Cleveland Browns players trust Kevin Stefanski. 2020 is not an easy year to be a new head coach. But Stefanski has come in, purposeful and ready to take on whatever is thrown the team’s way. He told his men to “embrace the suck”, and that’s when the players knew they could trust him to lead the way.
Cleveland Browns Players Trust Kevin Stefanski
Before the height of COVID-19, there was optimism in the air surrounding Cleveland’s hire of Stefanski. He brings with him an offensive system that worked so well before with the Minnesota Vikings, a team he was with since 2006. His scheme and methods meant they had the 7th best rushing attack, the 10th best yard-per-play number, and the sixth-best pass yards-per-play number in the NFL.
What Else Is He Bringing?
Stefanski brings with him not only bigger personnel but zone blocking and an offense that is perfect for quarterback Baker Mayfield. The quarterback is in dire need of a comeback after a dismal second year. Stefanski guided Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, and Kirk Cousins to some of the best numbers of their careers. It is hoped that he will be the one to finally bring out the best in Mayfield.
According to Cleveland beat reporter Dan Labbe, Stefanski isn’t all about calling plays. He doesn’t even think it’s fun. “Calling plays is exciting, it’s not fun… what’s fun is winning. Whatever gives the Browns the best chance to have winning, that’s what we’ll do.” He had originally intended to hand the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt during training camp and the preseason. But with COVID-19 protocols in place, preseason is cancelled and camp will be a lot shorter.
So it seems Stefanski will call the plays. It makes sense. He’ll know exactly how to adjust the offense with the personnel he has. He will continue successfully deploying all his tight ends as he has before. And he’ll know how to utilize Kareem Hunt, much to the relief of fans.
He Has Given The Team Confidence During The New Normal
In an article by beat reporter Anthony Polsol, running back Nick Chubb revealed that it feels like Stefanski is the real deal. “His first time being a head coach, I feel like he has been a head coach for many years. We all trust him… he said ‘you have to embrace the suck.’” Chubb said Stefanski was able to reassure them that they can handle the challenges brought forth by the pandemic. “Nobody wants to wear a mask all day, nobody wants to take all this time just to go out on the field and play football. But it is where we are… him being confident and telling us to embrace it has really led us all to see that this is the new normal for us and we have to get used to it. We want to play football, so after this, we will.”
There has been talk of teams with new staff and schemes struggling more than others in these unprecedented times. But Stefanski is taking it one week at a time. He has successfully piloted the team through off-season activities amid the restrictions of the pandemic. That’s more than most first-year head coaches have had to undertake. The Browns are in good hands.
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