve, clean up and just get better because we have to continue to get better throughout this season.”


On if yesterday’s game unfolded as hoped with the run game, defense and special teams contributing to a win:

“In some ways. I just know that game in particular, we really could have pulled away earlier. Going one-for-four in the red zone. We double dip at the half, we get a field goal, get the ball in the second half and get a field goal. You score on consecutive possessions but only six points. There are opportunities to be better early so that you do not have to kick a 58-yarder at the end.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett’ being emotional after the game and if he expects Brissett to be able to settle in more after the first start, including a slower opening of the game and ‘first game jitters’:

“I think like all our players, I really do believe he can continue to get better. I think he will continue to get better. Having said that, I know there were some misses, but the throw to (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) the second-to-last completion there – I know we completed it to (WR) Amari (Cooper) to get to the 40 – to Donovan with a player bearing down on him who was unblocked, standing in the pocket making that throw, that is big time football right there. He can be better, but really, really proud of how he finished that game.”


On Peoples-Jones making key contested catches yesterday:

“Really from the beginning to the end. Early in the game and then late in the game and throughout, he made the plays that came to him. You mentioned the contested catches – some of them on third down and some of them in two-minute there – that is a very valuable asset to have as a receiver where, even when you are covered, you are not. For him to go up and get the ball was impressive in a bunch of those moments.”


On playing RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt at the same time more yesterday, how many snaps they shared yesterday and if the team can continue to advance those packages during the season:

“I do not have the exact number, but it is something that we are always going to explore week in and week out what we feel like gives the defense a tough time. There were plenty of snaps versus that defense of looks like that. We will continue to explore those type of things. Part of the offensive gameplan is to do what we do but also try to do things that may give them problems. Moving forward, definitely could see something like that growing.”


On Chubb’s dominant, forceful running style:

“He had two runs late in the game – I am not going to tell you the name of the play – consecutive that are as good as there are in the NFL. Making guys miss, jumping over people and playing physical, it was a site to behold.”


On Chubb’s consistent production in yards after contact:

“I think it is one of our philosophies of things that we harp on constantly with the players is you want to block these things up perfectly, you want to give the runner a clean hole and that type of thing, but there are plenty of dirty runs. They occur because the defense is pretty good, and they are trying to stop the run. For us mentality-wise when we are running the ball, we want to finish our guy. Just eliminate one guy. You eliminate one guy, and even if that means we are leaving our runners one to make them miss, we have confidence that they will do it. When it is blocked perfectly, I think about Kareem’s run; his touchdown was blocked really, really well; read it really well; got through the first and second level of the defense and scores. Then you have moments where they know we are running it, it is messy in there and there are bodies all over the ground, and these guys are jumping over people. Again, the guys work really hard, and I think the O line, the tight ends and the wide receivers, it does put in their mindset that they just have to finish their man.”


On two defensive miscommunications that led to big plays and how to clean that up:

“That was really disappointing because we played really, really good defense yesterday. To give up 75 yards, 50 yards and even on the fumbled snap they pick it up and get 28 yards, that is a lot of yards on three plays. Those were just moments for us just not doing our job. Yes, there are miscommunications, but those type of things should not happen, and we will get it fixed.”


On T Jack Conklin being inactive and if Conklin experienced a setback, given comments earlier in the week that Conklin was progressing as planned:

“No setbacks. He is close. He is really close. Felt like he was close for this game, but just going to continue to make smart decisions with the doctors’ input and with Jack’s input moving forward.”


On T James Hudson III’s performing well at RT with Conklin out:

“He did [play pretty well]. He fought like crazy. Obviously, when you are going against premier rushers in (Panthers DE Brian) Burns and going into the game that a heavy-pressure team, knew that we would have to be smart about our protections and not leave our guys one on one very often. When we did, they did a nice job. We took one sack on a first-down play, but other than that, it was pretty clean and Jacoby made some plays from some loud pockets.”


On the timeout on the first offensive series and if Browns players were having trouble lining up or understanding their assignments early in the game:

“Ultimately, I think we just need to do a better job from the sideline to the huddle communicating. It felt like a Game 1 drive on the road. It felt like a lot of guys were pressing, not getting in the huddle or not hearing it exactly. I think at home, that solves those issues a little bit. For me and for us, it really goes back to the preparation, the practice and making sure that you are on point.”


On the Browns getting WR Anthony Schwartz involved with easier touches, including in the running game, and if part of that was to help boost Schwartz’ confidence early in the game, similar to what he shared postgame about K Cade York:

“Not really, honestly. Just a normal gameplan for us. We have a ton of confidence in Anthony.”


On if there are any other updates related to injuries:



On if the Browns have had York’s leg tested by NASA yet (jokingly):

“I will check Dobbsy (QB Joshua Dobbs), but not that I know of (laughter).”


On York converting four FGs and a 58-yard game-winning FG in his NFL debut and the benefits from that experience moving forward:

“That is a rare performance for a rookie, as we all know. Pretty unprecedented for him to go do that. Just going to continue to grow with him. Recognize that he is a rookie. He is going to miss a kick, but we trust in the kid.”


On the importance of having players like DE Myles Garrett move around and create opportunities for other players such as S John Johnson III and S Ronnie Harrison Jr.:

“I just think it speaks to the players’ versatility. It is the same thing on the offense – you want guys who can line up at a bunch of different spots because you can do things both as a defense and as an offense to make it look difficult to your opponents, but it is easy for you. Lining up those guys in different spots maybe causes confusion to the other side, but it is real easy for them just to how we call it.”


On the run blocking performance of the Browns TEs:

“We knew they were going to be called upon in the run game. We felt good about the run plan. In that run plan, we often times put a lot on the tight ends’ plate. I thought (TE) David (Njoku) in particular was outstanding in that regard.”


On RB Demetric Felton Jr. muffing a punt and if Felton will remain the team’s PR:

“I think you always have young players who will continue to get better. We did have the one muff. He will continue to make good decisions and work on it in practice.”


On Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule being uncertain about the officials’ decision regarding Brissett’s spike to stop the clock on the Browns’ final offensive series:

“The spike, whatever they ruled, I will go with the officials on that one.”


On takeaways from Brissett’s first game as the starting QB in the Browns offensive system:

“Jacoby, he battled. There were some opportunities early, but you have to understand that these games, there are going to be some moments with some highs and you have to battle through the lows. You look around the league and there are some tough moments. There are some really good defenses out there. For us, it is going to be about learning from the plays that we would like back and then just putting a plan together to be able to go perform this week versus the Jets.”


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