OBJ, Stefanski and OC Joe Woods Speak to the Media Aug 25, 2020

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

On how is he feeling physically compared to last season: 

“Definitely feeling a lot better than last year. Really had a great offseason as far as preparation and work. Just thankful to be able to be back out there and practice and do the things that I love. Most importantly, just taking it one day at a time, finding a way to attack and win each day and just be 1-0.”

On if he feels he is in a better mental state this year, given QB Baker Mayfield shared that sentiment about himself: 

“Not even to speak on last year, just as far as life, I feel like you get older, life happens, things happen and you get different perspectives and you see things differently or whatever the case is. I just think it is life. I know that I am in a great place mentally and getting there physically, as well.”

On if he is more comfortable returning for his second year with the Browns, given Dee Haslam’s comments about him earlier in training camp: 

“It is funny, I have been in the league for a certain amount of time now, and you understand the game, you understand the business and definitely coming back a second year, you do feel more comfortable, but it is still new coaches and new faces so it is always adjusting and adapting to what is going on. Being able to work on your house and feel comfortable, feel safe and secure is definitely something that I have not had in my career as far as being grounded in a place having a house. That is definitely a good feeling.”

On how Mayfield looks compared to last year and if he agrees that their chemistry is going to be better than last season: 

“Of course, I am going to say [the chemistry] is going to be better than last year. It is kind of a day-by-day approach, and we will see what happens when we get out on the field. As far as him, he looks great – mentally, physically. He has like a four-pack now. He is doing great. He is just in a good place. As a teammate and as a guy who has always been a fan of Baker and as a brother, it is great to see him in this place. We are just working each and every day. One of the biggest things through COVID and through all of these things, just taking things one day at a time really for me as has been major. Just working on today and finishing up the day strong. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.”

On his mindset heading into the season, given his comments about being excited to be himself and produce this year: 

“Just ready to go. Like I said, one of the biggest things for me is taking it one day at a time. Finding something each and every day to work on. Finding a way to get better and not just come out here and ‘Practice, OK check. Meetings, check.’ No, like really finding a way to be better. It is definitely a good feeling to not have to have two blue bands around and just being out there with just heart. I feel pretty good. Like I have been saying to other people, I am gearing up. Just trying to do daily deposits and put something in the bank each and every day.”

On how seriously he considered opting out of the 2020 season: 

“To be honest, it does not really matter. I am here now. I am only focused on football and being where my feet are. That is just really where I am at. Like I said, I am one day at a time.”

On if there is a sense of comfort seeing everything the team is doing to keep players safe: 

“Like I said, I am just here to play football. No opinion or answer to that question really.”

On if he feels there will be opportunities for him to be an explosive playmaker in Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s offense: 

“Definitely. It is funny because I watched the Vikings for so many years. (Buffalo Bills WR Stefon) Diggs is one of my favorite receivers. I remember I was at the Rookie Premiere when he was a rookie, and I was just there on a business orientation thing. Just seeing him and then seeing him and (Minnesota Vikings WR Adam) Thielen and the things that they have done for years, it is truly impressive. I always was kind of wondering who was the one behind this, and we end up getting the guy. There is definitely something to look forward to. Like I said, I think the most important thing that I have learned, whether it is being in this game or just like I say, life happens, it is taking it one day at a time, really focusing on that and never getting too ahead of yourself. I would love to sit here and be like, ‘Oh, the offensive is going to do…’ Until Week 1, 2, 3, 16 and until you have seen what it does, I can’t sit here and tell you what is going to happen. As far as hopes and expectations for it, I am very excited for what we have in front of us.”

On early impressions Stefanski and their relationship:

“I definitely like him. As far as our relationship, it is great. It is more private and we just talk, text and talk football. He loves this game of football. He is going to do everything in his power to put this team in the best position to succeed and put his players in the best position to succeed. I think we all have an exciting opportunity in front of us.”

On how disappointing it is that S Grant Delpit is expected to miss the 2020 season with an Achilles injury:

“It is definitely tough. This is a kid who I have watched since he came into LSU. Just knowing what kind of player he is and knowing what kind of passion he has for the game, I know he was excited for the season. As soon as he got drafted, I hit him. As soon as this happened, I hit him. It is just tough. Honestly, it is just the position that we are in. It makes it hard. We are all going hard, and it is football. We get injured. I hit him and I told him I am here for him or anything he needs as far as recovery standpoint or as far as mental. Anything he needs, I am here for him. I just know it is tough. I know what it is like to put so much work in and have so much expectations, hopes, aspirations and dreams and then be let down. What does not kill makes you stronger. I believe that he will come back bigger and better than he was before.”

On how to keep offensive skill players happy every week with multiple playmakers on the team:

“I think you just throw for 600 yards each game and rush for 200, and I think everybody will be happy.”

On how to keep offensive skill players happy every week with multiple playmakers on the team, if the team does not throw for 600 yards and rush for 200 yards each game:

“Just win.”

On if winning is the key and overrides individual stats:

“Nothing really matters when you win.”

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“I know you all saw the news on (S) Grant Delpit. Very disappointed for Grant. He is disappointed, but I think he has the right mindset to bounce back. Unfortunate to see that, but we are fully supporting him, and then we will make sure that he attacks his rehab.”

On WR Jarvis Landry leaving practice early: 

“No update. Jarvis is getting his work in. When he goes off, he is still getting work with our group inside.”

On how to keep everyone’s spirits up when injuries start to accumulate: 

“We care about our teammates. We care about these guys. We do not like to see that. Injuries are part of this game. They have happened for a very long time. They will continue to be part of this game. As much as you hate to hear it, it is next man up. They have heard it from me. They have heard it from every coach going back to Pee Wee. I think they know the message that we have a lot of work to, do and we have work to be done. We hate to lose those guys, but we have to get back to that work.”

On if the Browns will plan certain days in practice to be simulated games or if the team spreads those situations out through drills and situations: 

“I think we are going to continue to add drills and add situations to practice. I will say that our practices that we have planned for the stadium will kind of be placeholders for where games maybe were in the past so we will do even more scrimmage-like work. We are still practicing and you will still see an individual period, but you will see a lot of situational work when we get to those practices.”

On how the Browns can overcome the mental impact of losing players to injuries: 

“I think we have a resilient bunch. I think that they have all been on teams throughout their lives where injuries occur. It does not make us like it. I feel awful for guys that have long-term injuries. Then other guys, you are going to get nicked up, you push through it, you get your treatment and you are back out there. I do not worry about the mentality though of our team.”

On if CB Greedy Williams will miss a significant amount of time with the shoulder injury: 

“I would say we will see. Still evaluating.”

On how multiple injuries within a position group affect practice: 

“As a staff, we talk about what we need to practice and then we may adjust a period or two to make sure that we do not run the guys that are practicing into the ground. We just have to be so mindful of that and how we structure practice.”

On if the Browns and Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry will consider signing players who may have potential character questions or if the team will only consider ‘green check’ players, given the culture and chemistry the team wants to create in the locker room: 

“I would not speculate necessarily. I would just tell you with Andrew and his staff, we talk about a lot of players. It is a case-by-case basis on every position player that we discuss.”

On if the Browns would be interested in signing free agent S Earl Thomas, in reference to the previous question: 

“I would leave that in Andrew’s court.”

On his dad, Pistons Senior Advisor Ed Stefanski, being in Austin, Texas when he visited QB Baker Mayfield in February:

“That was a very strange coincidence. I called my dad, and I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ He goes, ‘I am packing a bag. I am heading to Austin tomorrow.’ I said, ‘You are kidding me.’ I am calling him to tell him I am heading to Austin tomorrow. We found out we were staying in the same exact hotel. It goes to show how much we talk to each other (laughter). It was very strange. I got there, and he was there. We made sure that we met up. Saw him after dinner and hung out a little bit for the next day. A very, very strange coincidence.”

On if his dad went with him to see Mayfield and his family:

“No, he of course found out where I was having dinner and could not help himself so he came over to say hi.”

On if it was just Mayfield and him at the dinner or if their families were also in attendance:

“Just the two [of us]. He could not help himself (laughter).”

On evaluating the team at this point in training camp:

“I would say we are 10 days into it, 10 practices into it. You hit these rhythms and these beats of training camp. You get hot days out there like it was today and yesterday, you get a day off then you tell the guys, ‘Hey, we are right back out here after the off day in pads for another hard one.’ There is an element of the dog days of training, which everybody knows what that feels like and what that looks like. We just have to push through it. We are where we need to be from an installation standpoint. Guys are pushing through and getting into football shape as it may come in these next few weeks. I can’t peg it necessarily, but I can just tell you that we are kind of hitting all the mileposts.”

On his sense of WR Odell Beckham Jr’s mindset and how their relationship has evolved:

“He has been great. He is very communicative. We text a lot. He makes sure that we are talking about different plays that he likes. He is all in on ball. He is a veteran. He has kind of seen it all so he has some great insights. He pushes out there. You know he is out there because you hear him, and he has great juice out there on the field and enthusiasm for this. Really appreciate what he brings to the practice field.”

On TE Harrison Bryant:

“He is a very locked-in young man. He is on top of his assignments. He plays with great effort. Very pleased with where he is. He has a ton of work to do. Everything that he is doing is happening for the first time for him, but pleased with his progression.”

On if it is hard to catch up on time missed due to changes to Sunday’s practice:

“We looked at that, and like you said, we just have to catch up that time that we missed. Just some minor adjustments over the next few days, and I think we will catch up.”

On if the Browns planned to do live tackling during Sunday’s practice and if that is something the team still plans to do at some point in training camp:

“It is. We are trying to make sure that we are getting our work in safely. Even some of the drills we did there, we will do ball security drills and we will do tackling drills that are thud and are not necessarily live but are just getting used to setting our pads. It is something that we will continue as we progress into this.”

Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods:

On the disappointment seeing S Grant Delpit go down with an injury in practice yesterday that will likely cost him the season: 

“It was very disappointing. It was kind of a freak deal, just going through catching the football. He was doing good. He was coming on. The one thing you know is he will be able to rehab, come back and help us next year.”

On how to keep players’ confidence and spirits up following multiple injuries: 

“It really is a next man up kind of situation we are in right now. For all the guys, it is really an opportunity for them. I do not think the guys’ [demeanor] is down or they are disappointed. Obviously, you want everybody to be healthy, but you have to move on. The next guy has to step in and we have to evaluate him to see what we have. So far, the guys have adjusted and taken it really well.”

On if DE Olivier Vernon and DE Myles Garrett will stay on one side or rotate: 

“It is something I experienced before. For example, in Denver, with (OLB) Von Miller, (former NFL OLB) DeMarcus Ware, (DE) Bradley Chubb and (LB) Shaq Barrett, all those guys. We want to have the ability to line guys up where we want them. Right now, Myles is at the left side and Olivier is at the right side, but based on some of our calls, we will move them, whether it is something we are doing schematically or it is taking advantage of a matchup. We like that flexibility, and we feel like we have it here.”

On candidates to get more playing time with Delpit out, including S Sheldrick Redwine: 

“We are really evaluating all those guys. Without the offseason, you are coming in and we are really in evaluation mode and have been that way. All the guys you have been looking at from (S Andrew) Sendejo to (S) Karl Joseph, to Redwine, (S) Elijah Benton has done a great job, (S) Jovante Moffatt, all those guys. We are looking at the whole secondary group. Really trying to move them around and see where guys play best.”

On if it was encouraging that the Browns defense had a good day of practice, even with multiple players out due to injuries: 

“Yeah, that is a testament to the guys just coming up and playing hard because they took a lot of reps today. It is an opportunity for those guys, and they see it. We knew going into it what we were dealing with. We had two-minute today, and two-minute can be long because you keep the plays going. It is good to see those guys out there making football plays so we see we have.”

On replacing LB Mack Wilson: 

“It is tough to do. I feel like Mack was coming on. He got the experience last year as a young player so you felt like he was coming into his own a little bit. He really felt more like a veteran on the field to be honest with you. (LB Tae) Davis, he is doing some good things. I was not familiar with him, but he is playing well. (LB) Jacob Phillips, he is playing well. (LB) Solomon (Ajayi) is playing well. All those guys are stepping up so I feel like we have some depth and we will be able to put a good group out there, but it was a little disappointing when he got injured. Hopefully, we get him back soon.”

On if LB B.J. Goodson has the skillset to be on the field for every snap: 

“When they first came in after the first couple of practices, looking at our linebackers – (LB) Sione (Takitaki), B.J. – those guys move really well, natural knee-benders. There are some things within our scheme that we asked them to do, and they all handled it very well. B.J. has become like a natural leader for us, and he is taking control of the huddle. He is getting guys lined up, and he is really doing it the right way. I think that was really a great addition to our team.”

On what he sees from QB Baker Mayfield that is different from what he saw when preparing to play against the Browns last season in San Francisco: 

“Last year in San Fran, we got on a roll. I remember last year when we played this game against Cleveland, it was like a big measuring stick for us to see where we were. We just happened to be on that night and played really well. To be honest with you, sometimes I do not know who is playing quarterback because I am so concerned about what the guys are doing on defense. I know Baker will fit well in (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski’s system. He definitely has the arm talent to make all the throws. All the stuff you guys see is what I see at times.”

On the Browns defense’s current readiness for Week 1 against the Ravens: 

“To be honest with you, we are really worried about the Browns right now in terms of getting our defense called and getting our defense executed. We are towards the end of our installation, and we are really putting a heavy mix on the guys this week so it is more game-like in terms of what we are doing and what we are calling at practice. The main focus right now is on us really, and then we will have to deal with Baltimore coming up here in the next week or two.”

On if losing Delpit impacts the team’s plan to use three Ss at times: 

“Grant was ideal in terms of his versatility. He could play strong, free or he could play the dime. That is kind of what I ran when I was in Denver. We were based on a dime. I still want to be able to run that package, but we are really going have to evaluate where we are with our linebackers and with our secondary in terms of what we can do, but I believe I am going to try to do both.”

On what it was like running practice on Sunday with Stefanski unable to be in the building, as well as missing a several players: 

“It was a good experience for me just to be in front of the team. All I did was just try to echo the message that Kevin always gives to the team, and that is just to work and really take advantage of the opportunity because things like this are going to happen. That is the new norm right now with everything going on. I do not know what his succession plan was. I do not know where I was on add on the list because (offensive line coach Bill) Callahan was out and (special teams coordinator Mike) Priefer was out so I was probably the backup coming off the bench (laughter).”

On S Karl Joseph:

“Karl was a high draft pick. I think the thing for him right now is he has a chip on his shoulder. When you are a first-round draft, you expect to be on that team for probably two contracts. For him, it is really kind of the work ethic and the veteran leadership because he has seen a lot in terms of football. The relationship he has with the other guys has been really good, and he is a very determined young man. He is going to give us everything he has. That is what I really feel like he is bringing to the table right now.”

On how CB Kevin Johnson is doing after being released from the hospital and it being a good sign to see Johnson at the facility:

“He is doing well. He just has to go through with his rehab. I know there are going to be a series of things that he is going to have to do. The most important thing is just getting him healthy, but it was good to see him out there. He is another guy that is a former first-round pick, a chip on his shoulder and he is a competitor just like Karl. Those guys compete their butt off in practice. It is like a game to him. Sometimes you have to tell those guys to kind of slow down. We definitely look forward to getting him back soon.”

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