Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (9.27.21)


Opening statement:

“Following up like we talked about yesterday, obviously great to get a team win in our building. I mentioned it yesterday, but the fans were excellent. Really, they made a big deal and they affected the game. I really thought they did a great job. All in all, a solid team effort. Our defense as you know was dominant. I felt that way after the game and definitely felt that way after watching the tape.”


On the significance of the Browns’ TD drive at the end of the first half and swinging the momentum of the game:

“The defense obviously kept that game close because offensively, we did not start fast – we finished strong, but we did not start fast. To be able to get those points at the end of the half was a big deal. It was a nice two-minute drive. The guys were on point, executing at a high level.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s snap count and performance yesterday:

“He was productive in those 52 snaps. He was in constant communication with (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea and (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt to make sure that he was good. Any first time back, it is always going to be working through it, getting your wind and that type of thing, but I thought he did a nice job.”


On an update on CB Greg Newsome II’s status:

“I do not have all of the information on our guys yet on those injuries so I will update you on all of them Wednesday. I do not have an update for Greg specifically.”


On if T Jedrick Wills Jr. was battling the same ankle injury as the previous week, given Wills came in and out of yesterday’s game:

“It was the same ankle. I think (RB) Nick (Chubb) maybe fell on him earlier in the game, but he battled through it.”


On LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s performance in his first NFL start:

“He played fast. I really thought his ball disruption was really good. We did not take the ball away yesterday, but we had a bunch of passes defended – JOK in particular on some balls to the running backs that they were trying to pull, and he got his arm on the ball. I thought he did a nice job there.”


On the Browns using RB Demetric Felton as a third-down back rather than Hunt in more situations yesterday:

“There are some plays that we will have for Demetric each game as his role will grow as he earns his role. I would not read into it more than that.”


On QB Baker Mayfield stating Hunt had a lot of angry runs yesterday and if Hunt was potentially ‘angry about not being used in his usual role the first two series’:

“I do not think so, but I like an angry Kareem Hunt so I will make a mental note of that (laughter).”


On the defensive pass interference call against John Johnson III:

“It really does not matter what I think about the call. I would tell you, I thought it was a great catch on a deep ball. We are trying to take the ball away so it is always going to be our mentality when that ball in the air of it is ours. It was unfortunate obviously. Anything you do with your hands, the officials are going to be looking at it. If they think that you created separation due to using your hands, I guess they are going to call it.”


On if he does not believe Johnson used his hands to create separation on the play that resulted in defensive pass interference:

“It does not matter what I think.”


On K Chase McLaughlin making two 50-yard FGs yesterday, what McLaughlin has meant to the team this season and the coaching staff’s confidence in McLaughlin:

“I have had a ton of confidence in him. That is because I see him do it at practice. He goes out there pregame and had a really good warmup so I felt good about the length of that 57-yarder. He has been very consistent. That is what we are going to need from him moving forward.”


On the chemistry between Mayfield and Beckham yesterday, particularly given Beckham’s limited participation in practice recently and other limitations during the offseason and training camp:

“I know he has been limited, but as you also know, those two in particular have gotten a ton of work off to the side. They got work done in Austin. That battery has thrown a lot of balls together. I think you see that work that they put in show up on Sunday. That is the type of thing that you need in the pass game. You need that from every single one of your receivers, tight ends and running backs. In order to have precision in the pass game, everybody has to be on point.”


On his emotions playing his first game at Minnesota with the Browns:

“Obviously, I spent a long time there and have great friends there, but it is really going to be a great challenge for our team. It is a really good football team. We will start getting to work on them this afternoon as coaches. You think about some of our players when they go back home or whatever and you have to have a talk with them; you do not have to have a talk with me. I understand what is at stake. It is a really big game versus a really good team. We have our work cut out for us.”


On if he feels he and the Browns may have an advantage this week against the Vikings, given his familiarity with the team and coaching staff:

“No. They have really good players and really good coaches. We will get to work in earnest on them this afternoon, but there is no advantage in the NFL. They have really good coaches. We have to play our best.”


On DE Myles Garrett’s performance yesterday and how to coach Garret moving forward with the expectation of more chips and double teams ahead:

“Myles was outstanding. Really, the entire defense was outstanding, but if you point at an individual, it would certainly be Myles in that effort yesterday. He is our best player. I think he knows that, we know that and the other team knows that. He is going to get a lot of attention. We are going to move him around, and we are going to do different things with him. We need him to play great. Again, it is no secret to anybody.”


On Chubb being challenged yesterday, Chubb not having many targets yesterday and if that made the day tougher for Chubb as the Vikings may have anticipated runs when Chubb was on the field:

“I do not know. I would tell you that is a really, really formidable front. We knew it was going to be tough sledding, especially early. You do not really rush for a lot of yards against that front early in the ball game. We knew that. We certainly can be better and I know I can be better, but Nick is an all-around player. He can run it, and we can certainly throw it to him. Just in that ball game, it just shook out that way.”


On reviewing the two failed fourth down attempts on film:

“We have to have a clean operation. We did not do a great job with the snap count on the one. The other one is completely on me. That was an awful play call. Poor play design by me. Bad call. I wish I had that one back. Those are the type of things that I need to do a better job, and I told the guys that I need to do a better job there.”


On if the decision to go for it on fourth down rather than attempting a FG is the result of following an aggressive mindset:

“There are just certain moments where we will feel good about going for it, and certain moments, we will throw our field goal unit out there. It is really a case-by-case basis, based on the information available to us at the time.”


On if Newsome has completed his MRI:

“The MRI happened. I do not have a full update for you yet. I will get it to you.”


On if there is concern about the potential severity of Newsome’s calf injury:

“We will see when we get the results. I am worried about anybody who gets an MRI, but we will see. I will update you when I hear.”


On if he will be attending the Cleveland Indians game today since he ‘has the afternoon off’:

“No, but I was wearing my Indians sweatshirt this morning so I am still pulling for the home team.”


On CB Greedy Williams’ performance and if Williams is ready to fill the starting role, if Newsome is unavailable:

“Yes, he would definitely be ready if need be. Greedy was outstanding on special teams yesterday. Our vice, Greedy, (CB) Troy (Hill), (S) Grant Delpit and (CB) A.J. Green were outstanding.”


On if he envisioned the Browns DL to have the type of pass rush produced yesterday after signing DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Takk McKinley and DT Malik Jackson:

“Anytime you can have that type of production from a defensive line from a sack standpoint, it is pretty rare. The pressure has been there. As we have talked about, the pressure has been there and the sacks seem to come in bunches, but those are three explosive, long athletes who we need to continue to get better. That really has to be our mentality as a defense, as an attacking defense. Whether we are bringing four, five or six, it does not matter – we have to attack, and I felt the guys did a nice job yesterday.”


On Clowney’s two-sack performance:

“JD was great yesterday, and really, he was locked in at practice last week. I thought he had a great week of practice. He works really hard. I think he fits what we want to do. His teammates are pulling for him. He is a great teammate so I was pleased to see him get some production. He is affecting the game. He has the ability to affect the game in the run and the pass. Again, another guy we are counting on moving forward.”


On if can clarify if his comment about Garrett was stating Garret was the best player on the team or best player on the defense:

“How about I am not going to clarify – I will let you speculate.”


On the impact WR Donovan Peoples-Jones had with two big catches yesterday:

“He is very dependable and that goes back to last season. When we call on him, he answers the bell. I thought he had two really big catches in some big moments for us yesterday so he is a guy who I think he is going to have an outstanding season, and I think he is on his way to having an outstanding season. When the ball comes his way, he makes a play.”


On if Owusu-Koramoah’s half-sack came as a result of Owusu-Koramoah improvising to blitz:

“No, that was within the framework of the defense. He was going through his assignment. He did a nice job. It was within the scheme.”


On if McLaughlin’s official range after yesterday’s two 50-yard FGs:

“One of the strengths is his leg strength. When you go and play in a dome like we are this week, I think you get through pregame and you see where the number is. (Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer) Prief and I talk, and I know the yard line we have to get to to feel good about it, and I know the yard line we have to get to where we are going to have to make a decision. Prief was confident in that moment. The kid is confident. We will see how it goes by the conditions, if that makes sense.”


On if Browns mixed up the D line alignment more yesterday compared to the first two weeks:

“I do not know if we did more. I know we have certainly done it the first two ball games moving those guys around. I could just tell you from an offense’s perspective, it is harder when you move the guy around and you do not know where he is going to be. You may want to turn the line to him, you may want to chip him and those type of things so as you move those guys around, it makes life a little bit harder on the offense.”


On if yesterday’s performance by the Browns defense was one of the most statistically dominant performances he has been part of:

“Without checking, I would say yes. You guys saw it, they were dominant from the jump. I know they gave up some points maybe on the first drive, but they kept us in the ball game. It was a tight ball game into the fourth quarter, and our defense kept us in it. They did a great job. In terms of the performance, can you repeat that every single week? I hope so. I think the big takeaway for me is they practiced like that last week, and you can take the practice field to the game field is really my reflection on it.”


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