New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski full introductory press conference

all right good afternoon a really

exciting day for the city of Cleveland

Northeastern Ohio our players are great

fans and that really an entire Browns

organization as we welcome Kevin

Stefanski as the new coach of the

Cleveland Brown so Kevin welcome before

we bring Kevin up we won't do want to

recognize his entire family which is

here in part of me I'm gonna have to

look at my notes a little bit wife

Michele daughter Juliet boys Gabe and

will welcome I'm glad to have you all

here father

ed and then brothers Ed Matt Dave and

mom Karen so thank you all for coming in

and a remark Kevin to your brothers at

Paul we did this extensive reference

check and we forgot to ask the brothers

I'm just curious if he wasn't still

cleared the bar his dad quickly asked if

the contract had been sayings but

welcome glad to have you all here I

think we addressed the media 12 days ago

and said that we're going to embark on a

very methodical process oriented search

process we were not going to limit the

number of people we talked to we had

eight individuals that either we went to

see or they came to see us depend on if

they're in the playoffs or not and we

said we were looking for the following

somebody who was a really good leader

who could relate to our players and

really everybody in our organization

someone who is smart and also football

smart and we did extensive record

reference checking on all the candidates

and we had some outstanding candidates

and Kevin's references whether they were

players former players coaches former

coaches people he worked with and he

particularly the Vikings organization or

people that used to work there all were

outstanding and I cannot stress that

enough so we're very excited to have

Kevin we're gonna bring him up and I

know you all will give him a warm

welcome Kevin Stefanski the new head

coach of the Cleveland Browns Kevin


okay good afternoon I'm beyond honored

to stand before you today as the head

football coach of the Cleveland Browns I

have to start with thank-yous and I'm

going to start with Dee and Jimmy thank

you I'm looking forward to leading your

football team your passion is real and I

want to be a part of it the search

committee Paul DePodesta JW Johnson

Chris Cooper are in our conversations I

understand that we're gonna work well

together to achieve that team's success

the entire brown staff just being in the

building now there for 48 hours I can

tell you we have outstanding people in

that building I am so impressed with the

group that we have put together there

already and as I'll talk about a little

bit it's about people but for us to

build our winning culture that we're

getting ready to build here it's gonna

take each and every one of our members

of brown staff and I'm really excited to

get to know all of them I need to say

thank you to the Minnesota Vikings the

will family and their ownership group

they were so good to me for 14 seasons

so good to meet my family and I am

forever indebted to them the coaches

coach Zimmer who gave him my first

position coaching job moved me to

running backs moved me to tight ends two

quarterbacks hired me as his coordinator

he let me grow as a coach had a great

impact on me in developing me into the

coach that I am today Leslie Frazier

Brad Childress who hired me in 2006 Gary

Kubiak there's countless names that

again have shaped me into the man and

into the coach that I am today and I'd

be remiss if I don't talk about the

Vikings players there was some Hall of

Fame caliber players and some Hall of

Fame caliber people there and I've

forged lifelong relationships with them

and I'm looking forward to maintaining

those relationships as we move forward

you know I also need to acknowledge my

family here my wife Michelle my boys

will and Gabe my daughter Juliet as

anyone with young children and if you've

moved before knows it's a it's a tough

48 hours that we've been through and

we've made some promises to these

children we're getting a dog we're going

to Disney World

and Lord knows what else has been

promised since you guys got here but

what I have to acknowledge my my

brothers my parents ed and Karen my

brothers Edie Matt and David thank you

for being here being with one

organization for 14 seasons I was

fortunate and I saw a lot and in the NFL

as everyone knows a lot happens year in

and year out and I serve different roles

there when I walked in the door I was

the assistant to the head coach and that

encompasses everything and everything

anything and everything so I know what

it's like to grind

there's no task that's too menial and I

know how important every role in a

organization how to the impact of plays

on winning

I was shaped by different mentors I

mentioned some of those coaches

previously I worked in different

offensive systems with different

philosophies and different personalities

and different terminology and I think

ultimately that's shaped me into how I

am as a coach how I am as a person first

and foremost success starts with people

and I know we'll talk a lot about

culture but it is absolutely about the

people and everybody knows the Harry

Truman quote it's amazing what you can

accomplish when no one cares who gets

the credit and that's what I believe we

have in our building we have great

people I know we're gonna add to it

we'll hire a GM here in the next week

and or two and we're gonna add to this

culture that we're building in we have

the right people and again I just can't

stress enough how excited I am to be

just a part of it you know my leadership

style is to be authentic

I'm gonna be me and I think that's good

enough and I'm gonna be direct with our

players and they're gonna get to know me

and I'm gonna get to know them and I

want to lead from a relationship

standpoint I want them to understand

what I'm about but there'll be no

mistake just like today I'm ready and

willing and excited to lead from out in

front as I stand before you and I'm also

ready and willing to step back and let

the success and shine the light on our

players which is where it should be you

know to use a basketball term so my dad

can understand this I want to be the

point guard for this organization I want

to bring the ball up but then I want to

share the basketball with someone else

get an easy bucket

no smiling over there you know I'm not

gonna stand up here and make any bold

predictions about what we're gonna do

this year we're not gonna I'm not gonna

speak anything into existence right now

I can just promise you that we're gonna

work I've already spoken to a few of our

players already and that's what I'm

about I'm about working and I'm about

putting a foundation together we will be

methodical about it we will not skip

step into it two and three to get to

four we're gonna start in the foundation

and then we're going to reinforce that

foundation so that we can build upon it

and when I'm talking about this I'm

talking about schemes and technique

we'll be diligent about working with our

players so that they can develop into

the best versions of themselves and

ultimately we're building a foundation

for what we hope is a championship

effort we'll have a culture of


we'll have structures in place the

players will understand our rules and

what we're about and we're going to be

demanding and we're gonna be hold each

player accountable because ultimately I

know this about players they may not

come out and ask you for that but that's

what they want I have a great great

respect for the alumni of this storied

franchise I pinch myself to think that

I'm going to talk to Jim Brown later

today that's my dad's favorite player

growing up so I've heard all about Jim


from a young kid and that's special to

me and that's there's so many amazing

people from this franchise that I want

to get to know and meet and I'm excited

for that I'm excited to get to know

Cleveland can I take a pull the room

east side or west side I'm still trying

to figure that out but it's an

incredible place I've gotten to know

some people met some people at the Pizza

Rio last night and it's a passionate

group and that's what I'm about and

that's what I understand about this fan

base and this fan base is they're

incredible and I can't wait to meet more

of them and they deserve a winner and

we're gonna work tirelessly to deliver

that to them and with that I'll take any

questions hey Kevin Tom withers

Associated Press Westside you were you

were a candidate last year and the job

went to a coach who made it through just

one season and you were and yet you were

undeterred undeterred to throw your hat

back in the ring why that's a great word

I am undeterred and I'm undaunted and I

think the challenge is is there and I

can't wait to be a part of this change

and that's where again why am i

confident about that because I've been

in the building I know the people that

we have I know we're gonna add to that

building I know we're gonna add players

as happens in the NFL but I'm excited

for this challenge and I'm ready for

Jeff she doll each side um will you call

plays as the head coach I think we're

gonna work through that I think as we

put the staff together if there's

someone that's on staff that I feel

gives us the best chance to win that

person will call the place it doesn't

have to be me

but I think I want to work through that

and see as we put this staff together

Kevin with all due respect we've heard

many other coaches say the same thing

undeterred you know coming in here very

very confident what makes you different

and why is this going to be good

East Side or West Side West Side I

understand that and for me and it's easy

the focus is 2020 it's we're not looking

backward we're looking forward and and I

hope all of our players know that too

when they walk in the building whenever

it is in April we're moving forward and

anything that's happened in the past

does not affect our future so I'm just

confident in the group that we have

Darrell Reiter 92 through the fan

Westside Kevin Jimmy Haslem and the

search committee was looking for someone

that would align with the organization

that was the big word going through the

coaching search what is it about you

your vision your philosophy that really

aligns with with Paul and with whoever

the GM that's gonna come in well I think

alignments a great word it's another way

of saying it we're all on the same page

I think that's important we all we know

this if we're pulling in the same

direction we got a chance and I think as

we sit down and start bringing in some

candidates and interviewing general

manager candidates it sounds simple but

let's all be on the same page and let's

all know that this thing is about a

shared vision it's not about what Kevin

Stefanski wants for the Cleveland Browns

we have a vision of what this is going

to look like moving forward and it's a

collective vision

kevin hagen grove clue and calm westside

for sure

you've only been you've been in one

organization for a long time

and you're gonna try to put a staff

together here how much will you rely on

you know others in the organization or

and how will you put that staff together

you know with kind of not a limited but

more limited being in one organization

yeah we're gonna take our time and do it

the right way you know i have been with

one organization but you get to know a

lot of people and you grow as a coach

and you understand meeting different

people so there's no shortage of

candidates and also we got to meet with

the current staff and sit down with

everybody and spend some time with them

so we're definitely gonna take our time

and be diligent about it hey Kevin Nadel

working that can be concerning far south

side of it today so what extent have you

been able to evaluate Baker Mayfield how

much was Baker Mayfield part of your

discussion with the Browns during your

interview process and what's your plan

for getting him back on track

I spoke to Baker briefly yesterday he

he's down in Austin and caught up with

him for just a minute but he's the

quarterback he's the triggerman and

that's the exciting part for me I've

worked with a lot of quarterbacks a lot

of great ones over the years and I'm

looking forward to hunkering down with

him and getting to work and like any one

of our players when they walk in the

building will have a detailed plan for

them about how they're gonna improve and

Baker as a young player there the sky's

the limit but we're gonna put in the

work to get it done with Baker I'm still

in the infancy of studying last year and

and we'll identify some things as we get

going but certainly when you're talking

about this job and this franchise and

everything that goes with it you think

about the quarterback and I think the

the sky's a lemon for the kid

Kevin stevedore shucks old side you go

back to and

a lot of quarterbacks just coincidence

that you work with a bunch of guys or

what can you take from having such a

breadth of experience with so many

different guys yeah I think it's

terrific that I can pull from different

experiences and I know this they come in

all shapes and sizes

there's different styles I will just

tell you the skill set that our

quarterback has is legit and he's as

accurate as they come I think there's

plenty of things that we'll do

schematically to hopefully make life

easy on him easier on him and looking

forward to the jump that this kid will

take I mean he's such a young player and

the guys I've been around when they put

their mind to it and they start to grind

on this thing and understand the whys in

the concepts of that we're teaching I

really think this kid has a chance to

take off and what potential do you see

with the entire offense not just with

Baker well number one we sweep your

players to work with and looking forward

to it I talked to O'Dell briefly you

know with Jarvis the two receivers and

then we got running backs I mean it's

really it's nice to sit here and start

to think about how we can attack a

defense because you can you can do it

and be multiple and that's one of things

you'll hear me talk about is being

multiple and I bring that up because

it's just these defenses are so good in

the NFL that if you're one-dimensional

they can kind of pin their ears back so

we'll try to be explosive obviously in

the run in the pass game but with

starting with the players as we think

about putting our scheme together we're

gonna start with our guys and then we're

going to maximize the talents of the key


hi Kevin congratulations speaking of

your offensive system you've worked

under a lot of them in Minnesota is the

like the latest one the one you want to

bring you know the Kubiak system yes so

this past season was my first year as a

full-time coordinator so as we put our

offense together this year was really my

chance to to with all of our coaches put

a system together that we collectively


and so certainly as I think about what

we're gonna do here it's probably the

jumping-off point is where we started

last year and you can call it any system

you want and we'll just make sure it's

the Cleveland Brown system hey Kevin you

don't we call a place for I think three

games when you got the interview last

year did you think you were ready then

and what did you learn this year having

a coordinator job for the whole time

you know in terms of being ready you're

not ready for anything until you do it

so luckily I was surrounded by some

really good coaches these past year and

a half to help me through that process

and I'll just tell you it's like

anything else you learn from from your

mistakes you try to get better I was

trying to be as critical as I could be

as and look at my play calls and our

play calls and what we could have done

differently so it's like anything else I

do believe you get better as you go as

you take in reps and that's serve them

something for me you make it as a play

call you make a lot of decisions on game

day and and you're making 70 decisions

and you're going quickly you're making

quick decision so fortunately I'll be

surrounded by a bunch of really good

coaches and I think we'll have the

players that that can equip a play

called with some confidence in calling

plays and what was it like for you last

year when you come down you get that

second interview and then you don't get

the job honestly the focus is so much

for the here and now I'm always eager to

talk to people and get to know people I

don't know so going through that process

I think was really helpful to understand

a different way of doing things and meet

new people honestly and and I just

always thought very strongly other

people in this organization so when the

time came around this year I just jumped

at it because I think it's the right

starts with the people and I think we

have the right people doug lamer east

from cleveland comm kevin in minnesota

this year you guys ran the ball a lot on

first a second down is that something

you believe in philosophically or now

that you're a head coach could that

possibly change in how you would talk to

you fences I think ultimately this is

the AFC North so the physicality that

aspect of the game will never be too far

from our thoughts we're looking to be

explosive and if that happens in the run

game based on our personnel that's

terrific if it's through the pass game

that's great too so ultimately what

you'll hear me talk about a lot is the

marriage of the run in the pass game

that's very important and I come at it

from a different perspective I played

defensive back in college and not well

but when I played I know what that feels


when you have a run that looks like a

pass in the past that looks like a run

and I can tell you in putting our scheme

together last year it was very

comforting when you had a player like

Harrison Smith come up to you and tell

you man that's a tough scheme that

you're running this is really hard on

the defense and that gave us great

confidence knowing that we were down the

right path Kevin adversity usually makes

or breaks teams but how you deal with

adversity when times get tough is

another you as a coach how do you get

guys through troubled waters well I

think you have to be the same person

every day when you walk in that build

and win lose or draw and I think our

players will understand from me that I

am gonna do everything in my power to

put them in position to succeed and as

you play in this NFL you may have

adversity in a series in a game and a

half a week to week and we need to

tackle that and be a resilient Bunch but

it's not gonna happen from flipping a

switch or me saying something to them

just in the moment you have to start

building that mentality and that's what

will be about this spring and summer

that's when we start to develop this so

that when those challenging times do

arise and they will that our guys are

ready to navigate those waters more on

the right now our Akron Beacon Journal

Eastside gee when you talked about

calling the plays with have you heard

input from other people who say don't

try to do too much too soon or you seem

open to either yeah I've had really good

conversations with a bunch of head

coaches some that have called the play

some that have not and I just think we

need to work through that as we put our

staff together and again I'm all about

what's best for the Cleveland Browns if

that's me calling the plays great if

it's not I'm fine

that too and just do you feel I mean

this can be an overwhelming thing

especially you're only 37 I think just

are you more prepared for it now than

maybe you were a year ago I would hope

so I feel like I've in this last

calendar year I feel like I've become a

better coach you know that's something

that I'm gonna strive for every year to

become a better coach and and the fact

that now I'm the head coach the

Cleveland Browns is obviously new if

anything it means my kids are excited

that I'll be in madden next year but I'm

ready for the challenge

Kevin Ellis Williams clean calm right

here where are they actually from

Minnesota salsa on the side there you go

all right cool um what offensive

philosophies do you lean on in your core

and you know from coaching Brett Favre

all the way to Kirk Cousins what are

some things you pulled from them that

you hope to bring to Cleveland now yeah

you got mentioned two good ones right

there I think for each quarterback

they're also different and what I

encourage them is to be themselves and

and to lead in their own way and and

that quarterback position in terms of

leadership is very much at the forefront

of what you're talking about so I'm

gonna use those lessons I learned with

those guys you mentioned them many more

and just talked to Baker and on all of

our quarterbacks and make sure that

they're they're the leaders of the group

that's how it's how it operates whether

they like it or not and I think Baker's

certainly has a way about them that

lends itself to that and just in terms

of schematically what I believe in again

you know I can't ever get away from a

physical brand of football not in this

division but ultimately we're gonna try

to look to be attacking on offense and

defense and like I mentioned multiple in

a bunch of different areas whether that

means personnel formation etc Kevin

Jimmy Watkins Forbes um analytics

advanced metrics whatever buzzword you

want to use what's your experience with

that and how do you think that can help

you in this job you know I'm looking for

any edge we can get on game day and

certainly analytics I know is another


out there but we're looking to make

informed decisions so as a play caller

or whether maybe in player evaluation

information is power so we like to have

a lot of information that informs our

decisions so I think what we had our

setup that we have and mating with the

guys this morning was was incredible I

think we're well on our way where we can

provide impactful formation excuse me

impactful information to our coaches to

our personnel department that can really

again help help the product in terms of

wins and losses Dell Valentine wnw V

congratulations thank you there's a

problem that's been reported far as

diversity within NFL you have three

black coaches out of 32 you have one

general manager as of now how important

to you is diversity as far as the

composite of your staff and what would

you do to rule some black coaches in

order to be coordinators to become head

coaches I'm glad you asked that because

it is important and I'm gonna do

everything in my power and in my role to

affect change there it's something I

brought up when I met with D and Jimmy

last year and it's important to me that

we develop minority coaches particularly

on the offensive side of the ball last

year in Minnesota we hired two African

American quality control coaches on the

offensive side of the ball because it's

important to develop young coaches in

that area and that's the way that I can

effect that change to follow up on the

analytics question can you talk a little

bit more specifically about how that can

help with game day and also personnel

decisions and I may as well be the one

to ask is it true that you are required

to have a Friday meeting with analytics

crew and present your game plan it's not

true I like that report that was a good

one and it is it's silly season for that

type of stuff I understand that but to

me analytics I can't say it enough it's

a tool it's a tool that helps how does

it help on game day well I would meet

with some of our people out in with the

Vikings and they helped me understand as

we go into this ball game

down in distance-wise field position

wise where a defense quarter coordinator

may be more apt to blitz so really it's

it's something as I as a play caller was

formulating a plan of attack you start

to take in information and that really

was helpful and I can tell you certain

decisions that you make whether it be

for protection or when to run certain

plays you have that in mind and you have

some information that was able to be

gathered by that compiling that data so

I just think it's another tool when it

comes to play calling in personnel again

something that the Vikings did something

that I know the Browns do is it just

provides more information we have so

much this information we have years of

it so let's use it to our advantage

Kevin Terry Pluto from The Plain Dealer

over here I was just thinking about

Baker Mayfield you talked about him he's

already had 3 head coat three head

coaches three in two years you know so

you're gonna be taking over that and a

lot of other guys have been through this

hole here comes a new coach here comes a

new coach or new coordinator with a new

system how do you really handle with

these guys in some ways their brains are

almost like scrambled eggs from all the

changes and things have gone on they're

a resilient group and I think when we

get in front of those players and we

start outlining our structure and how

we're gonna do things I have no doubt a

player like Baker you mentioned all of

our players they'll understand that my

job is to make them better football

players our coaches job is to develop

them as football players and once they

start to hear that message and

understand that message I truly believe

they'll understand what we're getting

ready to build here Baker as you pointed

out the kid is talented and I'm excited

to get to work with him I'm excited for

our coaches to get to work with him and

it but the operative word there is work

so we're gonna get them back in the

building when it's time and we're gonna

start to put a plan together

interviewing what we're maybe some of

the hardest questions they ask

you know honestly in that interview

process so much of it is them getting to

know me me getting to know them and it's

it's really you're asking questions on

both sides and I think at the end of the

day I think the fit was there certainly

with what Jimmy and Dee as they put this

thing together their vision for what

this football team is gonna look like is

a shared vision with me I understand

what they want this team to look like

and it's gonna be a team that our fans

are proud of but again I don't want to

sit up here and tell you

chapter and verse what we're gonna do we

just have to be we gotta be about the

work and then worry about that when

September comes around Kevin last

Saturday probably woke up knowing it was

going to be a life-changing day for you

win lose whatever we had a game to call

you knew there would be an opportunity

perhaps how did you handle those gamut

of emotions you know when you're

coaching and when you're in that bubble

and you got those blinders on the

outside world really doesn't affect you

and that's the truth and as an offensive

coordinator or any coach really there's

so much work to do there's so much that

goes into it in terms of preparing your

players so all those distractions

anything that's out there when it's time

to prepare when it's time to put a game

plan together when it's time to go to

the stadium you really have nothing else

in mind but that game in that day Kevin

what reassurance did you receive from

Jimmy and Dee that you will have the

chance that you will have more than two

years to get this thing rolling and get

it turn around I think Dean Jimmy chose

me to be this football coach and we're

very comfortable with what we're gonna

do here with the Cleveland Browns

I think we're so focused on the here and

now and I can tell you all the meetings

that we've had so far

with our staff we're ready to put this

thing together with the right people

and I know we have a couple more

particularly with the general manager

position there's a couple more things to

do but there is definitely a shared

vision there and I'm ready to lead this

charge Kevin I know OTAs and all that

are voluntary Odell Beckham was not part

of it last year can you persuade him to

be involved this year and how important

it is to develop what you want to do it

is voluntary I will tell you I think

it's an important I think it's gonna be

times for us to start to implement our

schemes its team-building so I'm looking

forward to the players and having them

back in the building but ultimately like

you mentioned it is voluntary Kevin uh

you know everybody's not curious about

your staff so let me see if I can get

this list right on defense George

Edwards Wade Phillips and then on the

other side the Kubiak and Brad Childress

obviously you know all those names are

out there have you talked to any of

those guys about joining your coaching

staff and then the second part of my

question is will you retain anybody from

the previous Cleveland coaching staff so

the first part is important we are going

to talk to every single coach that is

there because there are some good

coaches obviously so I want to make sure

I sit down with everybody gonna do that

today and tomorrow and and however many

days it takes and understand them as

coaches get a feel for them and that

type of thing so we'll do that first and

then we'll huddle up along with

everybody and start to put some names

together and then put a list together

and get started but we're gonna be very

methodical about this there's there's

truly no rush to this we want to get it

right I mean you talked about your

leadership style how different do you

think it will be going from coordinator

with you know your offensive guys to in

front of the whole room and then on top

of that there's a lot of big

personalities on this roster already how

do you go about dealing with those guys

yeah I don't mind personality because I

respect guys at work and so

personalities welcome your production is

required so I understand that there's

like every team that I've ever been on

there's gonna be guys that brings some

different personalities and I welcome

that but in terms of how that's gonna go

I think it's too hard to say this moment

I think once we get the guys in the

building we'll start to build this thing

in Minnesota you had Gary Kubiak kind of

by your side this year do you find that

seniors sort of offensive assistant role

to be invaluable in trying to help you

well I can just speak to Gary's role and

he was invaluable I think the absolute

world of Gary Kubiak the person and the

coach and it starts with the person an

amazing amazing coach a great family man

again he and I see the game very

similarly so what he was that when we

were able to do together working

together and was was unique and and I

enjoyed every single minute of it I'm

gonna call him here you know before it's

all over he on that ranch right now down

there in Texas but just a good man one

of many lifelong relationships that I

have forged over there with the Vikings

but he's one of many that I really

looking forward to staying in touch

obviously so you talked to about Baker

Mayfield in your your confidence in him

but there's a talented young core and

you know Odell Beckham jr. and Jarvis

Landry and cream hun and Nick Chubb and

Myles GERD and Denzel Ward but we're

used to seeing regime changes here and

then roster turnover

I'm just wondering what do you think of

that you know young nucleus and do you

have a vision of moving forward with it

or could we see some of the changes that

we've been used to that we've been used

to seen in the past with player

personnel well I think every year

it's never the same 53 that come back

year to year so certainly will be

looking to add an augment and get better

at every position but you mentioned

those core guys and those are some

really good young football players so

that's where this job is was so

attractive to me because not only do we

have the right people in the building we

have the right players in the building

and we'll add to it

I don't dispute that but you mentioned

those guys and those those are some good

players at multiple multiple positions

so it's definitely somewhere that we

have a really good start on this