CLEVELAND — T-shirt quotes from Cleveland sports personalities has been a thing for quite a while, and if new Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski did not know that before, he very well might now after a phrase from his introductory press conference at FirstEnergy Stadium Tuesday has been immortalized in print.
When asked about being a first-time NFL head coach and managing the personalities on the roster, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Stefanski was honest in his assessment.
“Personality is welcome, your production is required,” Stefanski said. “I understand that like every team that I have ever been on, there are going to be some guys that bring some different personalities, and I welcome that.”
The first part of that quote has turned into a t-shirt, as RotoWear created the newest piece of Browns-themed apparel.
The brown t-shirt has “Personality is welcome. Production is required” printed on its front. “Personality is welcome” is printed in orange capital letters, while “Production is required” is in white and its capital letters are in larger, more prominent font.
Stefanski takes over a team in need of discipline, as a lack of self-control helped derail the Browns’ once-promising hopes to break the NFL’s longest active playoff drought, which now stands at 17 consecutive years dating back to the 2003 season.
The Browns last qualified for postseason play during the 2002 season.
In addition to missing the playoffs for the 17th straight time, the Browns finished the 2019 season with a sub .500 record for the 12th consecutive year. The Browns last finished above .500 when they had a 10-6 record in 2007.
The Browns finished the year with the league’s sixth-most penalties, 122 infractions that cost the team 1,106 yards. Those 1,106 yards were the fourth-highest total in the NFL this past season.
The Browns’ struggles were not just on the team side of things.
Mayfield saw a significant drop in production in year two with his completion percentage and touchdowns went down and the interceptions went up by seven as he became the franchise’s first quarterback in 18 years to start all 16 games, and he struggled to find consistency with Beckham Jr. and fellow receiver Jarvis Landry.
Mayfield completed 317 of his 534 attempts (59.4 percent) for 3,827 yards and 22 touchdowns against 21 interceptions in 2019 after completing 310 of his 486 throws (63.8 percent) with an NFL rookie-record 27 touchdowns against 14 picks during the 2018 season.
“I understand that and for me -- and it is easy: the focus is 2020,” Stefanski said.
“We are not looking backward, we are looking forward. I hope all of our players know that, too. When they walk in the building, whenever it is in April, we are moving forward. Anything that has happened in the past does not affect our future. I am just confident in the group that we have.”