On how WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are doing with their recovery and would he like to see them do some throwing sessions with QB Baker Mayfield between now and training camp to work on timing:
"I think they have really taken advantage of the opportunity. I think that the plan that our department put in place for them as far as our athletic training staff and our strength and conditioning staff has done a great job of putting a plan in place for them. They have made a lot of progress. I do not want to predict on where they are going to be. I just know that they have made a lot of progress, thus far. They have certainly made improvements, and again, the goal is at some time that we are able to throw and catch the ball around, but at this point, they are just following the plan that is in place."
On bonding well with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski during their careers:
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Certainly, I am really excited about him being our leader. He has been somebody that in the past has just had tremendous character and has been a great communicator, and he is always at his very best when things are not quite right or the circumstances are difficult. That is something that I really look forward to watching him as our leader. He is very smart, works well with people and cares about people. I can't say enough good things about him. That is one of the reasons why I was so fortunate to work with him at the Vikings, and I am really looking forward to my role here working for him as the head coach."
On if both he and Stefanski share a common trait of being 'gym rats' and being so ingrained in the game:
"Yeah, I think if he has identified me that way, he probably was right there with me through those years. I think that is one of the things that is really important to being a good coach is the work ethic. I have been fortunate to be around good coaches, and one being Kevin that works extremely hard and is also an efficient worker. It is something that I think is important. That is our job as coaches to make sure that our players are the best versions of themselves, and we need to do that through hard work."
On how Beckham and Mayfield can improve their chemistry when players have not been able to get on the field yet:
"What has happened in the last couple months as far as the development of our offense and us being on the same page, it has been really impressive what the guys have accomplished in this virtual setting. It has far exceeded what my expectations were at first. I think that we have been able to spend a considerable amount of time together at all positions. Obviously, we can't be on the field. The job here is to control what we can control. Certainly, those guys and the approach that they have taken towards the circumstances and the amount of time that we have invested with each other during these times I hope will really pay off for us. Obviously, the physical aspect of it, there is a void that is impossible to fill, but I think that what has been most impressive and what excites me about the future of our offense is the hard work that these guys have put in and the way in which they have approached what we have been dealt with as far as some of the limitations, and those, they really have not looked at them as limitations because they have just worked their tail off to try to be better. In regards to your question and to answer that, I think that the chemistry is built through time investment, and certainly, we have done as much as we can together to this point."
On developing a relationship with Beckham when they are not in the same room together:
"I think that with this virtual setup and the platform that is in place, it truly has been something that has been a positive for us. We have spent a lot of time together as a receiver group. Those guys, they have worked extremely hard. When we are in a room together, we are talking about the offense and we are learning together, and we are trying to put something in place that once we get on the field, they are able to go out there and play confidently because of their knowledge. I think that over time when you spend that much time together that you start to develop both a working relationship and obviously more important than that a personal relationship."
"Browns Live: Meet the Rookies" presented by MANCAN will take your knowledge to another level. Hosted by Nathan Zegura, the interactive live show will feature interviews with all seven members of the class, in-depth analysis and plenty of opportunities for fans to have their questions answered by the players themselves. Check out photos of the guests!
On if Beckham looks close to being back to full strength when watching Instagram videos of him working out with free agent QB Cam Newton:
"I am not going to speak to that right now, other than I think that what he has done is he has really followed the plan that has been put in place. He has done everything we have asked him to do as far as what are our expectations in all departments. Certainly, the end goal here is for him to be at his very best when we play that first game. I am not going to speak of where I think he is right now just because it is hard for me to compare. Obviously, I am still learning about him and trying to get to know him. Once we get on the field, I think it will be very clear where he is."
On WR Rashard Higgins:
"I obviously watched him from afar the last several years, respected him on the field and know he has had some success here as kind of that third wide receiver. I think what he has done is come in and embraced the new offense. He has certainly worked very hard, and he knows that he has an opportunity. We brought him back because we believe he can help the team, and he understands that. That has been very clear. I think that the biggest thing with him is physically he has been trying to put himself in a great position, and that starts with being as healthy as he possibly can, which is important for everybody. He has really embraced learning the offense, which is going to be really important for him, as it is for all of our guys in the room. I am really excited to have the opportunity to coach him."
On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones:
"I think the one thing that jumps out in our evaluation of him is everything off the field was so solid. He has great character. He is highly intelligent. There were people who gave him very high recommendations throughout the process. We had a chance to interview him at the combine and were very impressed with him as a person. I think it starts there that we thought we were getting a solid person who has the ability to play from a mental standpoint in several positions, which will help him increase his opportunities with us. Then obviously, the physical skillset was pretty obvious. It jumped out at us as far as where he is physically and the potential that he has to grow even more. Just like the other guys in the program, he has come in, he has really worked hard and he has tried to do what we have asked. We spent some time with the rookies – again, on virtual – and it has been a very important part of their development. We have worked really hard with those guys, and they have worked hard themselves when we are not on with them."
On how important it is to make sure Beckham and Landry are getting the ball enough, given the team's offensive personnel and scheme:
"We are very fortunate offensively to have some players at each position that really have a lot of strengths. Obviously, Odell and Jarvis have strengths. What is most important to me and I know most important to our team and Coach Stefanski is that in everything we do and every decision we make – and those guys know this – is we are going to try to put the team first and we are going to try to put winning first. I think that they realize that. They embrace that. I think they are also aware that there are other players at other positions that will help us win games and who are capable of really helping us. Everybody's role is kind of what you make it. I think as a coaching staff, I see it as a real good problem to have where you have a lot of opportunities and a lot of players that can really help us win."
On if the learning curve for rookie WRs is even steeper this year:
"It is a difficult transition for all players. Specifically, your question about the receiver position, we have tried to spend as much time as we can in these settings. Even more, I think some of the quality of our meetings at times has been as good or better than some of the meetings we have in the building just because we have learned how to use the technology and they have learned how to use the technology. We have really spent a lot of time together in regards to the offense. I am confident that when we do get on the field that we and they have put themselves in a position where they are going to have the opportunity. We have talked to the rookie receivers about this, there are going to be limited opportunities that you have to make the most of your opportunities with. I think that is the biggest thing is there is going to be a small window, and they are going to have to nail it. If they are not prepared, they do not do their job in these virtual settings and they do not truly embrace what we are trying to do, it is going to be near impossible for them to have the opportunity to succeed if they are not prepared and they do not know what to do. I think even more so than other years, this period is so critical for us in our teaching and our learning that we get it and we get it right because we have to hit the field and hit the ground running."
On how much time the WR group has spent talking about who will be the third WR, how much the team will play three WRs and if RB Kareem Hunt can fill that role:
"We have a lot of weapons on offense. Really excited about it. Those are discussions that are kind of ongoing right now. We just try to really teach the offense at this point, build a foundation for the players to learn and then once we move forward here and get closer to being out there on the field, we will really have further discussions on exactly how we are going to use the personnel and what personnel groups we are going to be in. One thing we are very fortunate to have right now is some strengths at each position. Certainly, the job of a receiver we always say is to get open and to catch the ball, and we are going to try to do that. When we are asked to put two of our guys on the field, we are going to do it, and when they call for three of us, we are going to go out there and do it. I think that those discussions as a coaching staff are ongoing, and we will continue to have those in the future. I do not think it is set in stone right now, and our players understand, too, that it is a situation that is constantly evolving and we are learning about our players and what they do best. Once we really get a feel for that, we get on the field and I think that it will narrow it down at that point."
On if Hunt has shown enough in the past as a receiver to take on a role in the passing game:
"I have been very impressed with him as a receiver. Obviously, I do not want to comment too much on that because it is really not the position I am coaching. I will say that I have been impressed with him as a receiver as a running back. I have been fortunate to be around a lot at that spot, and I know that it brings great value to that position when you can be a threat in the pass game, for sure."
On if Hunt is involved in WRs meetings during the virtual offseason program:
"There has been a lot of interaction offensively, which has been one of the things that I think has been great that I did not know was possible at the beginning of this process – the amount of us that are all in together. We definitely, as we do if we were in the building, have had a lot of crossover with other positions and other coaches. I just think it has been really helpful, and it is something that looking back in hindsight on this situation has been beneficial that we spend as much together as positions that we have."
On Mayfield voluntarily participating in some WRs meetings:
"He is somebody that I obviously am very impressed with right now with his commitment and his work ethic. He has had a lot of interaction and we have had a lot of interaction as a group together. I think that is very important for the position that I coach that we have a great relationship and we build trust with each other at the quarterback position. It is something that is going to be very important, especially as it relates to the passing game. I have always believed the more time we can spend together, the better the chances are that we are going to have success. This platform that we have as far as spending time together, it has benefited us. I just think looking back, it is amazing what you can accomplish with technology."
On how the Browns can work to simulate the timing component of the offense during the virtual offseason program:
"That is the challenge when you can't be on the field and you rely so heavily on timing, especially as it relates to the passing game. What I think is most important right now is that we learn and are so well-versed in what we are doing that we don't have any missed opportunities when we do go to work on timing when we are on the field because it is impossible obviously to work timing in a virtual setting with the non-physical aspect of it. What we can control right now is to be so educated on our assignment and so detailed that when we go to the field that we do not miss one opportunity to get it right. We are going to have limited spots to get to get the timing, and the timing is so critical. You can't get it in a virtual setting, but what you can do is you can work to be on the same page and you can work to build a trust with each other as it relates to your specific assignment and those things at the receiver position. That is the part that we are really gaining ground on right now is putting ourselves in position to where we will be so detailed once we get there that we won't have any missed opportunities on the timing of it."
On his time with the New England Patriots and getting a group to buy into the team-first concept:
"I was very fortunate to be there around a lot of great players and coaches. I thought the one thing looking back that I am very appreciative for and I have a great deal of respect for is the team concept that was embraced over the years at a number of different positions. Regardless of their status, everyone understood and realized the importance of team and putting the team first. It is not something that just happens overnight. There is not a magic wand you can wave. It is something that is truly built over time. I am just extremely excited about Coach Stefanski, somebody I believe very strongly in. One of the reasons I believe very strongly in him is because of the value that he places on the team concept. I understand that in every decision that he makes, and I know him, he is going to put the team first and he is going to really support the players on this team and have their back. I think that is the start of it is having a leader that really believes in the team concept, and from there, everybody follows."