So many fans in Cleveland wanted Josh McDaniels to be their guy, but the hiring of Kevin Stefanski was the right call for the future.
When you want to blow up everything, that makes people worried. That’s the thing that Josh McDaniels wanted to do in Cleveland, throw out everything, and rebuild. Again. This team isn’t bad, it needs direction. Rebuilding this team with an architect who once thought “Gosh, that Tim Tebow can sure play quarterback” is a bad idea. So when it was announced that Kevin Stefanski was the pick that the Browns wanted all along, people were confused and puzzled. So many Cleveland fans bought the media hype that Josh McDaniels was the guy that would “save” Cleveland.
“He’s got six SuperBowl rings!” We know, and he can thank Bill Belichick for them.
Stefanski spent two years as the Vikings offensive coordinator and was the guy that a lot in the organization wanted last year. He’s dealt with controversies galore in Minnesota, helped prepare and navigate several quarterbacks to success, and saw first hand what a strong defense can do for an organization. He served directly under two successful and different head coaches, which allows him a uique perspective that a Freddie Kitchens type wouldn’t have.
He also never signed a deal to become a head coach of a team, only to renege because the GM refused to hand over control to him. So that’s good too.
Bringing him will be compared to the Kitchens hire, and that’s fair. Stefanski only spent 14 years in the Vikings organization as a coach, where he was the assistant head coach, quarterbacks coach, and the offensive coordinator. Clearly he’s had no experience leading players or instructing quarterbacks. Sarcasm aside, he’s far more qualified than a first time offensive coordinator who only ever taught tight ends and running backs.
Stefanski also brings a wherewithal of understanding to secure the defense. That means, hopefully, the second-best player on the defense – Joe Schobert – could be retained. Now there is a slight problem with that, as Stefanski is a Paul DePodesta hire. Meaning analytics might be in play for how the team evaluates talent. That should worry some people.
This offseason is going to be nuts. It’s going to be one to pay attention to just for how wild things will get. Will they trade Odell Beckham? If they do, will Jarvis Landry want out? Is Baker Mayfield safe? Will DePodesta gut the team for cheaper, less talented players just to save some money?
Only one way to find out.
Stefanski might not be the guy to right the ship, but what if he is?