Under normal circumstances, Kevin Stefanski would be months into his time as a Cleveland resident with the Browns having just wrapped up a rookie minicamp in Berea.
These times, however, are far from typical.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Stefanski and his family remained in Minnesota for much longer than they anticipated after the former Vikings became the new head coach of the Browns in January. Last week, the Stefanskis' finally made their move to Cleveland, which the 38-year-old head coach discussed during an appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt on Monday night.
"If I could turn this phone around, you’d see boxes everywhere,’’ Stefanski said. "We did an 11-hour drive on Friday and powered through that -- I was proud of myself. It was interesting. The license plate game is hard right now because there’s not a lot of cars on the road. But the kids were pretty good. Thank God for the iPads and now happy to be in Cleveland."
In addition to his family's move, Stefanski discussed the state of the Browns, who have now had three full-time head coaches in the past three years.
Obviously, considering the circumstances, very little about Cleveland's offseason program has been traditional. But that hasn't stopped the former Minnesota assistant coach from feeling good about the progress his team has made.
"Our guys are doing a nice job. We are teaching and implementing a new offensive system, a new defensive system," Stefanski said. "I think players, young people are a resilient bunch and I think they learn under these unique circumstances. I think they’re better equipped to do this than maybe any other generation just because they’re so in tune to the technological aspect of this whole thing. And the feedback I’ve gotten from the guys has been very positive."
That group includes quarterback Baker Mayfield.
After setting the NFL rookie record for passing touchdowns with 27, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft seemingly took a step back in 2019, throwing the second-most interceptions in the league with 21.
Nevertheless, Stefanski is still a big believer in Mayfield, who enters 2020 as one of the league's most polarizing players.
"For Baker -- honestly, I feel like this for all our players -- I want the best version of those players. I don't want them to be something they're not," he said.
"Quarterback is a lightning rod, that's the nature of the beast. So he knows that.
"We've outlined some things that we're going to help him with schematically, maybe technique-wise, but it's never a one-man show and Baker knows that, our team knows that and I think these guys are putting in the work right now to make sure we're ready to hit the ground running when we get together."