Kevin Stefanski is a happy Cleveland Browns head coach.
For the first time in his head coaching career, there are no restrictions on in-person offseason programs.
And he wasn’t about to taint his mood by addressing the most popular question from the Browns press corps.
Especially since the player involved isn’t in Berea and seems ready to move on from the Browns.
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski won't share his reaction to Baker Mayfield's recent podcast comments about being disrespected by the organization: "I'm not going to get into the specifics of those types of things. It really is a unique situation."
— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) April 20, 2022
How does the coach feel about Mayfield feeling disrespected by the Browns organization?
“”I’m not going to get into the specifics of those types of things. It really is a unique situation,” said Stefanski.
At least he didn’t tell us he had to get better at dealing with his player’s feelings.
But that is the way it went with other questions alluding to Baker Mayfield.
Another Unique Situation: He’s Not Here
Stefanski was pressed about Mayfield’s absence at the Phase One offseason gathering.
And again, he started by mentioning the unique situation.
“I’d tell you that’s a unique situation. It’s fluid. And we’ll just continue to work through it as we go each day. What we won’t do is we won’t say who’s here who’s not here. It’s, it’s voluntary.”
To be fair, Mayfield did not show up for the voluntary meetings last season, either.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on Baker Mayfield not present at workouts: "That's a unique situation. It's fluid and we'll just continue to work through it each day."
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) April 20, 2022
And a lot of other players around the league also remain at home, especially veteran players.
Either of those statements might have gone over better than Stefanski’s “unique” sidesteps.
It appears obvious the Browns’ head coach would like to move on from his former charge.
But GM Andrew Berry appears willing to wait for a better trade situation to develop.
Did Stefanski Throw a Little Shade?
Three quarterbacks did show up to the Browns’ first offseason session.
That includes the team’s new starter, Deshaun Watson, along with Jacoby Brissett and Josh Dobbs.
And when asked how things were going with Watson, Stefanski focused on his willingness to grow.
“You do want this to be a collaboration. Deshaun’s very open-minded to things that he hasn’t done. Similarly, we’re very open-minded to schemes that he has a lot of success in that we haven’t done. So it’s an ongoing conversation. But I would tell you, he wants to grow as a player and try different concepts.”
Nobody followed up by asking if this is different than Stefanski’s experience with Mayfield.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski says Deshaun Watson wants to 'grow as a player and try different concepts.' Stefanski wants this to be a collaborative process and both sides are open to things they haven't done.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) April 20, 2022
But there were enough allegations of friction between the head coach and his former starter to wonder.
Watson says he plans to attend all the team’s offseason workouts and meetings.
Mayfield is not obligated to show up unless the team can’t trade him before June’s mandatory minicamp.