Browns announce hiring of Kevin Stefanski

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NFL teams have a habit of hiring head coaches who are the exact opposite of the head coach they just fired. The announcement from the Cleveland Browns regarding their new coach makes it crystal clear that the next guy is the polar opposite of the last guy.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement issued by the team. “We were looking for a strong leader of this football team, a very bright coach with a high football IQ, who could establish a strong understanding of what he expected of his players, hold them accountable and confidently navigate the challenges and opportunities that present themselves throughout a season. Kevin exemplifies these qualities and more. He has a tremendous ability to relate well and communicate well with his players, has experienced many coaching facets of a team, and understands how to put them in the best position to succeed while also establishing a winning culture. Kevin, Michelle and their family will be tremendous additions to the Cleveland community and we look forward to having him lead our football team.”

Stefanski was a candidate a year ago, when former Browns G.M. John Dorsey rolled the dice on Freddie Kitchens and ultimately crapped out of a job. This time around, chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta got the guy he wanted in 2019.

“It’s very exciting obviously for me and my family,” Stefanski said in a statement. “We’re really looking forward to moving out here and getting situated in Cleveland and the adventure of it all. From my professional level, I just could not be more eager to get to work with this group. I think we have some really good players here. I think we have some outstanding people in this building. I know we have to add a G.M. and add some more pieces to this puzzle. I think the eager part for me is to get to work, buckle down and start to put together a program. Before you know it, the players are back in the building and we’re going to be putting a system together offensively, defensively, etc. I think that’s the fun part, when these guys get back in this building.”

Stefanski spent 14 years with the Vikings, arriving with coach Brad Childress.

“When I moved out there in 2006, it was never, ‘Hey, I’m going to be here for the next 14 years and then I’m going to leave to be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,'” Stefanski said. “That was definitely not the grand plan. My grand plan was just to show up every day and do my job to the best of my ability. That organization holds a special place in my heart. They have great ownership. There’s tremendous people throughout that building starting with the G.M., head coach are just really good people. To be able to have been there and grow as a person, grow as a coach is incredible.”

The reward, in the aftermath of one of his worst performances as an offensive coordinator, is his first head coaching job, at the age of 37.

“I just kind of chased this thing and here’s where it landed right now,” Stefanski said.

Like a dog chasing a car, Stefanski caught it. What he does with it now, and how the denizens of the Dawg Pound react to him, remains to be seen.

40 responses to “Browns announce hiring of Kevin Stefanski

  1. Get the correct number of players on the field for each play and don’t have any of your guys use their helmet as a weapon and you will be well ahead of last year’s pace.

  2. He sold his soul, and now has to spend his Monday afternoons explaining football to Jimmy Haslam.

    Fear not, Kevin – it won’t last more than a few years…

  3. I wouldn’t worry about his performance against the Niners. When you’re outmatched you’re outmatched. I’m hoping this works out for the Browns. Seems like they got who they wanted, a guy with a ton of NFL experience. We will know zero until games are played, and to suggest it’s a good hire or bad hire is simply speculation founded on nothing. The beauty of the job is you don’t need any skill positions, you can simply beef up the offensive line and defense and coach em up to their potential.

  4. Hilarious. Stefanski’s team had 5 first downs in three quarters Saturday. Bienemy’s had 51 points in three quarters Sunday. Guess which one the Browns took for the HC job? It ain’t NEVER gonna go away, Browns fans, you’re doomed.

  5. the things haslam said he wanted out of his next coach were exactly NOT what he has in stefanski. another mislead. also, let’s not forget kubiak and dennison were the main reason minny’s offense was almost decent. but in the end, depodesta and his analytic buddies got what they wanted: a coach to be a puppet for their data-driven actions. to think that the weekly game plans must be reviewed by the analytic team? unreal…what coach in their right mind would allow this to happen?

  6. It’s like no one has watched the 49er defense all season. They didn’t suddenly become awesome because they played the Vikings. They’re #5 and gave up 17ppg. I don’t think it was the play calling by this guy.

  7. Lucky for Cleveland they realized before it was too late that McDaniels is not a good choice as a head coach.

    Anyone would be better.

  8. Half the work is done with the football guys getting the franchise to 7 wins and 6 wins, up from 1 win and 0 wins in 2016 and 2017 when the analytics people were in charge.

    The want to see just 4 more wins per year added to 6 or 7 wins produced in 2018 and 2019..and THAT should be good enough to get the Browns in the playoffs.

    The weakness have been identified…OT on offense and DT and LB on defense. Go to work on the areas of weakness and get the team to the playoffs in 2020 and all Browns fans will loveya.

  9. I think Kevin Stefanski will be a good head coach and unify the team. He will bring a no nonsense steady hand to a team that needs it. I predict 8-8 for the Browns in 2020 and continued improvement their after.

  10. Seriously Kubiak is the only reason Minnesota was as good as they were. Why do teams automatically cherry pick only OC’s and DC’s from playoff teams? many times some of the best assistants are on sub 500 teams it isn’t their fault the teams GM and bad HC cannot get them talent in the draft and made bad play calling choices and or overridden the assistants suggestions. Just like Pat Shurmer I am afraid Kevin is going to be the next in line in the Browns HC Carnival game of shooting the Ducks going across the stage to be plinked by a .22 rifle. Good luck Kevin…

  11. Gregg Williams is still shaking his head–along with the rest of the NFL.

    Stefanski is a slightly better Freddie Kitchens.

  12. So, this fellow has to run the game plan past the analytics staff each Friday? I wonder what then happens if they get Haslam to overrule the game plan that day. Do the coaches then explain the changes to the players on the flight to an away game on Saturday? And who will be starting the prep for the next game Monday morning after a Sunday game since the HC has to spend about 3 hours with the owner (and probably his analytics staff) re-hashing the game just played? Chris Simms was right on on the PFT TV show this morning. This is NUTS!!!!!

  13. I don’t think he’s ready, especially given the play calling against the 49ers. Sure, the 49ers have a great defense but the pkay calling was poor.

  14. They just picked him using the George Costanza method. He’s the opposite of any other coaching choice they’ve made thus far. It might just work!

    Well opposite except for the whole never been a head coach, barely been a coordinator and there being an argument about who should really get credit for his success things.

  15. There are reports out there that Stephanski spoke with his mentor Brad Childress (ex Vikings head coach) and told him “what did I get myself into” and they shared a laugh. I think this guy will be just fine here. (He can’t be any worse then what we have had).

  16. Greg Williams is NOT a good NFL coach and had a winning record with the Browns.

    Stefanski does not have to be Vince Lombardi with the roster he has. He just has to know how to properly count how many players are on the field during a play, know how to properly call plays in the red zone and not wait till you’re down by double digits to remember you have the best running back in the NFL.

    You know. The opposite of Freddie. You know the guy that purposely called a penalty on 4th down because he didn’t want to use a time out then went for it after purposely making it harder for his team to get a first down. That Freddie.

  17. From Stefanski’s point of view, the Browns are a huge step up from the Vikings. At least he has a shot at winning something meaningful in Cleveland.

  18. Browns fans actually told me Bill Cowher was being interviewed.Yes every year it is brought up. He played for them you know.Blah blah blah blah. We will hear the same thing again next year when you’re hunting for a new head coach. Ha ha.

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