Almost no one wanted to come to Cleveland. Could you blame them? Who in their right mind would want to coach the Cleveland Browns? It was an organization mired in defeat and heartache. Disappointment was an ingredient at the forefront of the mess as well. With head coaches looking more like an assembly line of who wants the experience for a season or two, many a candidate had been turned off by the ‘opportunity’ to fill that role. This apprehension, or most likely, complete disinterest, is understandable as no one would want to go to a job knowing they’d get fired in two years.
There were two candidates that were interested in becoming the coaching face of the organization, though. Bruce Arians and Kevin Stefanski. Arians very publicly stated how he would appreciate a shot at the job. He obviously went on to greener pastures in Tampa where he will be coaching Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV later today.
The other name was Kevin Stefanski.
A former defensive back in college and later offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. Stefanski was at the top of the list for Browns GM and VP of Football Operations, Andrew Berry.
Berry and crew were building the staff and are currently constructing the roster with an analytics-minded approach. The problem is the number of coaches around the league that are onboard with this manner of thinking are few and far between. The already limited pool of candidates in the Browns’ search for a head coach was only compounded by this. So, things got narrowed down in a hurry and before long, Kevin Stefanski became the 18th head coach of the Cleveland Browns (interims included).
Fast forward to the conclusion of the 2020 season and Stefanski not only led the Browns to their first winning season in well over a decade but also guided them into the second round of the playoffs and nearly the AFC title game. Needless to say, he’s developed quite a positive rapport with his players. This landmark success did not go unnoticed to the Associated Press as Saturday, Stefanski was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year and deservedly so. The expectations for his success, as well as the team’s, will only get higher in the 2021 season. If last year is any indication, the Browns head coach seems up to the task.