Kevin Stefanski: “I will be involved” in personnel decisions


New Browns G.M. Andrew Berry reportedly has final say over personnel decisions in Cleveland, a contractual term required to prevent the Eagles from blocking Berry’s departure. It’s clear, however, that coach Kevin Stefanski will have a voice in the process.

“Andrew is the General Manager and I am the head coach, but I can promise you in decisions as it pertains to personnel, I will be involved,” Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday. “We have had a dialogue already about that. . . . We have to make sure that we listen to the right people, but it is going to be Andrew and I, along with a bunch of really good people in this building, making those decisions.”

Those comments render somewhat vague the question of whether Berry truly has final say, a dynamic that came into play with the Browns more than a decade ago, when G.M. George Kokinis received final say on paper in order to justify hiring him from the Ravens but coach Eric Mangini reportedly dominated the decision-making process, culminating in a quick exit from Cleveland by Kokinis.

Stefanski also addressed the perception that Berry was the second choice for the job, behind Vikings assistant G.M. George Paton.

“Listen, [we had] three great candidates and I know a lot was made of George’s and my relationship,” said Stefanski, who worked with Paton for years in Minnesota. “He is a great friend of mine and will continue to be a great friend of mine, but I will promise you, what was important was getting the right man for this job and for the Cleveland Browns. I think Andrew, again, I could not be more excited to work on a day-to-day basis with him.”

That’s not a denial that Berry was the second choice. Regardless, Berry is the G.M. and Stefanski is the coach and it’s critical that everyone be on the same page, with shared and equal credit and accountability. Any other situation (i.e., the way the situation has been in Cleveland) invites key employees to start placing blame and seeking cover when adversity inevitably arrives.

11 responses to “Kevin Stefanski: “I will be involved” in personnel decisions

  1. Kevin’s voice will be , “My support for the decision goes to whatever DePodesta decides who basically is controlling everything for the Browns

  2. I thought the moneyball stats determined all of the personnel decisions so why would there need to be anyone making decisions. The print-out from Depodesta should have already made the precise decision on that player or draft pick and not going by that usually means a quick end to an already short stay in Cleveland.

  3. Stefanski is the wrong hire. We just saw him get blown out by the 9ers in Divisional round and Kubiak was the real “mastermind” (if you can say the vikings even had a masterful offense #youcant)

  4. 2nd choice or even 3rd or 4th isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It worked out for the Colts with Frank Reich and Jerry Jones is pretty happy he missed out on Paxton Lynch and Christian Hackenberg

  5. People that know little about Stefanski are on here saying he is lying about having some say in personnel decisions. He didn’t say he would have the final say, huge difference.

  6. Cleveland brass should have sold out for Mike McCarthy, who was THE ONLY available coach with a solid track record. I’d bet real money the Cowboys win their division by three games. That could have been the Browns.

  7. As long as you define Involved as standing out in the hallway awaiting word from Barry. Ya, then he is involved.

    It would be better for his long term job prospects not to be involved at all. The Browns will be lucky to get to 8-8 next season.

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