Browns coach Kevin Stefanski on Jadeveon Clowney’s shoe toss: ‘It’s crazy, not smart’

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski made no secret of his feelings when discussing Jadeveon Clowney’s bizarre shoe toss.

During the second quarter of Monday night’s game between the Browns and Steelers, Cleveland’s defensive end committed a mind-blowing penalty that allowed Pittsburgh to continue. On a play of third-and-10 from Cleveland’s 36, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass to Chase Claypool, who was tackled well below the first-down score. That left the Steelers with a decision to make on the fourth down.

However, after Clowney wrapped up Claypool, he ripped Claypool’s shoe off and threw it onto the field. He earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, pushing the Steelers into the red zone and giving them another series of losses. Pittsburgh ended the series with a five-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s – you can’t do that. I mean, you’re hurting the team.” Stefanski said after the Browns’ 26-14 loss. “It’s crazy, not smart. You know, he felt like he just … didn’t feel like I was throwing him overboard or whatever. But those are tough punishments in those situations.”

Browns star Myles Garrett told reporters that he did not see Clowney drop the shoe, but did have a conversation with him after the play.

“I told him we couldn’t do that. We have to be smarter.” Garrett said. “If he doesn’t drop the shoe, we’re off the field. Obviously, we can’t be doing things like that. He has to be a smarter soccer player.”

Clowney’s mistake was just one part of a frustrating evening for Cleveland, who entered the contest knowing they had already been eliminated from playoff contention. The offense struggled all night as Baker Mayfield threw for just 185 yards and was sacked nine times. The defensive unit was unable to stop Pittsburgh rookie Najee Harris, who racked up 188 rushing yards and sealed the victory with a 37-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

The Browns will close the regular season Sunday with an AFC North battle against the Bengals.