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Press Conference

Case Keenum explains why he 'respects the heck out of' Kevin Stefanski's leadership style - Conference Call

On why the Browns were the right fit for him, his role in Cleveland and what can he can offer the team:

"Coming in, obviously my role, one is to be ready to play. I know the situation with (QB) Baker (Mayfield), how he has played and the investment the team has in him. I am excited to kind of come alongside and really be a part of the quarterback room and the offensive side of the ball to try to help out in any way that I can in the meeting rooms and in the film room. Just supporting Baker, Coach (offensive coordinator Alex) Van Pelt and those guys and (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski as we install an offense that I feel like I have some familiarity with. I know it is going to be Browns 2020 and our own version of a lot of different things that these coaches are going to bring to the table. I am excited to help with that part. Just kind of helping with whatever ideas or things that I can bring. I would say first of all, though, I am going to be ready to play. That is my job. I feel like I can play at a high level. I feel like I have played at a high level over the last few years. It may have not of shown in some of the wins and losses, but this league is tough. There is a constant curve and kind of a gradual ebbs and flows of it, but I feel like my trend has gone up in the way I have handled games. Being a quarterback in this league is tough. I say all that to say if Baker's shoelace comes untied and he needs to maybe go get a drink of Gatorade at the water station, I am going to be ready to go. If I need to take a few snaps, I am going to handle myself well and I know that I can. That is my main job, but at the same time, I do know that I coming into a room where I am excited to help bring that room together, help bring an offense together and do the best I can to be the best team player I can be."

On his knowledge playing in multiple offensive systems in the NFL and supporting Mayfield:

"There are a lot of things. A lot of those things happen organically. I do not know if I will sit here and have a list of things. He is a good player. He could do well just fine without me, and he has. I am not saying that I am going to be a coach. I am not a coach. There are some great coaches in that room that are going to coach him up. I am excited. I feel like the quarterback room is kind of a committee. You all need to be on the same page and you all want to be speaking the same language. You all want to have one voice. When you are talking to receivers, you all want to see the field the same way. If we can all get on the same page as quickly as we can, I think that is going to help this offense. That is going to help this team. I think that is where we want to be. I think me trying to see the game through Baker's eyes, see the game through Coach Stefanski's eyes and Coach Van Pelt's, those are my goals, as well as bringing to the table what I have done in the past. Just coming in, preparing and being a pro like I know how to be. Just trying to help the team out in whatever way it is. The role, I know a little bit about it now than first coming in. It will change and evolve, and then we will see what it turns into during the season."

On Mayfield reaching out to him quickly after news reports of his signing and their conversation:

"I was really excited to hear [from Mayfield]. He shot me a text really as soon as the news broke. He was one of the first of many, which was really cool. It meant a lot to me. It really did. I know this league is an evolving door in some ways and a lot of ways. He has had it tough. He has gone through two or three offensive coordinators by now and two or three offenses in as many years. It is not that easy. He is finding that out. I have been in about eight or nine offenses in eight or nine years. I understand. I know how that goes. I am excited to help him navigate that and give my two cents wherever it might be needed. Yeah, he reached out. He was excited that I was on board. I think we already had the same goals in mind as far as bringing the team together and getting this ship headed in the right direction."

Check out photos of quarterback Case Keenum

On playing with Stefanski in Minnesota and how Stefanski helped his game:

"Kevin was awesome. He was so good. I feel like me and him were so similar that he knew just how I viewed the game and how I needed to prepare. He let me have my space when I needed the quarterback room to study and go through the gameplan and watch film or he came down and met with me extra and helped me understand why (Broncos offensive coordinator Head Coach Pat) Shurmur, our offensive coordinator at the time, was putting in plays. He would explain it to me in detail when coach Shurmur would tell me the concepts, but maybe I needed a few questions asked. 'OK, how do I look at this? Is this kind of like this play? Is it kind of like this play? Do I read it with this type of footwork? Do I have my eyes over here then get back over here?' He as very detailed, very organized and really, really prepared. I had to go into the meeting prepared because he was prepared. He was going to expect that from me. He was going to demand that from me. I was prepared as well as I have ever been prepared for any game that entire season. Every game that year was a huge credit to him and the job he did in our quarterback room as a whole. I am excited to work with him as a head coach."

On Stefanski's personality as a leader, particularly now as a head coach:

"I think [he will be] the same guy. I respect the heck out of that. I have been around coaches who have been in different roles in different situations and have been different at times. I am expecting the same guy. Talking to him on the phone, we joked about Game of Thrones again just like we did in 2017. I know it is kind of #oldnews, but he is the same guy and the same person that I am glad to call a friend and really excited to work with. That is one of those things that really attracted me to the Browns was looking up and down the coaching staff, I have a past relationship with 80 percent of them, and the other 20 percent have a great reputation and I wanted to work with guys like that. Being in situations where it has been tough years and different things have happened, and it has just been a tough work environment, I am excited to go to work with people I am really excited to be around every day."

On how difficult it is to sift through past offensive schemes when focusing on a current one:

"There is an art to that now that I have gone through a few systems. There are things I can take and apply to my Browns 2020 offensive mind and how to view plays. 'OK, this play is called A, but I used to called B, C, D or E, back in the day. Well, let me combine my rep that I got on B,C,D and E, my footwork that I used, my good plays, my knowledge of defenses, my knowledge of ways to attack this type of concept into defenses and then apply it all and call it A.' There are certain tweaks and there are certain ways of look at plays. There are two specific plays last year that got installed for me with (Jaguars offensive coordinator) Jay Gruden and his offense that I have run in every system I ran, but the way that they ran, it just totally revolutionized how I viewed the play. I was able to own it, I was able to make it mine and I really felt a lot more comfortable. That is what has been great is all these offenses I have been in, the concepts are very similar. The details presented are a little bit different, and I need to own it and make it Browns 2020. This is not what I have done in the past or what we have done in the past. It is what we are doing now. That is Browns 2020 offense, and I am excited to be a part of what they are building there."

On how his time with Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and will carry over to this offensive system:

"I think that is going to be a big part of Stefanski obviously spending time with him and seeing the Vikings offense from last year. I had a lot of familiarity. We played them and then watched them on film a bunch. I recognized a lot of their schemes and their offense, the footwork and just what (Vikings QB) Kurt (Cousins) was doing. That was really my first taste of NFL ball was coach Kubiak and him just grinding me on reads and footwork, and just where my eyes where. He coached me hard for my first two and a half years in this league. It really laid a foundation for me and for my career. I think it is the reason I am in Year 9. I owe a lot to coach Kubiak and him giving me a shot first of all and for training me my first two and a half years. I have a lot of great training as far as what it means to be a rhythm and timing passer, to get the ball out on time, to recognize defenses and know what type of concepts work into what type of defenses."

On if he and Mayfield are looking at possible ways to work out together:

"I feel like… Was it Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite? Is that the guy that set up the video camera out by his camper and threw the football around in this backyard? If you have not seen it, you need to go check out the video clip. I feel like Uncle Rico at times in my backyard doing drops and throwing the ball by myself (laughter). I definitely have not thrown as much this offseason as I normally have. I am getting healthy, which is good as far as just the pounding I took last year. No, we are all just trying to figure it out right now. I know you guys are, too. I am actually disappointing I am not seeing the inside of you all houses right now on a Zoom call. It has been a great time to see everybody's random places in their houses. All my friends that I have never been to their houses before, we are all Zoom calling everybody and Facetiming. It is a strange time in the world. It is a good time to really look at perspective and see just what is most important. There are a lot of things that we think are important in football and sports and all these things that we think are these little problems we think are problems that we do not get to do these things or do not get to go out and go to the movies. Really, it is just inconvenience because there are a lot more important things going on right now and the health of our loved ones, grandparents and all sorts of people across the country and across the world. I think that is obviously more important. Doing our part to get through this and come back stronger. That has been my motto since I can remember. Any adversity that you face, just come back stronger, learn from it and move on. I would say the plan is always constantly changing right now. I know everybody is on their own trying to do their best to get ready and stay in shape. I am about to go do a little workout with my wife here in our pool. We are going to do a little pool workout, a little pool aerobics. It should be fun. She will be excited. We are just hanging out here, changing diapers and enjoying some family time. We will cross the rest of the bridges when we get there."

On how complex will Stefanski's offense be and if players are having discussions about asking the league to allow teams to send playbooks to players since facilities are closed:

"Not yet. I do not see why that should not happen here pretty soon. I imagine there could be some virtual meetings done. I imagine there will be. I do not know what that is going to look like. I literally wake up every day, and it feels like the world changes. It is a different day than it was two days ago than it was 24 hours ago. Houston, they just shut us down for a little bit here. That is where I am right now down in Houston, Texas. It changes constantly. I would be down to do some virtual stuff and kind of get my mind going on football if I can't physically go throw and catch with guys and do some of that stuff. I would love to talk some football and get going in that direction."

On his story of playing at FirstEnergy Stadium and the crowd's reaction when being pressured by DE Myles Garrett:

"This was preseason last year. This has only happened twice in my career. I remember the other time, too and they were actually both against the Brown. The other time was in London. The London fans gave the sack away. I was dropping back in the pocket in the first quarter. I think I only played the first quarter of that game last year. Preseason game and Browns fans were crazy already. I have only experienced a preseason game in Cleveland, but it was impressive to hear the stands and how loud it was. When I snapped the ball and Myles got off the edge around the outside and as he got closer to me, the crowd really, really got louder. It just escalated. I could tell how close he was getting by how loud the crowd was getting. I was able to kind of step up and dump it off to my guy in the flat and get the ball out of my hand before Myles got there. That was one of only two times where the fans actually – I would not say helped me out – but maybe helped me get the ball out quicker. We were not able to convert on that third down. I kind of told that story just talking about Browns fans in general and how I know how passionate, energetic and just how much they care about the Cleveland Browns and the organization. I am excited to be on the receiving end of the cheers, instead of the other side."

On signing a longer-term deal in Cleveland after playing for multiple teams over a short period of time:

"I'm definitely excited. This year is obviously different, and it is kind of an interesting situation with everything going on. We are kind of used to moving right now. It will be nice not to get used to moving again. That was one of the things we looked at with our agent. We said, 'Hey, where can we put down some roots and make this thing a little more permanent? Not just see all of this hard work we put into a team…' I have been a captain on the past four teams I have been on. The leadership and the relationships you build, those will never go away and I have some great relationships with some guys, coaches and players across the league. To be able to have it in one place and be a part of something that they are building and doing here for more than one year, I am truly excited. My wife is really excited. I can't wait."

On what he feels like he has left in the tank and if he still views himself as a winning NFL quarterback if called upon, given how Buccaneers QB Tom Brady has played at his age:

"Heck yeah. I talked earlier about how I feel I have played at a high level over the last few years. There have been parts of my game that I have worked on and I have gotten better at each year, specifically, the drop-back game last year and different parts of my game each year before that. I am constantly working on my craft. I am constantly working on improving different areas of my game. I think each year I have done something I have not done before. I have played a 17-, 18-game season and gone to the NFC Championship. I have come in as a backup and helped lead teams in the middle games and in the middle of seasons, as well. I have kind of been the Week 1 starter. I have been competing for a third-string job in training camp. I have been kind of all over the place so I know a lot of different situations, and nothing really surprises me. I do not get phased by a whole lot. I am going to keep plugging and keep moving along. I know this league needs quarterbacks who can play, and that is what I can do and know I can play. As long as my body lets me, I am going to do this thing. I am going to be ready to play no matter what the situation is, when it is or where it is. That is who I am and that is what I do. That is how I am going to prepare."

On if it's difficult knowing he is coming to Cleveland as a backup or if he is coming to Cleveland to win the starting QB job:

"I have come into situations where there is a competition, and I know this is not one. This is one I talked about long before free agency even started with my agent and that there was quite a bit of quarterback musical chairs this year. When Tom Brady is a free agent, there is kind of an unspoken thing where you kind of wait to see where Tom Brady goes and you go somewhere else, type of situation. We knew how it was going to work with Brady, (Colts QB) Philip) Rivers and a lot of other free agents who were available. We knew finding a situation where there was an attractive backup job was going to be kind of our priority, and we did that with the Browns. It worked out perfectly that the Browns were looking at me, and we had the Browns highlighted, as well. No, I know coming in what my role is and that is nice. It is nice to not have you guys ask questions – like you are trying to do now – to stir up a little bit of controversy (laughter). Maybe not stir up controversy… Just having a little fun there (laughter). I am excited to know my role and to know there is no uncertainty in the quarterback room. That is a place where we are solidified. We are one voice. We are not talking about different things to different people. I am not going to go to the receivers and tell them to run this type of route and Baker is not going to tell them another route. I am going to go say, 'Hey, Baker. How do you see this route? Coach Stefanski, Coach Van Pelt, what are we going to say after we leave this quarterback room? When we talked about this play, how do we want it run? How do we see it?' We are going to all have the same voice, the same way we see things and that is going to help this football team because we are all going to be on the same page. I like that. I think having a quarterback room, no matter how many guys are in there be on the same page is crucial."

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