Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry talk every day. That's a given. They're the head coach and general manager, after all.
The conversations lately, though, have had a similar theme. Roster cutdown day is just around the corner, and the Browns have some tough decisions to make all across the field.
"Really good dialogue between Andrew and myself, between Andrew and the coaches, the coaches, and the personnel staff," Stefanski said Wednesday. "Really hard decisions are going to be made, and that is a testament to the players that Andrew and his staff have brought in."
Their first roster cuts together come with plenty of new variables, the combination of a recently ratified collective bargaining agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, the roster is already at 80 players, not the usual 90. Second, the team will be fielding a practice squad of 16 — up six from last year. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the Browns and every other team in the NFL will be evaluating their roster without any preseason games. That last part is pivotal because it plays into what happens the day after roster cuts, when hundreds of players are available on the waiver wire.
Even with all of these new wrinkles, Stefanski said his and Berry's philosophy of building the best roster hasn't changed.
"I hope [decisions on every position] are all difficult. I really do," Stefanski said. "I think as you look at our roster in total, there are some really good football players and there are some tough decisions to be made. I think Andrew is going to do a great job. We have had those discussions. We pushed back on each other and challenged each other, but I think Andrew will make some really good, informed decisions with a lot of help from the coaches and the personnel group.
"I think Andrew does a great job of seeing this thing and having a global view of it. I do not there are any hard-fast number rules on you have to keep X number of players [at a position]. That is why I really believe that every position you just keep the best football players."
Here's what else was said and seen Wednesday in Berea.
Check out exclusive photos from Wednesday's practice in Berea