Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (9.28.22)


Opening statement:

“On Myles, very, very grateful that he is OK. I have spoken to him. He is staying home today resting, but we will see him tomorrow morning. Again, grateful that he is OK.


“On Atlanta, a good team coming off a big victory in Seattle. That is a very, very difficult place to play. To go get a win I thought was very impressive by their group. Even this whole season, they have played some very, very close games. We know that we have our work cut out for us. We know that it is going to have to be a 60-minute game with this team. I am very impressed with (Falcons Head) Coach (Arthur) Smith and his whole group – offense, defense and special teams. I think when you watch their offense, it is very difficult to defend. They do a lot. They do it well. They have very big players. I was with (Falcons RB) Cordarrelle Patterson [in Minnesota]. He is a very big football player. He run very, very hard and breaks tackles. A really good football player. On the perimeter with (Falcons WR) Drake London and (Falcons TE) Kyle Pitts, big physical football players, active and great ball skills. A very good rushing attack. Definitely have our work cut out for us. Defensively, it is a (Falcons defensive coordinator) Dean Pees defense, which means they do a lot and they do it well. They can max drop into coverage. They can max blitz. They do it, and they understand the defense. I think he has speed at all levels. I have been very impressed watching his group running the ball. Special teams, you have to be about your business. It is a very good unit. Obviously, Cordarrelle being a threat there as a kick returner. A bunch of good players on their team and very well coached so we are going to have to have a very good week of practice to head down to Atlanta.”


On if he has been in contact with Garrett since the one-car accident occurred Monday and how Garrett is doing:

“Yes. I think he is doing OK. Again, I am grateful that he is OK, and we will see him in here tomorrow.”


On the Browns always taking a cautious approach with players returning to play and if the team will be even more cautious with Garrett about returning to play following the car accident:

“I am not ruling anybody out on Wednesday. We will kind of do what we always do, which is take in information every single day.”


On if Garrett will practice tomorrow:

“We will see.”


On the trauma Garrett experienced with the car accident is taken into account when considering availability for this week’s game, in addition to the physical effects:

“Yeah, I think you take everything into account. Like we do with anything, it is case-by-case basis. Really, I have spoken to him, but get to have him in the building tomorrow and talk more in depth.”


On if the Browns enter the week of game preparation with the assumption Garrett will or will not play:

“I don’t think you can do that. I think you just put your plan together.”


On if Garrett is not at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus today because further medical evaluation at a hospital was needed:

“No, just resting.”


On if Garrett’s accident provides an example that reminds Browns players to be safe when outside of the building:

“You want your players to be safe in all aspects of life. That is no different than every day just messaging to our guys to be safe.”


On if he sensed members of the Browns were shaken after learning about and seeing photos from Garrett’s accident:

“No. I would say just because it was the off day, they were gone for the day so I was not around them on those days so I can’t speak to that. Again, these guys are a teammate and very important and grateful that he is OK.”


On if DE Jadeveon Clowney is closer to returning to play following the ankle injury:

“I really think it is take it day by day on all of these guys. JD in particular, I don’t have a feel yet. As we get later in the week, I will have a better feel.”


On when CB Denzel Ward sustained an injury, given Ward was listed on the pre-practice injury report as a DNP due to back, ribs:

“Just something has popped up. Just normal things for guys. I don’t know that there was a specific play.”


On DE Alex Wright’s performance last week:

“I think we have talked about Alex a bunch. I have been consistent with what I say about him because he has been consistent with what he has done. He has done a nice job when he is in there, going all of the way back to the spring when he got reps as a young player. Everything was new and it continues to be new for young players, but I think he is growing in his role.”


On DE Isaac Rochell being elevated to the active roster from the practice squad Week 1 and then being signed to the active roster this season:

“That happens a lot with the roster rules and how they are written. Sometimes you are up on the 53. Sometimes you are a practice squad elevation. As rosters shake out and you have injuries, guys end up playing a bunch of football. He was a guy who we felt may end up playing a lot of football for us and feel comfortable with him. He has played a ton of ball. He is a physical football player. Very smart. Happy with Isaac.”


On how the Falcons’ use of RPOs and zone-read plays on offense affects the Browns DL:

“Their offense really affects all three levels of the defense, not just the defensive line. To your point, they have a quarterback (Falcons QB Marcus Mariota) who is very, very adept at the zone-read game. He has been doing it all the way back through college and the pros. He can definitely make you pay from the pocket throwing the ball. He can make you pay in the zone read keeping the ball. They have designed keepers and those type of things. He fits with what they are doing. I think they are doing a nice job utilizing his skillset.”


On if the Browns are ruling anyone out of Sunday’s game who are listed on the injury report:



On the challenge entering the practice week with multiple defensive starters listed on the injury report:

“Again, that is kind of the nature of the NFL. You look around the league, everybody is dealing with injures in some form or fashion so it is nothing new.”


On if he was surprised by Patterson’s ability to successfully transition from WR to RB, given they spent time together with the Vikings:

“Not surprised because I have seen him do it. He is an unbelievable football player. He is a great person, also, which probably is most important. With the ball in his hands, he is special. When we had him [in Minnesota] as a young player, he was a receiver and then kind of transitioned him into a role where we gave it to him very similar to we had (former NFL WR) Percy Harvin before Cordarrelle so we kind of used Cordarrelle in that role and gave him the ball. He is just a special player. (Pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea had him in New England so a lot of familiarity with Cordarrelle. An unbelievable football player.”


On the challenges defending RPOs in the NFL as it has become more prevalent in the league after seeing success in the college game:

“There is a lot of offense. In particular, Atlanta, they run a lot of offense. They are not running one style of offense. They are doing a really nice job of implementing different attacks. Whatever you want to call that element of it, whether it is zone read or whatever, it has a lot of nuance. They have good football players. They are doing a nice job of running plays that give defenses trouble. Some plays give certain schemes trouble so they have evolved in what they are doing week to week.”


On how the Falcons defense uses its personnel and edge players standing up in position:

“They play every front. They do have a base odd front where they have stand up players, but they can jump into any front really at any moment, which makes you very, very diligent about your plan, how you teach it and those type of things because you really could see any front from this team. Fortunately, really through this season, we have seen really a lot of different fronts from people.”


On if the joint practices with the Eagles during training camp are particularly helpful when preparing for the Falcons:

“I think those were valuable days for us. I don’t know that I would say Philly and Atlanta are super similar. I think the nice part with what Coach Smith is doing down there, he had some really good offenses down in Tennessee with a power run attack, keepers and play-action. Now, he has been able to evolve with a quarterback who is very mobile, some big players on the perimeter and obviously with Cordarrelle and some of their other running backs. I just see an evolution of an offense. I wouldn’t necessarily compare them to one team or the other.”


On challenges defending Falcons TE Kyle Pitts, particularly when lining up out wide and the decision to defend Pitts as more of a WR or TE:

“It is hard because if you treat him as a receiver, you are getting smaller; you treat him as a tight end, you are getting bigger. He can line up everywhere, and you don’t know per play where he is going to line up. That is the beauty of having versatile football players, and he is a really good one. I think everybody sees the tape and sees what kind of special talent he is.”


On if he is comfortable with the Browns offense having more rushing yards than passing yards or if the team needs more passing yards moving forward:

“I don’t care. Wins and losses.”


On T Jedrick Wills Jr.’s performance in pass protection, particularly given Wills has been healthy:

“I think that is a good place to start is Jed’s health. When he has been healthy, he plays at a pretty high level. I would agree we are seeing his pass protection has been very strong. He is going to continue to be challenged by some of these elite rushers that teams have. He is going to be challenged this week. Continuing to stay healthy obviously is important, but also continuing to grow and get better in his technique is important, too.”


On if RB Nick Chubb is cutting even better than past seasons:

“It is hard for me to compare him year to year. I do think he is playing at a high level. He is seeing it clearly. He is feeling healthy. I think he has a good feel for our run schemes. I think we have a good feel for him as a runner. He is definitely playing at a high level.”


On Pees coaching in his 49th season:

“He is awesome. He is great. I don’t know Coach Pees real well. I have talked to him before games. Having coached against him, he presents all sorts of challenges. We have a lot of coaches on staff who know him from over the years. He is a really, really good football coach.”


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