On how the Browns personnel and football operations groups are handling new information as it develops related to the uncertainty of COVID-19:
"I think you hit on the head. There is just so much uncertainty around really what the next week, the next two weeks look like. For us, it is just about being adaptable and staying ready to adjust to whatever policies come down. As they come in, we, (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and the group will converse on it, and we just have to find the best way to work within those constraints. Really, it is just about being adaptable, and we will continue to do that."
On reports the NFL may consider hosting only two preseason games and how that ultimately could impact final roster decisions:
"For us, we are in the information business. It somewhat cuts down our exposure to each player in a game setting, but hopefully, taking into account all the exposure you get in terms of practice and being around them, we should have enough information. Again, it is just something we have to adapt to. It is really out of our control, but I think we will be fine in terms of cutting the roster down."
On if he thinks there is a possibility that the preseason could be condensed to two games:
"I think all these are on the table right now. I wish I had a globe to tell you the future, but I really do not know. I would not be surprised, I would say that."
On the personnel department's tasks leading into training camp:
"We have weekly conversations on the roster. All teams are organizing so they are constantly changing. You are constantly looking for whatever tweaks can give you that 2 percent, 3 percent, 10 percent improvement, wherever you can find. We are definitely keeping our ear to the ground and staying abreast of what is happening around the league. At this time and moment, there is just not much happening. I think some of the limitations around bringing players in, tryouts, workouts and physically being able to see people and get physicals, that probably cuts back on some of the moves we can make, but like I said, it is an organization that we are always trying to improve."
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On when teams may be able to resume bringing player prospects to the building for evaluation prior to training camp:
"I do not know. We will definitely be ready, though. We have a pretty nice list built right now of guys we would like to get another look on. The sooner, the better for us. It may cut into vacation a little bit, but the sooner we get an opportunity to maybe have some travel restrictions lifted, the better. We just have to be ready for whenever that happens, whether that is a week into camp or a week before camp. You just have to be ready to go."
On COVID-19 potentially impacting future salary cap figures and if that affects discussions surrounding a contract extension for DE Myles Garrett:
"That is a good question. I think all of that goes into play when we are talking about any of these moves that we are looking to make, whether it is extensions, signing free agents, possibly trades or even going into years in the future 2021 and 2022. It does somewhat change what our overall plan is and we actually initially did have some conversations around that just in terms of team planning – not specific to Myles – and just what that looks like given what COVID was saying in February, March or going into the next year. I think, yes, you do think about that with all the moves we make and all the decisions that may come into play now and into the season."
On if there is an update on a potential contract extension for Garrett, given recent reports the team has begun negotiations with Garrett:
"Myles is a really good player. Personally, I would love to have him for as long as we can. Those are decisions that Andrew, (Vice President of Football Operations) Kwesi (Adofo-Mensah) and ownership have to make. I can't give you an update. I think Andrew will be the better person to speak on that, but I can tell you, as you probably know, we are really excited to have him on our team and hopefully, have him for a long time."
On his new role and what makes him and Berry a good match:
"Really the difference is, and I have tried to come up with good analogies, but I am really just like a co-captain of a ship. My job is to help our scouts do their jobs as seamlessly and as easily as possible and really just managing all of those minute and sometimes bigger things day to day from a personnel department perspective is what I will handle. I am trying to put our guys in the best position as possible so they can just evaluate, help us set the board and find free agents as optimally as they can. It may be cheesy, but I am really just trying to co-captain and steward the group in that manner. It is really a re-acclimation. It has been a cool re-acclimation period for Andrew just coming back. He had a really strong foundation when he left, and I think it got even stronger from when I first got here until today. To just marry some of our philosophies, which somewhat mirror each other naturally and try to build the best possible team and organization for the Browns is really what we are trying to do simply."
On the toughest aspect of a virtual offseason:
"I think we have actually been able to do our jobs as well as we can. One thing we talk about is we are all working under the same conditions, all 32 teams. Coach Stefanski has stated the same thing. They are all doing the same thing. We have to find those advantages within the constraints that we can to do it better. That is what we have been doing as a department, as well. I think it would not be a negative, it is just an intimate job and there is so much interaction for me personally on a day to day. It is really I just miss that. It is hard to constantly be on a Zoom or a [Microsoft] Teams call and not being able to sit across or sit around a table with each other and discuss many of these opportunities and decisions that come up. That has really been, I would say from a personal standpoint, the most challenging. Otherwise, we have been able to effectively to our jobs."
On his impressions of Stefanski and pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea emphasizing the focus on a team-first concept and developing chemistry:
"I would probably repeat some of the same things, not to be repetitive. One of the things that stuck out to me is he has been very – I may have said this before – very strategic and specific about how he has addressed every situation. Whether it be situational football or some of the things that are going on in our nation, he has been very direct, very to the point and also extremely organized around how we have those conversations. It is really about teaching in that moment and teaching within that one area. I have been really impressed with that."
On being part of a new Browns personnel structure and how this one feels different:
"What we are focused on is truly collaborating, communicating and all working toward the same thing, and that is winning football. I am not really into comparing – I have been part of in five or six different ones in terms of GMs or leadership structure – but what we are going to focus on is what can we do to win football games and what can we eliminate that will cause us to lose. That is across all departments. Within our group in personnel, coaching and high performance, we are all working towards winning football games because that is what we are here to do."
On remaining with the team during multiple leadership structure changes:
"With life, we all know that adversity comes. The way I handle it is just to do my job, to be myself and to contribute in the best way I can. That is really all I can control. It is all about controlling what you can control. What I could control in those moments is how well I evaluated, how did I contribute to the conversations and then look at it from the lens of [allow] other people to take care of the rest."