Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (9.5.22)


Opening statement:

“A good day of work out here, and we will continue on. We will go in for some more meetings and a walkthrough this afternoon. A good first day of the week. Obviously, with those three days off, want to get the guys out here and moving around. A good, spirited practice. Then really hunker down in the meeting room and the walkthrough.”


On what T Joe Haeg provides the Browns:

“A veteran. Somebody who our personnel staff had looked at quite a bit. Just felt like he was a veteran who could add depth to the position.”


On what TE Jesse James provides the Browns:

“Similarly, Jesse was a guy coming out that a lot of us evaluated – a lot of tape of him out there in Chicago and Detroit. Got to work him out, see him up close and see him run. Talked to him – mentally really, really sharp. Again, depth at the position.”


On if James is viewed more as a pass catching or in-line blocking TE:

“I think with his role, he has to be able to do both because you really are a backup to (TEs) Dave (Njoku) and Harrison (Bryant). Obviously, there are some moments all three of them could be out there together potentially. Really, it depends on what is needed for that game.”


On if Haeg is ‘viewed as insurance’ in case T Jack Conklin is not ready to play Week 1:

“Not in those words. I would just tell you tackle depth is really important in this league and felt like he was somebody who was available that was a good player.”


On if Haeg can play both LT and RT:



On DE Myles Garrett not practicing today after being excused last week for personal reasons:

“He will be back today.”


On if the Browns are more prepared entering the 2022 season compared to his first two years as head coach:

“It is so hard to compare when it comes to first weeks and those type of things. We have tried to be very smart about how you put the plan together. Obviously, had an offseason [program] this year so that was different, but feel like the guys have a good understanding of what we are doing on all three sides of the ball. Now is the time to compete.”


On the Browns having limited wins in season openers since the team returned in 1999, understanding the focus is on 2022, and if there is any additional emphasis in Week 1 based on those factors:

“I really don’t worry about that. I don’t. I worry about trying to go 1-0 versus a good football team on the road. I can promise you there are a lot of guys in here who are brand new to this organization and new players. They do not really concern themselves about the past.”


On if the Browns will evaluate Conklin throughout the practice week before determining availability for Sunday and when the team expects to make an announcement on if Conklin will play:

“[An announcement on Conklin’s availability will be made] Not today. Definitely want to see how today’s practice went. It is all about for Jack stacking days on top of each other, back-to-back practices and those type of things.”


On if Conklin has a chance to play Week 1:



On if evaluation of Panthers QB Baker Mayfield is more rooted on time together over the past two years or 2022 preseason games:

“Baker obviously is a player that we know well. He knows us really well, too, in terms of scheme and those type of things. I think our players and our coaches have a real good understanding of his strengths.”


On if the Browns defense or Mayfield has the advantage as it relates to familiarity with each other in Week 1:

“A lot of times, I think it is overrated in terms of they know that we know that they know and those type of things. He is a really good football player, and we have to get to work and preparing to play him.”


On if he has noticed any differences in Mayfield’s mechanics during the preseason games, given Mayfield worked with a new QB coach this offseason:

“It is hard to glean from preseason game reps. There are a lot of practice reps that I could give you a better answer for, but hard to say.”


More on if he has noticed any differences in Mayfield’s mechanics during the preseason games, given Mayfield worked with a new QB coach this offseason:

“It is hard to say on game reps difference in technique.”


On if Mayfield has appeared affected by last year’s shoulder injury during preseason games:

“No, I think he is healthy.”


On how TE David Njoku has embraced the No. 1 TE role this year:

“He has done a really nice job. Had a lot of good conversations with David. I think he is excited about it. We are going to be putting a lot on his plate from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint, and I think he is ready for the challenge.”


On if Njoku securing stability with a new-long term contract could help him reach his full potential:

“I think you make an investment in the player and the person so I think from his perspective, he knows this is a place that believes in him. I don’t get the sense that is something that has held him back in any way. I think he is just excited about the opportunity.”


On Njoku consistently working on his game after practices are complete and how that will help Njoku in games:

“Shirt on or shirt off (laughter)? Dave is a guy who does work really hard at his craft. There is a lot that you don’t see – there is work in the weight room and there is work in the indoor [fieldhouse] pre-practice. He is somebody who has never been afraid to put in the work, and I think that is a testament to our players. We still have players out here on the field right now. I make a big point of when that horn goes off [at the end of practice], there is still work to be done, and that is when you get the opportunity to work on your craft.”


On expectations for the readiness of Haeg and James for Week 1 after recently joining the team:

“It is a good question. I think it remains to be seen. We are working through that certainly today and into Wednesday about what they can handle physically and mentally.”


On how having a full offseason program and training camp without restrictions is beneficial to the Browns in 2022:

“All 32 teams have had it so it is not like it is an advantage that is unique to us, but I do think it goes a long way in preparing your football team to play, whether it comes from understanding situational ball or getting extra time in individual periods with the coaches. We had no shortage of individual time with our coaches.”


On the benefits of being able to meet more in person this year compared to his first two years as head coach:

“I think it goes a long way in terms of just getting to know your teammates and getting to know your coaches.”


On if he had a personal ‘parting goodbye’ with Mayfield when the trade was completed this offseason:

“I am not going to get into those things. I keep conversations between all of our players [in house] – we have talked about that.”


On if he has a special speaker planned for Saturday night prior to the Panthers game:



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