CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – As Baker Mayfield hosts teammates in Austin, Texas this week, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is not consulting with his quarterback or players on what work they are getting in.
“My jurisdiction for the offseason program doesn’t extend past Berea,” Stefanski said following Wednesday’s OTA practice.
Mayfield and some of the Browns starting offensive players have heeded the advice of the NFLPA and president JC Tretter to skip OTAs this offseason, opting for individual and private workouts instead.
Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and David Njoku are among the players who have joined Mayfield this week for the workouts at Lake Travis High School, Mayfield’s alma mater.
Mayfield’s backup, Case Keenum, showed up Monday for the four OTAs this week in Berea. He handled most of the QB work on Wednesday.
“He wanted to come in and get some work with the guys and [I’m] excited to have all these guys here,” Stefanski said.
Everyone is due in Berea for the team’s mandatory minicamp next week, which will be held Tuesday through Thursday.
Roll call – By our count, 58 players were on hand for Wednesday’s session, including new safety John Johnson III.
“I am the new guy now so just a new defense and new scheme,” Johnson said Wednesday. “It is one thing to study it on film and on paper, but I wanted to get out here, get with the guys and actually see it on the field just to get more comfortable before minicamp.”
Receiver Anthony Schwartz, linebacker Tony Fields III and defensive tackle Malik McDowell watched on the side while they recover from various injuries.
Jedrick Wills, who attended earlier this week did not Wednesday. Same for Myles Garrett, who showed up last week.
Joint session – Stefanski confirmed Wednesday that the Browns will host the New York Giants at their complex in Berea for two joint training camp practices prior to their preseason game August 22 at 1 p.m.
“I think you can get a ton out of them,” Stefanski said. “It certainly ramps up the intensity, but guys take care of each other and know that they are getting in good work ahead of a game. I just think it is a great time in a controlled environment to get really good work against different schemes than your own.”
Preseason plans – The reduction of preseason games to three isn’t likely to change Stefanski’s approach to how he will deal with playing time, but he will remain flexible before coming to a conclusion.
“We will have a plan, but I want to stay open-minded as we get through training camp and see where we are,” Stefanski said. “I do not want to be so dogmatic and say the players are playing X number of plays in Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.
“I do think without that fourth week, really you kind of stay on the normal schedule, if you will – the third preseason game will be treated how you treated the third preseason game in years past – but I want to make sure that we take in all of the information prior to making decisions on how much guys will play.”
Lost in the mail – Stefanski has made it a point to attend his player’s events this offseason including Myles Garrett’s mural unveiling and Kareem Hunt’s fundraiser, but it doesn’t sound like he got an invitation from Jarvis Landry for Saturday’s celebrity softball game at Classic Park.
“I think it is important to support the guys when they are out in the community and they are doing the right thing and raising awareness for charities,” Stefanski said. “I just want them to know that I have their back.
“I do not know if I have been invited to Jarvis’ [celebrity softball game] – he must have the scouting report on my baseball career because I did not get the invite.”
One to go – Stefanski and the Browns will hold their final OTA session Thursday.