According to reports, the Cleveland Browns have hired Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their next head coach.
The Cleveland Browns search for a head coach has come to and end as they have decided to hire Kevin Stefanski. Stefanski has been with the Minnesota Vikings since 2006. Stefanski replaced John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator in 2018 and held the title for 19 games.
Cleveland has been looking for their next head coach since firing Freddie Kitchens. Now with Stefanski set to be their coach, they will look to hire Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry as their general manager. With Stefanski, Berry, and Paul DePodesta at the helm, expect a heavy analytical influence over how the team handles the roster and their game plans.
Why did this happen?
Kevin Stefanski ultimately won out over the other candidates. Most notably the more accomplished Josh McDaniels. Why did this happen? Well, Stefanski was the choice of Paul DePodesta last season after his enormous sample size of three games as Vikings OC. Why was this case? As we found out Sunday, Stefanski is yielding to DePodesta with nearly everything. It’s pretty easy to see why with DePodesta went with Stefanski. McDaniels wanted big changes within the organization. An organization that has done little to prove it should remain intact. Jimmy Haslam decided to not listen to most likely the only person to say their team has issues. Instead opting to hire someone who will be subservient to their already broken and mismanaged franchise.
Well, Josh McDaniels knows he doesn’t have to cave in to the demands of the Browns. He will get other job offers in the future. Stefanski is looking for his first job. The circumstances are vastly different. McDaniels did not have interest in a DePodesta puppet regime. Apparently that is not a problem for Stefanski. People often will give up a lot in their first chance to be a head coach. McDaniels knows what he wants and it is clearly not what Cleveland currently has in place. Josh McDaniels was able to identify what is wrong with the Browns, communicate that during the interview, and provide a solution to their problems. McDaniels would rather put together a plan to fix things rather than accept their flawed organizational structure.
This was a case of employment vs. unemployment
Paul DePodesta had two options. Recommend Josh McDaniels and be out of a job or recommend Kevin Stefanski and keep collecting paychecks in California in an undefined Chief Strategy Officer role. The nature of humans is to survive. That sometimes means keeping yourself employed. Paul DePodesta’s recommendation of Kevin Stefanski is an act of pure self preservation and nothing more.
Most people feared that the coaching search would be a sham. Possibly leading to Jimmy Haslam hiring Josh McDaniels. Apparently the possibility of Kevin Stefanski being hired in a similar manner did not concern anyone, even though it should have. The team may be aligned, but it will only lead them to their ultimate failure faster.