Browns transcripts -- Monday, Nov. 2, 2020

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“As you can see, we are doing this virtually. Just felt like that was the right thing to do. We had a player report symptoms this morning, and just thought it was prudent to have these meetings virtually, something that we are used to doing anyway. Our players are meeting right now with their coaches to watch the tape.

“Injury wise, an update on (DE) Myles (Garrett): nothing structurally significant so we should have him available definitely for the next ball game.

“Other than that, you watch the tape. Still disappointed. Still frustrated with the performance. We have to learn from it. There are things that you just can’t do and expect to win. We just did not, really in any phase, do the little things, and when you do not do the little things, they add up to the big thing. That is something that we are addressing with the players right now. Then we are going to come out here on Wednesday. The players are off tomorrow with the election. All of the [NFL] buildings are closed tomorrow. We will have the players back in on Wednesday for a practice, and then per the NFL rules, they will be off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

On the relief learning there was no structural damage to Garrett’s knee: 

“I think it is obvious how much of an impact he makes in these games. Happy that, like you said, we dodged a bullet. We will just need him to come back on Wednesday and see if he is ready to practice. If he is not, we will have a few days here to rest and then get ready to roll next week.”

On if Garrett’s ankle or wrist is still a concern and if Garrett needs the time to fully heal: 

“I think he is like a lot of our players, eight games into this thing, nobody is 100 percent and you have all sorts of nicks and bruises and those type of things. He is a warrior. He battles through these things. Certainly, the rest should help all of the guys.”

On if there was reason to believe the player reporting symptoms this morning was COVID-19 related as opposed to when WR Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home with flu-like symptoms: 

“No, I think anytime in this environment when you are not feeling right and you call the trainer and you talk about your symptoms, we really can’t mess around with that. That is kind of what it was.”

On if the symptoms reported by the player were not ones more specific to COVID-19, like a loss of taste or smell: 

“Correct, yeah.”

On if the expectation is that other Browns players or coaches will not need to quarantine as close contacts to the player who reported symptoms: 

“We will get more information as we go. I would not rule anything out, but I am hopeful.”

On what led to a lack of ‘focus’ in yesterday’s game: 

“I do not think it was a lack of focus. The guys were ready to play. They did have a good week of preparation. We got beat. The other team beat us. We are trying to look at the tape today and what are the areas that we feel like we can improve. I can’t tell you it was a lack of focus that led to some of those things.”

On the plan for Browns’ players for the rest of the week and if they will be in the building: 

“Barring any new developments, we anticipate having them in the building on Wednesday for practice. The building can be open, but we can’t require them to do anything the rest of the week.”

On deferring when knowing the wind would be a factor in the game: 

“It is something we talk about. When you defer, you know what the wind is doing at that moment at the coin toss. With the unpredictability of that wind, it just felt like the best thing to do right there was get the ball at halftime. Ultimately, you have the wind likely for two of those four quarters so you have to take advantage of it. It did not work out yesterday, but I understand the thought process, and we will continue to talk about those type of things.”

On what the Browns coaches will be doing this week: 

“Today is all about yesterday. We are trying to learn from yesterday’s tape first. The rest of the week with this bye right smack in the middle, you get an eight-game sample, and I think you can really pull everything apart and look at our schemes, look at what people are doing versus us, find out what we are good at and maintain that and double down on that and then find out the things that we are maybe not so good at. That is just about understanding yourself. That will allow us to put a plan going forward. Really, you have to know yourself even better than the opponent does.”

On what the Browns defense can address to help eliminate opponents’ extended drives:

“I think as a team, we have to improve. Sitting here at 5-3, we have to get better on all three phases. Obviously, there are things defensively that I know we have to get better at. Like I said before, you have to double down on what you are good at. We have to get takeaways. We had our hands on one yesterday, the ball was in the air another time and the ball was on the ground another time, and we did not come up with it. We have to make sure that we are playing to our strengths, but that is definitely something that we will spend time looking at this week.”

On how aggressive he wants the Browns to be regarding tomorrow’s trade deadline:

“Those are conversations I am having with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and his staff, and we constantly are talking. I think they will work hard to see if anything makes sense for us, but I will leave that up to Andrew and leave that one in his court.”

On the status for RB Nick Chubb, TE Austin Hooper and G Wyatt Teller this week and following the bye week: 

“I think Hooper will definitely be back for the next ball game. With Wyatt and Nick, I think they are both progressing. They are hitting every landmark and milestone that they need to hit in terms of their rehab. We will just figure that out as these days go by. Feel real good about Austin. I will know more each one of these days on the other guys.”

On if the Browns had to contact the Raiders about the player who reported symptoms today:

“I know we contacted the league right away so I would guess that conversation occurred.”

On if he is going to reevaluate the Browns coaching staff’s operation during the bye week:

“I think when you get to this point of the season at Week 8 and you do a self-scout, you look at everything. If we can do anything better, like you said, we will look at everything.”

On if evaluating the Browns coaching staff’s operation will include offensive play calling:

“Yes, we will look at everything. Like I talk about knowing yourself, you have to understand tendencies, and that certainly falls under the play calling. You have to understand what they know about you and use those tendencies to your advantage.”

On the Browns defense’s struggles getting off the field on third and fourth down:

“I think it is like anything, it is all multi-faceted. There are things that we can do better in technique. There are things that we can do better schematically. I think we can put the guys in some spots. It is never one thing, and I think that is what we are going to work real hard at to make sure that we have some tangible things moving forward that we feel we can improve in that area.”

On the Raiders converting third-and-long in the second half on a screen play:

“That was really disappointing. You should feel good about getting off the field there. They out-executed us. We need to fit that better than we did. Those are the type of little things that very quickly become the big thing.”

On the Browns’ 5-3 record at the midpoint of the season and what he is most pleased with about the team’s progress:

“It is so hard for me to go there. Obviously, like you said, you are 5-3, but we just want to keep getting better. There are things I know offensively, defensively and [special] teams that I know there are certain areas that I think we are good at, but we need to get better at those things. It is really hard without spending some time with the coaches this week and really pulling this thing apart to go there right now.”

On his assessment of the two plays that were reviewed in yesterday’s game:

“Honestly, when those things happen and it goes to New York, you wait for the result, you wait for them to come out and announce it, and it is the classic ‘it is what it is.’ I am never going to get into what could have-should have happened there.”

On factors for the team’s distribution of targets in yesterday’s game despite the weather conditions:

“Coverage, the design of the play. I don’t think we went into it saying those targets were going to come out like that, but they did. We will work really hard to make sure that we are trying to get all of the guys involved. That is part of our job.”

On evaluating QB Baker Mayfield at the midpoint of the season, Mayfield’s development in the offensive scheme and if he will use time during the bye week to identify ways to help Mayfield continue to improve during the second half of the season:

“Without a doubt. When you put the gameplans together, you are obviously trying to do what all of your players do best, and particularly the quarterback should be at the forefront of those type of discussions. I think Baker is doing a nice job of operating, getting us into the right checks, getting us in and out of the huddle and using his cadence yesterday getting them to jump offside a few times. He is progressing, he is making plays and I know he is going to tell you that he thinks there are more plays to be made. I do believe that he is going to continue to improve.”

On an update on CB Greedy Williams’ status and if Williams’ status may impact the Browns’ approach to tomorrow’s trade deadline:

“I don’t have an update on Greedy. Just going back to the last time we talked about him, he is working very, very hard. We are just going to keep seeing if he progresses over the next few weeks. How that impacts the trade deadline, Andrew and his staff could probably answer that better than I could.”

On WR Jarvis Landry having some uncharacteristic dropped passes during the past few weeks and if Landry’s rib injury could factor into those:

“That is a possibility. I know he battles. You said it is uncharacteristic, he made a great catch there late in the game. I have high expectations for him. He knows that. He is battling, I would put it. To say that they are related, I don’t know.”

On the Browns getting pushed back at the line of scrimmage defensively and if it is a matter of an attitude problem specific to that game or related to physical, schematic or personnel factors:

“I would not say it is an attitude problem at all. I think in that game, we didn’t stop the run. I think we got at times out of our gap. Our technique wasn’t great. When your technique is not great, that is when you are going to get knocked back. We need to fit the run. When you fit the runs, just like anything, you need 11 guys to do their jobs. There were certain things throughout the game that contributed to that, but it is all correctable in my mind.”

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