The Cleveland Browns have hired Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach. The Broulis Beat Report takes a look.
The former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator is 37 years old and, from a lot of reports, is very smart and a no-nonsense guy.
After hearing the news, I don’t have an answer for those of you wondering if Stefanski will workout and become a good or great head coach. Then again, you’ll read and hear people that are already writing him off before OTA’s have even started. The truth is, no one really knows, at this very moment, if this will work out. Not for a fact at least. I don’t know if Stefanski is ready to be a head coach, but I do know this. Every coach got their start somewhere. It’s a matter of finding the right person.
The Haslam’s haven’t done a very good job of that so far, and Jimmy has admitted to that. At some point, they will have to get it right or this team will continue to fail or they will have to sell the team. I don’t see the Haslam’s selling the team anytime soon.
Getting back to finding the right coordinator. Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the defensive backs coach for Tampa Bay from 2001-2005. Tomlin then moved onto Minnesota as their defensive coordinator for a year. Tomlin has been the Steelers head coach since 2007. I would say he’s been a successful coach. Here’s the difference between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The Browns are constantly changing their philosophy, how they want things done, who is in charge of those things and overall bad decisions. The overall system has been flawed.
Some people think there is a big difference in hiring a coach with no, to little head coaching experience, to a coach that has ten years of experience or more. Sometimes hiring a young guy works and sometimes it back fires. So far, every plan has not worked. A difference with this team? The personalities and the talent. How hard is it to find a guy that is young and is ready to coach a team that, from a talent standpoint, is ready to win now? It can be done, but the respect from the players has to be there as well.
A lot of people think your general manager should be hired first, then the head coach. As long as both work well together, have almost the identical philosophy and want to build something great, it’s not that big of a deal. Cleveland is certainly not the first organization to hire the coach first, then the GM. You can be successful, if it’s done right. There are a lot of ways to win in the NFL.
I’m very curious who Stefanski will hire as his OC and DC. Will Stefanski be the one calling the offensive plays or will he allow his coordinator to do the job? We saw last year how overwhelmed former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens became, yet he refused to admit it and refused help.
What about the roster? I’m positive quarterback Baker Mayfield is safe. I’m 99 percent positive Stefanski really loves the idea of having a backfield of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, assuming Cleveland brings back Hunt. But I do wonder what will happen to the rest of the roster. More specifically wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. I’m not sure if either will be traded. My guess is Odell Beckham Jr. would likely be the one traded. I could be wrong, but it’s a guess.
The new setup has Stefanski reporting each week to both the Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta and owner Jimmy Haslam. That’s where I’m not a fan of any of this. I don’t have a problem with the coaches having a meeting with the GM, but this seems like a sign of people having a lot of power and wanting to make sure people know who is ultimately in charge. I don’t like this at all. The general manager and head coach should be allowed to run the football side and everyone else needs to stay out of their way.
If this new way of doing things does not work, Paul DePodesta will be gone and Jimmy Haslam will have to deal with the after math.
Many people have been asking me what I think about this hiring and the new system. I will let everyone know around this time, next year. Why? Because I’m not an expert and never will claim to be.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis