Browns HC Kevin Stefanski Touches on Friday's Preseason Game

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Opening statement: 

“Got home and was able to watch the tape. A lot of things we talked about last night are still true. We have to clean up some of the mistakes out there and that is part of training camp, which we are still in training camp mode so there are things that we need to work on. On the injury front, (C) Nick Harris is likely going to need surgery, which would end his season. We are still gathering information, though, there so I want to make sure that we have all of the information before we come to that conclusion.”


On Harris missing significant time and the Browns’ options at C moving forward:

“To the first part of your question, all of these injuries stink. You do not like anybody to get injured. Nick certainly is a guy who has been working so hard this offseason. Really hoping that it is not a season-long thing because the kid just worked so hard. When it comes to roster-related things, that is where (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and his crew work at that. I will tell you, (C) Ethan (Pocic) went in there and did a really nice job. He has been with us since April. We went out and got him for a reason. Excited about what he did last night.”


On CB Martin Emerson Jr.’s performance last night, including showing his length and physical playing style on the INT-TD:

“I would say a small sample size. I do think you have to point that out. I just want him to take the practice field to the game field. I think that is what he did last night. Needs to continue to do that. We have talked about him really since we got him, he is a very, very diligent kid. He wants to get better. He spends a lot of time in the meeting room, on the field and extra time on the field because he wants to perform at a high level for us. Within that big play he made, that is a snapshot of his skillset on display – being physical with the receiver, making a great play, taking the ball away and showing his speed really on that return. I know that was something coming out was not a guy who intercepted a lot of balls, but it is just a matter of do you have opportunities and can you make plays on the ball when they come your way.”


On QB Deshaun Watson’s apology last night:

“Talked about it last night, I just think Deshaun has been very committed to being the best version of himself. That is off the field and that is on the field obviously when he is in this building, but more so I do think he wants to learn and grow as a person. That is important.”


On if Watson’s performance last night was due to ‘shaking off rust’ or ‘not getting as much help from those around him’:

“Again, just to piggyback off what we talked about last night, I think anybody who is doing something that they have not done in 20 months, there is going to be an element of getting back into it and getting used to it. So much of what we did last night was getting through a night game and how we walkthrough and preparing yourself to play; the pregame warmup and doing that for the first time; breaking the huddle; at the line of scrimmage making run checks; getting to the sideline talking to a new position coach; and hearing a new voice in your helmet in a game setting. That was really the goal of last night for him, and then the third play of the game, he is taking snaps from (C) Ethan (Pocic). They have had a ton of reps together, but that is a new center in there. There are some challenging things. Ultimately, he did a nice job of running the offense. I know we would all want more production and those type of things, but you can’t overreact to a small sample size either direction, whether it is good or bad.”


On WR Anthony Schwartz and if Schwartz is pressing after missing some time in training camp:

“He missed some time coming back off of injury. Continued to grow as a player. Obviously, you are going to have some drops as a receiver. He takes them personally. Any receiver always takes those personally and wants to get better the next time.”


On if he sees Schwartz ‘losing confidence’:

“No. Again, preseason games are for work. You go out there, you make a mistake, you correct it and you get back to work.”


On if QB Jacoby Brissett will receive the bulk of the first team offensive reps starting tomorrow:

“Yes, and that has been the plan really from the beginning is just to at some point let Jacoby get the majority of them, still work Deshaun, still work (QB) Josh Dobbs and still work (QB) Josh Rosen, but Jacoby will get the majority starting this block.”


On expectations for how smoothly Brissett’s transition will be as the leader of the Browns offense, particularly given how highly teammates have spoken about Brissett:

“Jacoby has gotten a lot of reps to date. I go back to the nine-week offseason program and the weeks we have been together, he has gotten a ton of reps with the ones and with the twos. Even the way we structure our routes versus air and individual period, he has gotten a lot of reps with the quote-unquote ones and the twos. He will keep on that same process and making sure he is running the show when he is in there. He does a nice job in the quarterback meeting room with those guys so I just think this is also the natural progression for him moving forward.”


On if former Browns and free agent C JC Tretter is an option the Browns will consider at C following Harris’ injury:

“I will not comment on roster type things – that is Andrew and his crew – but I do want to make note that Ethan did a nice job [last night], and he has done a nice job since April. I am excited about what he can bring to the table.”


On DT Jordan Elliott’s performance last night how Elliott has progressed since joining the team:

“He did a nice job last night. He had one particular rush that was outstanding. He is continuing to take steps as a player. You mentioned Year 3 for him, I think you see a player who is getting more comfortable in the scheme and certainly has transformed his body over these three years. Again, I just think a guy who is taking the next step.”


On Pocic’s strengths as a player and if Pocic is a finesse player or tactician:

“I do not know how many offensive linemen want to be referred to as finesse (laughter). He is a physical football player. He is a big center. He has really good size. Has played a lot of football in his career. For us, it is just getting him good exposure to what we do, which we have been doing since April. I think he has done a nice job with (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan and (assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Peters and understanding our techniques. I really think we have a guy who has done that in some big moments.”


On if Pocic has similar ability to move and pull as Harris:

“We will definitely play to our players’ strengths. No two players are the same. They sometimes share similarities and those type of things, but we will ask Ethan to play like Ethan and not play like somebody else.”


On how WR Jakeem Grant Sr.’s Achilles injury will impact the Browns roster on offense and special teams:

“I think all of that remains to be seen. We have some guys who can do those jobs – punt return and kickoff return. We will kind of look at some other guys, as well, and see who can provide us some meaningful reps there. I think those are the things we are working through as a staff, but it does go back to that point on versatility and having multiple guys who can do multiple jobs.”


On if WR Jamarcus Bradley is the Browns’ first choice to replace Grant as the team’s primary returner, given Bradley received all of the return reps last night:

“I would not say that. I would say there are a bunch of guys who we are going to work in there.”


On RB Jerome Ford’s production last night and during training camp and what Ford did in the first preseason game to validate the hard work Ford has shown every day in practice:

“We were excited when we got Jerome in the first place. We identified him pretty early in the process as a guy who would be a fit. With training camp, it is hard to evaluate running backs when they are not getting tackled, but his skillset shows up in practice as a runner with really good feet and as a pass receiver. What he was able to do in a live setting in a game setting was really what we would expect. Young player, was not perfect and made some mistakes that we have to clean up.”


On the Browns WR room heading into joint practices with the Eagles and the second preseason game, given injuries at the position to WR David Bell and WR Michael Woods II:

“I think we have to get the guys back from injury who we can get back – you mentioned David and Michael – and then continue to progress. I think we have a bunch of guys who can be versatile and can do different jobs. For us, it is back to putting guys in the formation and moving them around in different spots where they can make some plays. In terms of making a blanket statement on the whole group, I just think we have a bunch of work to do.”


On if Woods’ will be out this week due to injury:

“Yeah, he is out this week, but he is progressing. He is out this week, yes.”

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