CLEVELAND — Browns coach Kevin Stefanski does not know the way he contracted COVID-19, and he isn’t going to let the virus cease him from getting ready his workforce for the playoffs.
Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers is precedence No. 1.
“We have to discover a manner,” Stefanski stated.
Cleveland’s first-year coach, who has guided the Browns again to the post-season for the primary time for the reason that 2002 season, met with reporters over Zoom on Wednesday, a day after his constructive check for COVID-19.
Stefanski will not be capable to coach the Browns on Sunday, and the workforce can even be with out Professional Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio and no less than two different assistant coaches. Cleveland has 9 rotational gamers and 5 coaches at the moment on the COVID-19 record, however some could also be again in time for the sport.
Not Stefanski, who can solely work just about along with his workforce this week.
The 38-year-old stated he feels effective and stated that his younger household can be wholesome. Stefanski expressed disappointment and frustration that he will not be capable to be part of his workforce at Heinz Area on Sunday night time for the wild-card sport.
However Stefanski, who has juggled distractions connected with the pandemic for months, remained assured the Browns will probably be prepared.
“Disappointing for any of the fellows that may’t be concerned on this,” he stated. “We had a workforce assembly yesterday simply to reassure them that we have a job to do. We’ll make sure that we hold everyone is protected in the beginning after which we’ll get again to work and put a plan collectively to go on the highway towards a extremely good soccer workforce.
“Actually fairly easy.”
The Browns didn’t have any new COVID-19 circumstances on Wednesday, however the workforce’s coaching facility in Berea, Ohio, stays closed as contact tracing continues.
So as an alternative of practising on the sector for the Steelers, the Browns are holding a digital walk-through — not ideally suited, however not too completely different on this distinctive season.
Particular groups co-ordinator Mike Priefer, who beforehand labored with Stefanski in Minnesota, will function Cleveland’s performing head coach. Stefanski stated Priefer was a simple alternative.
“With Coach Priefer, it at all times is smart, the particular groups co-ordinator offers with everyone on the workforce, coaches each participant,” he stated. “So I feel it is a very pure place to go in an interim setting there the place he cannot miss a beat, and you then let the offensive and defensive coaches deal with their facet of the ball.
“So, ton of confidence in Coach Priefer, he is aware of this workforce very, very nicely from a roster standpoint, additionally based mostly on how we play. So I’ve a full quantity of confidence in him.”