Browns transcripts -- Wednesday, June 16, 2021

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski (6.16.21)

On the biggest difference in QB Baker Mayfield compared to last year when getting to work in person together now:

“You get Year 1 under your belt. We learned a lot about him, he learned a lot about us and you hope to build off of that. Having him in person here like you mentioned, working with AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt), working the drill work, getting into the seven-on-sevens and all of the team work, I think all of it is valuable. Great opportunities to communicate at the line of scrimmage, in the huddle, etc. I think, like all of the players here, are really getting better.”

On one specific example of something he has learned about Mayfield during this minicamp working together in person this year:

“Hard with specifics. He is throwing the ball really well. I do think what I would tell you is anytime for any player, when you have comfort in what you are doing, you can cut it loose. Specifically in Baker’s case, I think that is true. Also, you think about some of our young players, rookies especially, they do not have a firm grasp on it so it is hard to play fast when you are thinking. Year 2 in this system for Baker, you hope that there is a comfort level where his play happens fast and the processing happens fast.”

On the NFL announcing new protocols for training camp and the preseason and if he can provide an update on the percentage of Browns players who have been vaccinated:

“I am not going to share the number. We are not 100 percent so we are going to make sure we continue to educate our guys on how this can help themselves and their families. We have talked about how it is a competitive advantage. We want to make sure that they have a ton of information as they make their choice, but I am not going to get into the specifics of who is vaccinated and who is unvaccinated.”

On NFL Network stating at least half of the teams have 51 or more players vaccinated and if the Browns are among that group:

“I will confirm whatever the league said – we are higher than 51.”

On where team stands heading into the six-week break before training camp:

“We have plenty of work to do. We definitely worked very hard. We have another day tomorrow, but the guys that were here, the guys who were on the Zoom calls and wherever the guys where working out, I know they worked really hard. We covered ground. Even today, we got a lot of good situational work in today. I am not going to tell you how I feel overall. I just know there is a ton of work left to do. You are right, we have a day tomorrow, there is a break and then we have to get ready to roll because it comes at you fast.”

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. doing a little bit more field work today and if that is an attempt to test what he is able to do when training camp starts:

“We were not testing him. It is all just part of the rehab and part of the process. He is coming off of that surgery. As you know, he works really, really hard. I think he is progressing nicely and then we will see where he is once training camp rolls around.”

On the Browns having strong competition for the No. 3 WR spot:

“Competition is great. I really do think we have it at a bunch of positions, not just the wide receiver position. Those guys push each other. They know that everybody when they walk in this building, myself included, you are fighting for a job. That is the competitive nature of this game. It just pushes everybody to elevate their game.”

On if the Browns could use more three WR formations than last season:

“We will see. We will see how the roster comes out. Play to your strengths is what we tried to do last year, and we will certainly try to do this year. Again, I think that is something that will apparent as we start playing games.”

On if there is something that stood out most this week about DE Jadeveon Clowney, who seems to really be taking to the team and camaraderie in the building with the joy shared:

“That became obvious to me that he does enjoy people, being around people and joking around. He loves this game. You watch how he plays and throws his body around, you know he loves this game. It does not surprise me seeing him around his teammates, and they have obviously welcomed him into this family. I think he is excited to be a part of it. That is the fun part of getting all of those guys on the field. They are on the field together, they are on the sideline together, they are in the stretch lines together and they are constantly talking and they are building these relationships.”

On if he allowed himself to dream about having Clowney and DE Myles Garrett on the field together:

“They will be out there together quite a bit. That is something that is the fun part for us in this business and with (defensive coordinator) Joe (Woods) and the defensive staff is we want to use all of our guys. We want to use them to their best ability and use them in different ways so that is certainly something that we have been doing.”

On which of the seven guys working on the side today are expected back at the start of training camp:

“You would have to ask me specifically, but I am also not going to get into the injuries too deep. The guys who were over there, they are working through things, but I expect they will all progress nicely.”

On if T Chris Hubbard will be fully ready for training camp:

“He is hitting all of his benchmarks on his rehab so we will see over the course of time.”

On if he expects the beginning of training camp will be similar to last year with the slower ramp-up period before contact:

“I do. There will be an acclimation period mandated from the league, and we will also use our own science to guide us as we put the plan together to make sure that we are ramping up safely as we start training camp.”

On Clowney saying he loves his teammates and if that is a byproduct of the members of the team or if it is something the team works to cultivate:

“There is work to be done, for sure, but we like it when there is personality out there and we like it when there is juice and they are having fun. I think what you have seen is guys have spent some time together. Outside of the building, they have spent plenty of time on Zoom calls. Finally, they are playing football. Let’s not forget, this is a kid’s game. To see those guys out there having fun, obviously, that is important to us.”

On referencing ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ given the team was apart for all of last offseason and the team having success last year, if there is a sense of having to ‘manage togetherness’:

“That is pretty deep (laughter). Good question. I think the guys certainly like being around each other. They like being on the field playing football. That is part of the gig is you can only work out so much; you have to go play football, and you have to go practice football. I think the guys are enjoying that. I think it also helps that the weather has been incredible so they are enjoying being out there on the fields.”

On WR Rashard Higgins working on the side of the fields today:

“He will be fine.”

On if S Grant Delpit working on the side after some on-field work is part of the planned rehab process:

“Yes, all a part of the plan.”

On his message to the team for their time between minicamp and training camp:

“I have to think through it first. Obviously, anytime you send your players away for some time, the message of making sure they are staying in shape and making sure they are staying safe obviously will be a big part of it. It is a really good break that the NFL has and has had for years where it is time to go charge the battery because as we all know and you all know, it is a long season, and it got longer by a game in the regular season. We really want to make sure that when we are away from the building that we get to recharge while maintaining the shape that these guys are in. Just charge that battery and get ready.”

On if defensive coordinator Joe Woods is ‘on the hot seat’ to perform this year as some external people speculate, given the defensive talent added:

“I do not answer to the external people, that is the first thing I would tell you. I am on the hot seat. We are all in the hot seat. The second we are in this building, we have to fight for everything we get. We are earning it every day. That is no different for myself or all of our players. That is my mentality.”

On if there is a percentage of how much of Woods’ defense and scheme was played last year, given some key pieces may have been missing:

“I would not put a percentage on it, but I will tell you, Year 1 to Year 2, you evolve, for sure. That is what we are doing offensively, and we are definitely doing it defensively, mindful of adding some new players to the scheme, but we are constantly evolving. I would go to having the entire staff back is a big deal. Our defensive staff one year under the belt together, we are so much farther ahead as a staff in terms of what we want to do, how we communicate, how we get to the players, etc. That is a big deal, as well.”

On how excited he, Woods and the Browns defense are to see the opportunities available with the new defensive additions:

“Joe and the defensive staff, they are excited. I will tell you, though, we have a lot of work to do as a team. Joe and I were talking about that on the field today. We have a lot of work to do. There is another practice tomorrow. Training camp is on the horizon. We are going to make sure that we focus on the work. Just in terms of the players we have added, of course, we have talked about that before. We are excited to add these guys to all levels of the defense. Now, it is a matter of getting to work and seeing who can do what.”

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QB Baker Mayfield (6.16.21)

On how WR Odell Beckham Jr. looks post ACL surgery:

“He looks really great. After seeing him run and really just talking to him, as well, he feels comfortable. He is still getting used to some of these cuts and certain motions, but you are talking about seven months since the surgery so it is pretty impressive how quickly he has come back.”

On what Beckham’s return could mean for the ceiling of the Browns offense:

“Obviously, his play speaks for itself. He is an explosive player. I think when it comes to teams scheming up for our offense, he has the dynamic, the deep threat and teams have to roll a safety over the top, whether they want to play one-high or two-high and just all of the things that can exploit matchups and create better opportunities for everybody else and not only himself.”

On if he has a greater appreciation for Home Run Derby contestants now after participating in one during WR Jarvis Landry’s softball game:

“I do. It gets tiring, even swinging a light softball bat.”

On what would it mean for the team to extend RB Nick Chubb, CB Denzel Ward and him:

“Obviously, those guys are tremendous teammates, all coming in here together around the same time. That would be very special, but that is one of those things that I think everything happens for a reason, and it will handle itself. Just worried about winning, as I told you guys before when I was asked about the fifth-year option. It is the same thought process for me, and it will continue to be that way.”

On his conditioning this offseason in comparison to last year:

“I feel really good. I feel even better than I did last year. Last year was completely all virtual. I feel great. We have been able to get together with the guys. We did an early session in Florida and then got one obviously down in Texas last week. I feel really good about where I am and where we are hitting the ground running right now.”

On if his agents are currently talking about a possible extension with the Browns and if he would prefer that get accomplished this summer:

“I am in no rush because I am just trying to win games, and like I said, it will handle itself. I am sure Tom and Jack Mills are handling that. I do not try and feed too much into that because that is wasting my time and energy and thought process on stuff that I am not in control of right now. I am going to handle what I can control.”

On if he would view his extension potentially occurring later as an opportunity to bet on himself this season:

“I have bet on myself my whole life. I have always taken it one day at a time and one play at a time. Like I said, I am not going to handle it any differently now.”

On how much Browns offensive players were able to accomplish in Florida and Texas prior to this week:

“I think we were able to accomplish everything we needed to. Now, it is great to be out there and doing some competition against the defense. Obviously, a lot of seven-on-seven stuff, as you guys saw yesterday. Where we are right now, I feel good about it. Obviously, there is a ton of work to be had, but that is why it is only June.”

On if he can tell that he is more comfortable in Year 2 of Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s system:

“Absolutely. Talking to you guys about the jump after the bye week to the second half of the year, and the more reps and the more times you are around these guys and explaining thought process, and the communication when it comes to your team is so important. The more we are doing that, obviously as time goes on, it is going to get better for all of us.”

On how TEs Harrison Bryant and Austin Hooper are growing in their second season in the offense:

“I am excited to watch that group. We have an incredible room, including (TE) David (Njoku) and (TE) Stephen (Carlson). It is a highly competitive group. That is the best part. I think they bring the best out of each other. I think they all add different aspects to their game, not one of them is the same as the other. I am excited to see them grow and continue to understand our schemes. That is a position that requires a lot of intelligence, and to be able to read certain ways and communicate upfront, it asks a lot of them, and they do a fantastic job.”

On if he gets the sense his extension will come eventually but it is just a matter of time:

“Like I keep saying, I think everything happens for a reason. I think the chips will fall where they are supposed to. I am concerned about winning, and that is what everybody in this building needs to be concerned about. It is not saying that everybody is not, but the concern right now is winning and building a strong foundation for this season.”

On stating previously that he has felt like he was born to play QB in Cleveland and if that was further strengthened last season:

“Yeah, I think the things that I said even before the draft and right after the draft of Cleveland is a town that is about work ethic and a blue-collar mentality, and that is what I have always been about. I think that is why it has been a great match.”

On the biggest challenges of learning a new system with new coaches last offseason, in addition to adjusting footwork, and if the bye week is when everything really clicked:

“The combination of the lack of OTAs and minicamp last year and to be able to get those live reps and work those new schemes, combined with the footwork, and to talk through those things right after the reps with (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt and (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski)… It is the combination of all of those things that just take repetition to be able to grow and get comfortable in it. I think that is why you saw our offense only get better as the year went on, especially on my front. I expect to continue to that, to continue to grow and get better.”

On specific goals for the Browns offense and himself in 2021:

“In a general sense, what I will tell you guys is we have to be more efficient on third and fourth downs. We have to be better early on early in the season. Obviously, we got better as the year went on, but for me, it is continuing to put us in manageable situations to win ball games and extend leads. Obviously, my priority is always winning. That is first and foremost and the biggest goal I will always have, and then personal stuff after that always comes with winning.”

On WR Jarvis Landry’s comment last weekend about every player is preparing to be a champion and all 32 teams are striving to win the Super Bowl each year and those should be the expectations for everyone:

“I think everybody that plays this game is striving to be a champion. If you are not doing that, then I think you are in it for the wrong reasons. I have said that time and time again. You strive to win in everything you do. That is the kind of culture that we have been working on building. Building a culture is not easy, and that has been a process. We are striving to continue in building a winning culture.”

On how the Browns’ culture is built differently now to deal with high expectations entering the season compared to 2019:

“That is two years ago so it is not even comparable. When it comes to culture, that is just a process. It was not exactly fun the first few years trying to build that. It just takes getting people in the right mindset and having people on the same page. That is one of those things that it takes time.”

On what he would like to accomplish after minicamp and before training camp:

“I feel good with where I am right now, but obviously like I said, there is a lot of work to be done. That is not to say we will not continue that even though we will not be together. Those lines of communication will always be open when it comes to all of us getting on the same page. That is the good part about this team is we have built relationships and friendships now that the communication is very open and honest. That is extremely important. The chemistry when it comes to being able to say, ‘Hey, I am wrong right here. Tell me if I am wrong. Tell me if you need something out of me.’ That is vital, and I think that is what we have been working on the most. That is what a good culture is all about, and when it comes back down to it and we hit the ground running for training camp in late July, that we do not miss a beat.”

On the Browns’ camaraderie amongst teammates during minicamp and how much chemistry has advanced compared to this time last year:

“Far, far ahead of what is was. All of these guys have played together. It was a very new roster with a lot of new faces last year. Yeah, we added some key pieces and a lot of guys, but those guys are good culture guys. When you bring that type of person in, they fit right in and they join along. That is why we welcome these guys in with open arms. You enjoy playing and working with people who have the same goal-oriented mentality as you. That is why you see that.”

On what it will be like for opposing NFL QBs to face the tandem of DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett:

“My two tiny friends (laughter)? It is fun. It is fun to watch them work. I would not say it would be very fun to go up against them. That duo creates a lot of stuff for a lot of other people on the backend. Obviously, we have a lot of guys who are very talented so it is not just those two, but they do add a special dynamic when it comes down to offensive scheming that you have to worry about those two guys.”

On the Browns’ defensive upgrades and if he has met his new teammates, including S John Johnson III and LB Anthony Walker:

“I think they are great players. Obviously, JJ has picked me off and so has A-Walk so I am still trying to get vengeance on those guys (laughter). Like I said, we are bringing in the right culture guys, and that is the important part. They are great players, but they are fitting right in and driving this train even quicker than it needs to be.”

On the importance of all of the Browns’ top WRs returning from last season and what younger WRs like WR Donovan Peoples-Jones have shown when working out together away from the facility:

“Donovan looks incredible right now. He looks like he is in really, really good shape running around. Obviously, he is a smart guy who we were able to plug and play. He knows his role and exactly what his job is. It is great to have that same group back – the camaraderie in that room and to hit the ground running. We have talked about a lot of things. We grew a lot over the last year, and we are continuing that. It is exciting to have O (WR Odell Beckham Jr.) back obviously after the injury, have an even healthier (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and just have that room all together again.”

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DE Jadeveon Clowney (6.16.21)

On Day 1 of minicamp:

“It was great. Got to get in and get to know the guys. Put some faces with some names, and get out there and run around with the guys. We had a great first day.”

On the opportunity to play with DE Myles Garrett, who is ‘pretty close to being his athletic equal’:

“It is funny, I have not run into too many guys like that in the National Football League yet. Took me eight years to get here and find another one like that on defense, anyways. It is great. I just know he is going to go out there and do his thing. Knowing the type of guy I am looking at, I know he is going to ball and is going to do his thing so I am excited about that.”

On if he is best when he is able to concentrate on one position or thrives when being able to play multiple positions:

“I thrive in moving around, but I thrive in going forward. You get that? Basically the 4-3 [defense] has been better for me in my rushes over the years. Even in Seattle, I probably had one of my highest rushing-percentage rate when I was going forward the whole game and was not thinking that much. Then in the 3-4, it is a lot more thinking in the 3-4 for the outside linebacker that is in coverage and what is going on around all of the receivers and stuff. Playing upfront, hand in the ground is a lot easier and less thinking.”

On if he is comfortable with moving inside on occasions:

“I am fine with it. I am OK with it. I feel like I can play inside or outside. I do not mind.”

On how he has worked to develop a relationship with Garrett this week:

“The funny thing is me and Myles Garrett had the same agents for the longest – Bus Cook. I got rid of Bus, but I was talking to him during that time. I met his mom during that time so I kind of got the feel of him and it is like I kind of know him a little bit. When I got to talked to him, it was like we were just cool automatically. It was not anything crazy. It was just a relationship that we were just building. It was like, ‘What is up, brother, let’s get this thing going.””

On if he fired up about the Browns DL room:

“For sure. When they put the highlight tape on the other day, I was like ‘Oh, these guys making a lot of plays across the league.’ For them to be on the team with me, I am very excited about the rotation of the group that can rotate and guys can get in. The backups can come in and play just as good as the ones, and that is even better. Anytime you have that going on, you have a good group. Looking forward to it. It reminds me of when I watch San Francisco, the same team a couple of years ago that went to the Super Bowl and that defense, I am thinking we can do that upfront in ways, rotate guys and guys come in and play well.”

On how long it will take for him to fully identify his role in the defense:

“The hope is as soon as possible. Probably training camp. Right now, I am just trying to learn the playbook. They are not throwing too much crazy stuff at us right now. Just trying to get the basic defense installed and not moving guys around. We are just trying to get the basic stuff going. Probably training camp when stuff gets moved around. Putting the pads on, I will be looking forward to seeing how they use everybody, but I am looking forward to it.”

On the Browns DL group having fun at practice:

“The thing about me, I like to have fun no matter what team I go to or where I go. I am an excited guy. I like to have fun. I know it is a job, but I try to say it is football first. I always enjoy playing football and being out there with my teammates. It is not really a job. You all have to know, we have the best job in the world. Why not put a smile on your face when you are out there running around and they pay you for this and I would be playing for free? Yes, I enjoy.”

On how he felt physically yesterday after recovering from a knee injury:

“I think I felt good. I think I proved myself. I was feeling good coming off that knee injury. I have been training extremely hard this offseason so I kind of already have a feel of where I was coming here. I would not have come if I was not healthy. I would have told them the same thing. I felt great coming in, and I feel great now. Hope I can continue that into the next phase and this six-week phase, keep getting stronger and faster and get ready for training camp.”

On early impressions of DT Takkarist McKinley:

“Takk has a high motor. He definitely asks questions. He definitely wants to learn and take your advice and take other people’s advice. Takk is definitely a learning guy who wants to learn the system. With that, he is always going to be thrive and get better if you are willing to learn from other guys. He asks questions so I think he is going to be alright.”

On if it feels different being on his third team in three years or if it is ‘just the next stop on the road to another job’:

“You are asking the question so soon. You never know. I thought the last place was probably have been home, the place before that and the place before that. You just keep playing and see what happens. I enjoyed the last team. I enjoyed the team before that. I am enjoying this one. I just hope this is one leads to something better orthis probably will be better for me. We will see what happens. It is early.”

On if the vibe in Cleveland is different from what he expected last year after considering the Browns in free agency in 2020:

“Definitely. This is a good team, and this group of guys they enjoy their self. They are having a good time. They are fun to be around. Everybody is flying around. Everybody is smiling. It is a young team so you all kind of get the idea of what I mean by everybody having a good time and having fun. It is not like work to us here. We like the job. It is like we are having a good time. That can be a good thing for us or it can be a bad thing (laughter). Right now, it is a good thing.”

On if the team feels like it has a family feel to it already:

“It does. It is kind of weird I said that. It is like, ‘What is up with it?’ We already kind of feel like we know each other, and we are not leaving anybody behind. Everybody is picking each other up. ‘Hey, need something over here? If I got you, then I got you. You got me.’ It is one of those things that I continue to roll that through the guys like, ‘hey look, let’s just have each other’s back. Let’s be there for each other. Regardless of we know each other or not, that is what we are going to do.’”

On if he likes sprinting as opposed to hitting at practice during minicamp:

“Funny thing is, I did not have a problem with it. I have been training like I said this offseason. I have been doing a lot of sprints so that kind of was a jog phase to me. You would have to ask the other guys about that.”

On how different it is to rush the passer from inside versus off of the edge:

“It is a lot different. Everything happens quicker down there. You have to get into your rush a lot quick with everything happening, but you are closer to the quarterback so it is a win/lose. It is like everything happens fast, but you are going against a lot of non-athletic guys inside so the matchups are there, and you just take advantage of your matchups. Just trying to win.”

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G Joel Bitonio (6.16.21)

On if he liked the flexibility offered by this year’s offseason program:

“Yeah, it was great for me. My wife had our second at the end of March so we were right in the heart of that. It was good. I worked out at the facility actually a few weeks in the offseason, and I got to a few other places to work out. A little bit back and forth. You just get flexibility. You are not here for four hours or six hours. You can work out for two hours, get your stuff done and get in and out. A lot of options. I think the main argument is just that you have the ability to choose to do what you want. If you feel like your best bet is to come in and participate in OTAs, that is what you get to do. If you have something come up – a doctor’s appointment or something with your family – you have that right to stay home and figure that stuff out. For me personally, it was great. I got to spend time with family. Once you get into the season, it is such a grind that you want to cherish those moments when you get that opportunity.”

On the challenges with high expectations for the team entering 2021:

“I like having expectations. It means you have the potential to be a good team, but that is really all it means, though, is potential. You have players here, but we have to go out and execute. It starts from the top with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry and (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski. They put us on the right path already. We understand it takes work. Nothing is going to be handed to you in this league. From Day 1 of the virtual meetings this offseason, it has been about work, how can we improve and the things we need to improve on as a team and get better to make it to the Super Bowl. That is everybody’s goal in this league, but expectations are really just talk for us. It is something that we start off on, but we are working. We want to be the best we can, and we just want to give ourselves an opportunity to play as long as we can this year.”

On how the Browns OL can build upon success from last season:

“Like you said, I thought we played well, but we evaluated ourselves. (Offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan, (assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Peters, Coach Stefanski, we came up with individual plans of how we can improve ourselves this offseason and then as a group with communication. Jed (T Jedrick Wills Jr.) is going into his second year. A lot of O linemen take a big step from Year 1 to Year 2. All of us are in the same system for the first time in a long time. In my career, I have only had that a couple of times or maybe once. For me to have the same offense again is big. You have an understanding of the plays and what we want to do, and now, we are just really finetuning things and coming together in that sense.”

On an example of how having the same coaching staff makes things easier for the team:

“When you get a new coach, everything – the schedule of the practice, the schedule of the day, the offense, terminology, the cadence, literally everything – that can be different has the potential to be different. You are learning everything from step one. A lot of the stuff is the same, but it is different terminology. Here, we go out, and we are running. We have the same playbook. We go over brief install, because you have time in the offseason, but it is all plays that you ran. There might be a little tweak here, but it is like riding a bike; you are just getting back on it and figuring out how it is riding right now. You can change everything in the offseason if you have a new coach. With us, we are just picking up and trying to improve the things we need to work on.”

On if he hopes this new style of and flexibility for the offseason will be the process going forward:

“From my perspective, I do not know how it is going to go in the future. From a big picture look at things, if you think about a season, let’s say you end in February. That is everybody’s goal, right? You have to come back mid-April so you are looking at maybe two months off. When you show up to OTAs, you are supposed to be in good shape, because you have to be able to run and you have to be able to do things. How many weeks off are you really giving your body to get to that point? Then you do the nine-week or 10-week program and you have another six-week break, where you are supposed to get some time off, but you have to be in shape for training camp. All of these things lead to a process in the old days or what we were accustomed to where you are just training to be ready at all times. If you can get a training regimen where you can peak in August going into September, I think that is the best way. I think there is a way where we can still have an offseason and we can either push it back or move it around where it is almost more of a ramp-up period instead of these segmented breaks where it is kind of hard to give your body a true break. From my perspective, I do like the voluntary part, but I do think there is an answer out there of let’s look at the science, let’s look at the data and should we be trying to peak in April and then trying to peak again in September? Or is there a way to ramp that up where you do not have to peak and do the voluntary stuff? I think we have learned, too, that virtual meetings and virtual things can be beneficial, as well.”

On if QB Baker Mayfield proved last year that Mayfield should be the long-term quarterback in Cleveland:

“Yeah, I think so. Since he has been here, I have always thought very highly of him. He has always been a great teammate to me, and what he has shown on the football field, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I think you just continue to take those steps and continue to improve. This is a big year for us and a big year for him, but I know he is looking forward to it. That is kind of what he lives for and those big moments. We are getting ready to roll.”

On how he believes Mayfield will handle attention and speculation around a potential contract extension:

“I think he understands that the No. 1 goal is playing football. If you play football well, everything else is going to take care of itself. I think his agent and I am sure his group of people who are supporting him are telling him that. You just play good football, and the other staff will take care of itself. He has the right mindset. He looks like he is in great shape. He is throwing the ball well. He has a grasp of the offense. All of those things are just positives. He has the right mindset. He has not even mentioned a contract extension to anybody in the building, I do not think, player-wise. I think he is focused on what he needs to worry about and kind of let the rest take care of itself.”

On the Browns DL and additions to it this offseason:

“It was fun. We did not go too crazy full speed because we are not in full pads, but just seeing the group of guys out there moving around and the athletes we have over there. (DE Jadeveon) Clowney and (DE) Myles (Garrett) are a pretty good tandem just to look at, but you have (DE) Takk (McKinley), you have (DE) Porter (Gustin), (DT) Malik (Jackson) and (DT Andrew) Billings on the inside. You have a lot of players who have experience in this league and are great players and great athletes. It is cool. There are going to be some good battles in training camp.”

On the benefits of being around the coaching staff in person this year compared to all virtual work last year:

“It was kind of crazy because you walk in the building for the first time, and if you are vaccinated, you see people without masks on and coaches for kind of like the first time ever. They had been wearing masks. That was one thing and getting used to seeing everybody’s faces again and getting used to people. Besides that, when you are in person, you have the ability to see how someone is moving or be coached up differently. We sent videos in virtually and things like that, but when you are in person, it is a little bit more hands on. You get that practice time, and you get to build a little bit of more of a relationship with this guy’s personality. You go into last year and it is all Zoom. You do not really have that time to chat and joke around in the meetings room, and those are some of the coolest things about football – eating around the lunch table, being in the meeting room and those types of things. You get to know guys on a different level from that perspective.”

On if there is anything from last year’s offseason work that can be carried over to this year based on the team’s success in 2020 and if expectations should be higher this year:

“I think we have built on that, and I think that goes back to Coach Stefanski and the program he set up. The things he has built as a coach and put into place, I think those are still there. I still think we are bringing that stuff we brought from the past year, but now we have a chance to grow from it. Everything has that chance, but for us, it was a new coaching staff. We had never been in person with them all of this time. It will give us a chance to grow. I am excited with the guys we have and the coaching staff in place. Now, for us, it is like, ‘Hey, we have to work, we have to put in the time and see what happens during the season.’”

On challenges facing a DL that has multiple players who can move from inside to outside and line up anywhere among the line:

“It is a big challenge. You hope the best guy does not line up over you when they have three or four guys who are like that (laughter). It is a challenge because they can move things and they can shift the D line. You think Myles is going to be playing D end and that is where you want to double team him, and then they move him inside to a 3-technique. Hopefully, you respond in that way, but you never know in an offense. When you are playing defensive end, you can get chipped from running backs, you can get chipped from tight ends and help that way. Inside, it is usually with a center or guard, but if the slide is going the other way, you might… They can run stunts off of it. They can do three-man games. They have the ability to move around. If you put three of your rushers on one side and leave Myles on the other side, are you going to slide to a three-man side or are you still going to double team Myles? There are a lot of options that can open up.”

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