Press Conference

Kevin Stefanski: 'We just have to dive into our preparations'

Opening statement:

"It was good to have (C) JC (Tretter) back out there. Not going to get the extent to which he was back out there. We will deal with that on Wednesday. Going inside, I know you guys were not out there at practice. It was good to have him out there in his pads. It was a nice crisp practice in the indoor." 

On what Tretter brings to the Browns if able to play against the Ravens Week 1:

"Obviously, JC is a veteran. He has seen a lot of football. I think there is value in that. He is a leader of the football team. Really good to have him out there today." 

On if Tretter was the only injured player to return to practice today:

"That is right." 

On how LB Jacob Phillips has stepped into the role that LB Mack Wilson was previously playing:

"Jacob has done a nice job. All of our rookies, we are counting on them. He is working very hard with (linebackers coach) Jason Tarver and (senior defensive assistant) Ben Bloom. They spend extra time together. I think he is a smart tough football player, and I think he has grown over the course of this last month." 

On how S Ronnie Harrison Jr. is learning the defense after joining the team recently via trade:

"He is smart. They are spending a lot of time together. He is picking it up. He looked good out there today to me. I think we will determine over the next few days what that looks like this week." 

On if he has a full sense of Harrison's excitement to join the Browns, given his comments on Twitter:

"I would not say so. I just think I am pleased that he is ready to work." 

On how WR Rashard Higgins has performed and what Higgins brings to the WR group:

"Rashard did a nice job. He grinded. He earned that role. I think you saw at practice he had some moments that were very impressive. There is obviously a rapport with the quarterback. They have thrown a lot of balls to each other. Excited for Rashard and then just looking forward to him being in that room and competing with the rest of the guys." 

On if LB B.J. Goodson is expected to return to play soon, given Goodson missed a few practices recently:

"I do expect him back soon. I will respect his privacy and just say that it is a personal thing. B.J. has been great for us in the meeting room and on the grass. He is just a very high-energy player. You hear him before you see him. I am really excited about what B.J. brings to our defense." 

On his emotions making it to Week 1, given the unknowns of the offseason:

"I get so wrapped up in the week and in the process. It is hard for me to look too far ahead and too far behind. I think I like where we are right now. Just got off this practice field. The guys work pretty hard inside and then we just have to dive into our preparations." 

On his confidence in G Wyatt Teller at RG:

"Wyatt has worked extremely hard like the rest of the offensive linemen. If you were out there practice, you saw (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan putting them through the paces there in their individual drills. Wyatt, in particular, really, I think, enjoys the extra work. The horn goes and guys are walking in, and he is staying out to get the extra work. He is buying into the techniques. Really pleased with the camp he had." 

On the challenge the Ravens present in Week 1 and the ability to start building a gameplan for an opponent:

"Really good football team. Very well coached. Balanced on offense, defense and special teams. It will be quite a challenge." 

On how different game planning is in his role as head coach:

"Let me get through the week and I can tell you (laughter). If there is anything that I pride myself on, it is being collaborative. We have some really, really good coaches on the offensive side of the ball and the entire coaching staff. Really pleased so far with our process and how we are going about this." 

On CB Tavierre Thomas:

"Tavierre comes up, comes to practice and just works. Love watching that guy out at practice, whether it is a defensive drill or a special teams drill. He is all about ball. His teammates love him, and I think it just is from just how he attacks every single day." 

On if the third WR and that position's role is based on the week's matchup:

"I would say everything is based on the matchup week to week, and that us for every one of our personnel. We feel strongly about our depth at those positions, and we just want to utilize all of our guys to the best of their ability." 

On the Browns signing DT Vincent Taylor and DE Joe Jackson and the decision to keep TE Stephen Carlson over TE Pharaoh Brown:

"When it comes to roster decisions, they are never easy, and those are conversations that are ongoing. Really pleased with where we are but know that the roster is going to constantly be something that (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and his staff are looking at. In regards to the two guys we added yesterday, just always trying to get a little bit better than you are today. I think that is the goal of our personnel department, and I think they identified a couple guys that they feel make us better." 

On if the Browns have the blocking presence they need at TE, given Brown's contributions in that role during training camp:

"I think we do." 

On the challenge simulating Ravens QB Lamar Jackson in practice:

"It is very hard. He is the MVP of the league, a special talent. I think our coaches have some ideas in how to try to simulate that speed, that quickness and that ability. It is something that we have been talking about for a long time, and we are now starting the preparations for Baltimore so that is something that we are introducing to the players really as we speak."

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