CLEVELAND — After watching his team beat the Pittsburgh Steelers from the comfort of his own basement on Sunday night, Kevin Stefanski was asked if he utilized stress eating to cope with the nerves of watching the Cleveland Browns' 48-37 victory.
"I can't taste anything," Stefanski said. "So that wouldn't have helped."
While Stefanski's comment could be viewed as a wisecrack, it also marked the first time the Browns head coach revealed that he has suffered what he deemed "very mild symptoms" after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) last week. Nevertheless, Stefanski said that he believes he will be able to return to Cleveland's team facility on Thursday in advance of the Browns' matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round on Sunday.
"I don't plan on doing that again," Stefanski said of watching the game from home.
Asked about the experience of watching his team play on TV instead of in-person, Cleveland's first-year head coach admitted it was a unique one. In order to eliminate distractions, Stefanski said that he turned off his phone -- although that didn't stop one of the biggest plays of the game from being spoiled for him.
As he watched the game alone in his basement, Stefanski's feed was apparently behind that of his family's upstairs. So about 45 seconds after he heard a loud cheer, he then watched as Browns safety Karl Joseph dove on a fumble in the end zone to give Cleveland a 7-0 lead just 14 seconds into the game.
Other than that, Stefanski wasn't willing to share much insight into his in-game viewing setup. But he did share that he now has a better understanding of what fans go through on a weekly basis.
"I have a newfound respect for all of our fans and how they watch those games," he said. "I like it better when I have some control."