Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (9.19.22)


Opening statement:

“Injury front, JD, (DE) Jadeveon Clowney has an ankle injury. He will be out this week due to that injury. (DE) Chase Winovich has a hamstring injury. He will be out. (TE) Jesse James has a bicep injury. He will be out.


“Obviously, that is a tough one, a tough pill to swallow yesterday with that game. The frustration is very, very real when you have a game that you feel like you can close out and we didn’t so that is the frustration and that is the disappointment. Having said that, we have a game Thursday night. We have a game in our building versus a division opponent. We have got to very, very quickly turn the page, make corrections and move on because in these short weeks, you just can’t let the previous game linger. You really do have to move on. That is what we will do. We will meet with the team this afternoon, we will have a full walkthrough this afternoon and then we are full-bore onto Pittsburgh.”


On if he should have told the Browns offense not to score with under two minutes left in the game when RB Nick Chubb scored the team’s final TD of the game:

“Obviously, with retrospect, you want to do anything to secure the win. That is something that is my responsibility to communicate to that huddle. Putting yourself up potentially 14 points inside of two minutes, you should close out that game. Yes, I wish I had said that to Nick and Nick would have done it, but it does not change the fact that we had plenty of opportunities to win that game.”


On what happened that led to the NY Jets’ 66-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter after evaluating the film:

“As you can imagine, obviously, looked at it and talked with the coaches about it. We will talk to the players about it. I am not going to get into the responsibilities and those type of things because I just don’t see that as productive. The bottom line is that should never happen. We have to be able to defend the pass in those obvious passing situations. We just have to everybody be on the same page. It is frustrating that we were not in that case, and I know it happened previous in Week 1, as well. Those are the type of things we have to get fixed immediately because when you are in a game like that, everybody knows what they are about to do and it was not a surprise to anybody so that is the only way that we could have let them back in that game. Again, it just goes back to we have to correct the correct-ables.”


On DE Myles Garrett’s fourth quarter pass rush win rate being significantly lower than the second and third quarters, which lead the NFL, and if that is the result of small sample size or potentially Garrett being worn down late in games:

“I would probably say it is small sample size. He is playing at a high level. We are going to continue to need him to play at a high level.”


On how to help prevent miscommunications in games through preparation in practices:

“What we have done is you practice substitutions in practice. There are ways to not let the defense or offense know which group is going in next so you make them lock in on those type of things. We practiced in the crowd noise defensively knowing that we are going to have to be using signals. You do practice those type of things, and that is really your operation. Those are the type of things that you got to continue to be really, really sharp because it does present challenges to the defense when you are at home. Our crowd was great yesterday. That is what we expect so you have to be able to communicate in the crowd noise, just like when the offense goes on the road to be able to communicate.”


On if there is an emphasis in communicating with the coaches on the sideline to make sure theplays get relayed to the field:

“Definitely, and we talk a lot about operation. It is really the communication from the coaches booth down to the sideline and from the sideline to the huddle – the communication is vital – and on the sideline in between series. All of that is so important to your operation.”


On if it is frustrating when people who are not on the field try to place blame on players or individuals for plays without knowing the specific play call and responsibilities for it:

“I would just tell you respectfully, we deal with what we can control, and that is really in this building.”


On if this was the most frustrating loss of his coaching career:

“They all sting. It is not fun. It is a challenge in this business. You know where you stand. It is the beauty of this business. It is very black and white. It is win and loss. They are hard. They hurt. I think it is just so important because of that you have to real fast turn the page. It does not mean you do not own it and it does not mean you do not make corrections, but you better turn the page.”


On how frustrating it is to have a communication breakdown in coverage in consecutive weeks and how it can be fixed:

“To your point, it is frustrating, and I do not think anybody who watches that game does not understand the frustration. Having said that, we have to be problem-solvers. We have to find solutions any which way. There are a bunch of different ways you can do it, but we have to find solutions so that when we are in position like we were yesterday and it is an obvious passing situation, we just can’t let that happen.”


On if the Browns may alter defensive personnel to help prevent additional communications breakdowns:

“With anything – offense, defense or special teams – of course you are always looking for the right lineup out there that gives you the best chance. Let me be very clear, anything that happens out there, I have to get fixed. That is on me.”


On if it is a blessing in disguise to have a short turnaround with a Thursday night game and confidence errors can be fixed by the next game:

“Yes, I do think it is good that we have a game Thursday. I think back to 2020, a very tough loss in that first game and then right back at it at home versus a divisional opponent. I do think it is beneficial to just get out on the field today, get out on the field tomorrow and then obviously get under the lights Thursday night. Like we mentioned earlier, anything that we need to fix, we have to fix. We do not have any time to wait.”


On his conversations with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer following the NY Jets fake punt and onside kick recovery and how to clean up those plays:

“Like we talked about last night, we got beat, and they did a nice job. They executed on a fake punt. They executed on an onside kick. There are things of course that we can do better, and we are just going to have to. We just have to find a way in those situations to make a play, find a way to get the ball out of bounds on a kick and those type of things. It is normal football where they are going to make their fair share of plays, but we have to just continue to just put our guys in position to do their job – to put them in position to do the job and then have our players come through in those moments.”


On if there is concern about Browns player potentially pointing fingers of blame to other units or players:

“I obviously talked to the team after the game. I have not had a chance yet to talk to the team yet today – bringing them in shortly for meetings. Obviously, those are all things you address. What you have to do when you win, you win as a team, and when you lose, you lose as a team. That is what makes this the greatest team sport there is. It takes all 11 on offense, defense and special teams. At the end of the day, you have to share in the wins and you have to share in the losses.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett’s status and performance yesterday, as well as what occurred on the interception:

“He is not on the injury report. I thought he played well. I thought he saw it clearly. On the interception, their guy made a play. We are trying to get a chunk there and call a timeout, but their guy made a play.”


On if he told Brissett to tell the RBs not score with under two minutes to play in situations like yesterday:

“That is what we have done in the past, yes.”


On if he told Brissett and the offense to not score specifically in yesterday’s late-game situation:

“No, I did not. I do want to be clear on this one – I absolutely could have told him that in that situation.”


On if he was comfortable with and liked the defensive play call on the NY Jets’ 66-yard TD:



On if moving a safety 20 yards deep is a ‘logical temporary solution’ to avoid potential deep passes while working through miscommunication challenges:

“I think there are definitely solutions to that problem. We have talked about it as a staff. We will put our guys in position to not let that happen again.”


On the pass near the end of game that was intercepted and if they were targeting too deep of a throw, given it was picked off at the 35:

“No, I do not think so. It was into the Dawg Pound. I do not think it is safe to just always get to the 40 with your kicker. I think we are trying to get as close as we can to kick a shorter field goal.”


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