• Joey Jarzynka

Browns' HC Kevin Stefanski Quotes 8.16.20

COURTESY OF CLEVELAND BROWNS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT


Opening statement:

“Good work out there. As you saw, or heard first I guess, we moved practice up. Thought these storms were going to make us go inside, and we obviously do not want to do that. It was good to get out on the grass early and get our work in. It was a much, much better practice from an effort standpoint from both sides. I was pleased with that. Still a lot of sloppiness though and things that we have to correct, but I think the effort was very good and probably to be expected with the cooler temperatures. Long way to go.”

On what is unique about WR Odell Beckham Jr. that makes him one of the top NFL WRs:

“I think the unique thing with him would be the ball skills. I just think he is special in that regard. When the ball is in the air, he has a knack of getting it any which way he can – one handed, two handed, along the boundary. He just does a nice job from a ball skills standpoint.”

On how much hitting the team will do during the first padded practice tomorrow:

“We have a plan. I think with the pads going on, we constantly have to remind our guys how we practice in pads, how we practice in shells today and how we walkthrough. I think there needs to be an understanding of what the tempo is and how we can practice hard and practice smart and take care of each other. We will have that conversation again tomorrow as the pads come on. The intensity certainly ramps up when those pads are on for the first time, but we will be smart about how we acclimate to those pads and make sure that we are keeping everybody safe.”

On if the Browns will have any practice periods with tackling to the ground:

“I think it remains to be seen.”

On his early impressions of the Browns LBs:

“I think Coach (Jason) Tarver and (senior defensive assistant) Coach (Ben) Bloom do a great job with those guys. I enjoy watching their individual period. They all can run. They are all athletic. I think there is great effort from that group. I think we have some older guys and a bunch of young guys in that mix. I am very curious to see how that plays out over the course of the next few weeks.”

On G Joel Bitonio and how Bitonio can help the rookies on the Browns OL:

“Joel is a pro. Very impressed by Joel on a personal level, as well. I think he is an outstanding teammate, and he has some pelts on the wall. He has played in a bunch of games so I think that always helps when you are breaking in a rookie next to him at left tackle. I think that (T) Jed (Wills Jr.) is very lucky to have a player of Joel’s caliber but also just the type of person he is. I think that is going to be a really good relationship. I really think that group as whole, with (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan and how he runs that group, they have to play together.. It is the old five of them make up a fist, and Joel is a very big piece of that in making sure we have the right mentality for that group.”

On an update on C JC Tretter’s status:

“Nothing new, no.”

On an update on DE Myles Garrett’s status:

“Also nothing new. Hope to get him out there soon.”

On his impressions of C Nick Harris through camp so far:

“So far, so good. All of these young players, it is never perfect, and they are constantly learning. It is going to be a tough go early for these guys just as they are taking in all of the information and then the physicality picks up. I would not single Nick out from anybody else. Just know that those guys, there are growing pains to this. We totally understand that. It is our job to push them and make sure he is ready to roll if he is the guy.”

On the competition to challenge T Jedrick Wills Jr. at LT, if Garrett misses padded practices, DE Olivier Vernon competing against Wills and how Garrett and Vernon can help Wills’ development:

“Just a couple of days into it, but I think that is great when you get good against good. I think that will only help Jedrick in his development. I talked to (DE) Olivier today, and we are pushing Jed and he is part of that. He is getting his work in, but we definitely like the idea that Jed is facing off a good, veteran player.”

On if he feels Wills is able to learn as much without be able to go against Garrett in practice:  

“All of rookies are in a very unique standpoint without that offseason where the physical part of this is now ramping up. We have all heard about being in football shape, and you can only mimic football so much without actually doing football. All of our rookies are in that place where it is a lot right now. We will make sure that we will not do too much with them, both physically and mentally. It is a challenge, and I think Jed is definitely up to the challenge.”

On CB Denzel Ward’s potential in the Browns defense after missing some games last year due to injury:  

“He has got a chance. (Defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods), (pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach) Jeff Howard and (assistant defensive backs coach0 Brandon Lynch are working with all those guys and let’s see what we can get out of them. I think Denzel has a chance to be a really, really good player. I like a lot of things about him physically, I like the person that he is and has great ball skills. We are excited about Denzel, and he realizes that there is work to be done. That is why I appreciate him out there pushing through some things and getting some really good work done today.”

On Dee and Jimmy Haslam throughout COVID-19 during the offseason and preparing for everyone returning to the building:

“Just outstanding. The support, it is incredible. First class organization. I think every conversation with Dee or Jimmy is always like, ‘What can we do for you?’ They are always asking that. That speaks to what they are about. They are about making sure we have what we need, like we talked about that with this building – When you guys ever enter this building again, you will see for yourself – it is remarkable what they have been able to do and the resources that they have put towards this safe environment. Just so impressive throughout the offseason with their support.”

On if he has had conversations with the Haslams social justice efforts:

“Very much so, and they have been great with the team. I just think they are very supportive in all avenues, but it is certainly a place where they let the team know that they want to be part of the solution.”

On CB Kevin Johnson performing well to start camp:

“He is a pro. He got his hand on a ball today and almost made a spectacular interception along the boundary. A very smart player. A very great effort. I spoke to his coaches when he was coming here, and they all were effusive in their praise of Kevin. Really pleased that he is a part of this group.”

On if the Browns hope to host a practice at the stadium during training camp:

“We do want to get down there. We have two of them planned in the stadium later in camp. I think that is going to be important for us. We will put the players through a lot of game-like situations. That will be one of the ideas in getting to the stadium, getting used to the locker room and making it as much game-like as we can.”

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