Cleveland Browns head coach gave his first press conference since the end of last season and noted that he wants the offense to continue to grow. In his words, "We have to evolve."
Certainly, this will include formations and coming up with more efficient ways to create with their offense, which will hopefully include a healthy Odell Beckham at wide receiver.
It also means adding more players, because Stefanski is every coach who has ever existed. Beyond the fact it's prudent, coaches are inherently greedy in an attempt to continue to push the bounds on achievement and excellence.
Teams are studying the Browns to come up with better ways to game plan against them, so the Browns can't sit still and just do the same things over again. As Stefanski noted, they plan to stick to their principles. Those are the foundation of their offense, but beyond that, it's pretty wide open on what they can do.
For starters, with how slow the Browns were at receiver, it made it difficult for the Browns to flex their tight ends out in space. They have three players who can function in that role in Austin Hooper, David Njoku and Harrison Brryant. With more speed, they can be more creative in terms of spreading it out offensively.
The latter half of the year, Baker Mayfield showed he could function in empty formations, which was a big boost to the offense. It allowed them to spread out artificially and let Mayfield find the best matchup. The Browns still want more speed on the field, though Stefanski deferred to general manager Andrew Berry on that specific question.
Speaking of Njoku, Stefanski confirmed what was always pretty clear when listening to the tight end entering his fifth season. Njoku has requested to be traded not because he dislikes the Browns, the city or the coaching staff. It's quite the opposite.
That doesn't change the fact Njoku wants to play and maximize his earning potential, which is entirely natural. The fact he admitted he's not sure where he stands with the Browns is simply honest. It's his livelihood after all. He's under contract and like last year, he's done nothing but acted professional, preparing himself for next season.
“As it relates to him in particular, I'm not aware of that. I know I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of players over the course of the season, over the course of many seasons, so I will continue to have that dialogue with all of our guys. But I'm not aware of anything in particular with David.”
Stefanski was asked about the status of a few players in regards to their recoveries from injuries. Not surprisingly, Stefanski was vague here. "They're all progressing," he said
"[Delpit] looks great, saw him in there today. He's coming along I did see Greedy [Williams] today. Again we'll have more updates as we go. And then with Odell [Beckham[, I know he's doing great, but I don't have a specific timeline or anything like that.
Saying that Delpit and Beckham look great is certainly better than the alternative, but on March 2nd, it does not mean a whole lot either. Beckham definitely can't play a game right now and it's unclear where Delpit is in his recovery. Beckham is on schedule to be fine to be back and his injury is relatively routine.
Both Delpit and Williams are in some unique territory. He didn't mention anything about Williams other than seeing him, which stands out. Maybe it's simply an oversight. At this point, it's difficult to take away anything that's terribly meaningful from this particular update.
Andrew Berry is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.