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Stefanski Credits Browns Defense and Coach Schwartz in Leading Team to 24-3 Victory Over Cincinnati Bengals

Photo via Cleveland Browns

Cleveland – As sports fans we always hear that defense wins championships.

Although it is much too early to start talking about the Browns winning a championship this year, the 2023 Browns defense appears to be much improved.

In fact, in the Browns opening game against the Bengals, the Browns narrowly missed a shutout.  

The Browns only allowed the Bengals a field goal in the 24-3 victory.

In analyzing the defensive statistics, the Browns only allowed the Bengals six total first downs all game. Also, the  Browns held the Bengals offense to a total of 143 yards. In addition, the Browns defense had three sacks for the game.


According to Kevin Stefanski, the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, the main takeaway from today’s game is how well the defense played.

“But the story of the day is our defense,” said Stefanski. “And I just gave coach (Jim) Schwartz the game ball because the defense was outstanding. To hold that offense and I have a ton of respect for that team and that offense and the whole team in general, but to hold them to 143 yards, two of 15 on third down was very impressive. So very proud of Jim and his staff, the defensive staff, and the players. I thought they executed the game plan really well.”

One area in which Stefanski believed that the defense was exceptional in the season opener against the Bengals was tackling.

In particular, Stefanski pointed out that the team really focuses on tackling drills every day of practice.

“We drill tackle every day,” said Stefanski. “Obviously you have preseason games, but it’s not like a certain amount of time in a pre-season game is going to allow you to be able to tackle. You’ve got to drill that every single day.”

In addition to the tackling, Stefanski was happy with the way the defensive line played and also the pressure that the defense was able to get on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

“I think it was a good rush plan.  I thought we got some good rushes versus some single opportunities, one-on-one rush-type things. We mixed it in, which I thought Coach did a really nice job of. But they applied constant pressure.”

In addition to the defensive line, Stefanski said he believed that the Browns cornerbacks played really well.

“I thought our corners played really, really well,” said Stefanski. “They took a lot of one-on-one shots and the guys were right there. That’s a very good pass attack, as we know. But, I thought really, it takes all eleven when you’re trying to stop an offense like that. And I thought the guys did a nice job.”


The Browns will next travel  to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Monday night, September 18.


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