7 more highlights from Kevin Stefanski's at-home Browns update

One day after Kevin Stefanski addressed the media on a variety of topics, we're combing through some of the overlooked tidbits that still carried plenty of intrigue.

Here are seven more highlights of what the Browns coach said while speaking with local reporters.

1. Stefanski said he doesn't have any past connections with Austin Hooper, the Pro Bowl tight end who was one of the biggest signings for the Browns at the start of free agency. Still, Hooper's name popped up early in the process when Stefanski met with Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry and Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta to see who would fit best from both a schematic and personality perspective.

"I think Austin right away checked those boxes," Stefanski said. "I just thought adding a really good player at that position made a ton of sense. A credit to Andrew and his group for identifying him and for getting that deal done because this system that we are running, we certainly want to use tight ends, multiple tight ends. 

"Austin has versatility. He has played in schemes similar to what we are going to do. He is a talented football player. He is young. He is smart. I just think it checked a ton of boxes as we looked toward what we want to add to this group."

2. Case Keenum knows his role, and Stefanski knows the importance it will play in the upcoming season.

Stefanski just doesn't want Keenum to feel like he's only been brought to the team to mentor and coach starter Baker Mayfield. There's so much more that goes into the valuable position Keenum is set to fill.

"I just know Case Keenum the person, and I know Case Keenum the player. I think he will make our team better," Stefanski said. "He said it and I told him, he does not have to be a coach. We have plenty of coaches. He just has to get himself ready to play like every one of our players has to. I think so much of that is just in the preparation. The way Case goes about preparing himself to play, whether he is a backup or the starter, is a great message for our entire team.

"It is a great lesson for our entire team to see, not just Baker and the rest of the quarterbacks. We just think the guy has the right makeup."

3. Speaking of Mayfield, Stefanski reiterated what he's been saying about the third-year quarterback from the moment he took the job. He's expecting a better season from Mayfield in 2020, and it starts with the people who surround him.

"He is a young player we have all seen glimpses of being a really good player," Stefanski said. "Organizationally, we believe in Baker Mayfield. This was part of my job and our job to surround him with people who are going to help make the best version of Baker Mayfield. That is myself and (offensive coordinator) Alex Van Pelt, and then Case, he has done it all. He has been a starter, he has been a backup, he has had to fight to be the third-string guy on teams and he has been the undrafted player. Adding him, he knows his role perfectly. 

"Everybody knows to get things done, it is good when you have role players that understand what their job is."

4. Stefanski hasn't been in the Browns facility for weeks, and neither have any players, but he's still in tune with some of their respective comebacks from offseason surgeries.

Stefanski said he's only heard good things about wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, both of whom underwent offseason surgery. Beckham had a core muscle injury fixed while Landry addressed a hip injury that dogged him throughout the 2019 season.

"I think both of those guys are exactly where they need to be in terms of their rehab progression," Stefanski said. "I think (Senior Vice President of Player Health and Development) Joe Sheehan has been in touch with those guys every single day so he is very aware of where they are, what they are doing and how they are progressing. They were in the building quite a bit back in January and February so I got to talk and sit down with both of those guys and see them in the training room. They are doing everything they need to be [doing] and they are right where they need to be from a rehab standpoint."

5. Stefanski said LB B.J. Goodson has the versatility to play multiple positions within the Browns defense. The former Packers linebacker is stepping into a position group that will look to fill the void left by Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey, both of whom are now with new teams.

Stefanski said Goodson has the "capability" to play middle linebacker, where Schobert starred the past three seasons.

"I think adding B.J. to the room gives us a guy who has been productive, has played a little bit and gives us some depth there," Stefanski said. "He has played special teams and is a good athlete that we feel fits our scheme. We have some young players at that position so it is a big year [for them] – Year 2 is a huge year for players in the NFL in terms of making that jump and not being a rookie anymore. We have high hopes for those guys and see what you have."

6. After an initial barrage of offensive players, Cleveland added a number of players to its defense that could either compete for starting roles, provide valuable depth or help out on special teams.

On top of some reported agreements, the Browns added key veterans such as DT Andrew Billings, S Andrew Sendejo and Goodson to a defense with some holes that needed addressing.

"A lot of these guys may not be the biggest names, but I just know when you are putting a system together, you are looking for systematic fits," Stefanski said. "I think that is what we've done so far on offense and defense. Particularly, I think we have added a few guys that fit our scheme that have some versatility. 

"In the back end, you have guys that can play down safety, post safety and nickel. There is some versatility to the guys that we have added, which is really important when you are putting a new scheme together because there will be some moving parts making sure that you have everybody where you need them."

7. Mayfield has been among a handful of Browns players showing off the work they're putting in to stay in shape and the creativity they're deploying to get it done.

Stefanski said he's not on social media, so he has to rely on others to relay some of the players' efforts. His conversations with the players, though, gives him confidence they'll be ready to roll whenever they're allowed back in the facility.

"If they want to share that with the world, that is up to them, but I do think it is so important – the strength and conditioning aspect of this is going to be difficult," Stefanski said. "Social distancing and the guidelines that the states have put forth, it is very important that our guys heed those guidelines. That is the No. 1. No. 2, their bodies and the shape that they are in matters to how they play this game. We are going to have to be creative about this and make sure that they are getting the work in that they have to get in because a lot of gyms are closed and a lot of places you can't go work out with a buddy and you have to do these things on your own. 

"There is definitely is a Spartan element to that, but I am glad to hear that Baker and some of our guys are attacking this thing."

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