Kevin Stefanski is the 12th head coach for the Cleveland Browns since 1999. The franchise averages a new head coach every 1.9 years for the last 21 seasons. It is the number one reason why they have had little to no success since re-entering the NFL as an expansion team, turning in only two winning seasons and one playoff birth over that span. The Browns currently hold the longest playoff drought in the NFL at 17 seasons. To make it worse, they are second only to the Seattle Mariners for the longest active playoff drought in all four major sports. After last year’s disaster with first time (and one time) head coach Freddie Kitchens, Kevin Stefanski enters stage left. Could the 12th time be the charm?

Kevin Stefanski and his irresistible silver peppered beard on full display as he was introduced as the Cleveland Browns head coach.

Where Did He Come From?

Kevin Stefanski’s resume is impressive for a 38-year-old NFL coach. He has coached multiple offensive positions including running backs and quarterbacks. He also spent the 2019 season as an offensive coordinator. What’s even more impressive is that in the 14 years he has spent in the NFL, all have been for the Minnesota Vikings. That’s almost unheard of to stay that long as an assistant for one team. He worked under three head coaches, all of which elected him to stay when they took over the reins. Kevin worked his way up the coaching pyramid the traditional way and it seems to be paying off. I’m sure he has a great mind for football and his demeanor is ideal for leading a team. I personally believe part of his success is due to his well-crafted, perfectly blended beard. There, I said it.

Can the Browns Actually Be a Contender?

There is a recipe for long-term success in the NFL. First and foremost, you need a quarterback. Aside from a small, vocal group of delusional Browns fans, most are happy that they finally have a quarterback in Baker Mayfield. He is not perfect, but he is leading the team this year and getting the job done. I don’t even blame the delusional fans. They are so conditioned at this point to criticize the quarterback play, that they’re just completing their yearly quota. Baker is successfully working his way to a new contract with the Browns which will keep him there for several years. That will prove critical for Stefanski’s success in Cleveland.

Baker Mayfield is no doubt running by his next celebration routine with head coach Kevin Stefanski before they score the next touchdown.

Next, you need a running game. The Browns are currently 2nd in the league in team rushing yards at 1,893 through 12 games. They average 4.9 yards per rushing attempt. Check. Lastly, you need a solid defense. This is where the Browns need work. If Kevin Stefanski is going to set up shop in Cleveland and buck the trend of getting the boot after two years, he needs a consistent defense. Here is the crazy stat of the day, or maybe the season. The Browns point differential for this season is minus-15. Let me remind you that that they are 9-3. They have allowed more points this season than they have scored, but yet they have won 75-percent of their games. They are winning by an average of 6.4 points. In their three losses, it was by an average of 24.3 points. The Browns are either winning a bunch of close games or getting blown out.

When Is the Statue Going Up?

I can see it now. A glorious stone structure of a mild-mannered Stefanski standing on the sideline staring at his play sheet. A city can dream, right? It sure does feel like he has the Browns heading in the right direction though. A direction in which could turn them away from three decades of sorrow and misery. Perhaps they can be a perennial contender in the AFC for years to come. Only time will tell. I do know one thing. If Kevin Stefanski doesn’t get the NFL coach of the year, he damn well better get beard of the year. You have to put your foot down somewhere.

For more great content, head to Belly Up Sports or follow them @bellyupsports. Check out my other articles or follow me @jaybrink4 for interesting takes on the NFL and PGA.

About Author

Josh Heidebrink

I'm a Cleveland sports fan until the end. I love the Browns, just one before I die please. Golf is my second passion. I love talking and playing any sport that I can as my life allows me. I usually feel I can bring something new to the table. Just as long as there is food on it.

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