The Browns finally have their guy.
Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski is going to be the next head coach for Cleveland, replacing Freddie Kitchens. Stefanski has been with the Minnesota organization since 2006 in various roles and is 37 years old (the third-youngest head coach in the NFL). He went to U Penn for college and played football there.
Stefanski interviewed for the position this past Thursday. He also interviewed for the job last year and lost out to Freddie Kitchens (look how that worked out).
From The Fighting City of Philadelphia, Stefanski beat out the likes of Patriots Josh McDaniels and 49ers Robert Saleh. Ironically, it was Saleh’s 49ers that beat the Vikings, 27-10, in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. One game shouldn’t determine a position, though.
The Browns are hoping that Stefanski can bring out the best in quarterback Baker Mayfield heading into his third year and the rest of the Browns after an extremely disappointing 6-10 season in 2019. Unlike most times a coach is hired, this team is filled with talent and that shouldn’t be an issue – except it was under Kitchens.
Stefanski runs the most two wide receiver sets in the NFL and is run-heavy with the zone blocking scheme, which is the best run scheme in the NFL. Nick Chubb will be the feature and Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry should both see plenty of action on a solid mix of routes (short, intermediate and deep).
Stefanski still has to find coordinators and the rest of the coaching staff that will end up serving underneath him. We will keep everyone posted on those signings. Additionally, the Browns have to find a general manager. The team intends to involve Stefanski in that search coming up.
This hire is another offensive coach. Last season, most thought Kitchens was going to be great and he ended up being clueless. In the future, it’s not the offense that is concerning, but how will Stefanski do on the defensive side of the ball? To start, hiring a sound coordinator is appropriate. Yes, for both sides of the ball, but especially on defense since Stefanski is such an offensive-minded coach.
Frankly, this may not have been everyone’s’ top choice. However, Stefanski was certainly up there on the lists people made once Freddie got canned. It’s exciting to see how he will do with this great roster the Browns have. Hopefully, this time next year we will be writing about playoff games instead of coaching changes.