Myles Garrett and Kevin Stefanski are not on the same page.
The Browns aren’t dead in the water just yet. They remain within arm’s reach of the AFC North title and are missing some of their best players. Yes, they’re coming off of an embarrassing loss by the New England Patriots that is upsetting, but that doesn’t mean this team is done. It means that they need to get on the same page; something head coach Kevin Stefanski and star player Myles Garrett appears not to be on.
Garrett called out the coaching staff and presumably Stefanski himself, Sunday after the game when he dropped a nugget of a quote, claiming that the coaching staff made zero adjustments during the game.
Stefanski talked to Garrett but refused to reveal what was said between the two men, though Stefanski did say that the team didn’t make enough adjustments and told reporters on Monday that the Browns “didn’t have a good enough gameplan”. This comes not long after Stefanski throwing his coaching staff under the bus by saying to the media (as captured by Zac Jackson);
"Just bad on both sides of the ball. Our coaches have to look at it and find a way to fix it…it was bad football."
It appears as though Myles Garrett is trying to old Browns’ coaches accountable.
Stefanski and Joe Woods had their responsibilities questioned by the Browns fanbase after the game. Many wanted Stefanski to turn over the offensive playcalling due to his disaster of a gameplan against a Patriots team that quickly snuffed out the run game.
Woods, on the other hand, was someone many wanted to see get fired due to his inability to adjust to the Patriots. He gave up four very long, very soul-crushing drives because he fell into very common missteps.
The Browns went from blitzing all game against the Bengals to doing nothing of the sort against the Patriots. Mac Jones had all day to throw against the Browns, and the Patriots did a great job taking Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney out of the game. Instead of adjusting and attacking from different positions, like when Woods had Troy Hill blitz against the Bengals, Woods just sat on his proverbial hands and didn’t do anything to adjust the defense.
Arguably the worst part about the defensive showing wasn’t the lack of ability to cut off routes or to sniff out the numerous screens that ruined the day, but the missed tackles. The Browns were captured on tape getting stuffed by a Patriots running back or receiver more than one time. The scheme that Woods wants to run is either not working with the talent the team has or isn’t a scheme that works at all.
It’s not ideal to fire Woods, who has shown games this year of true brilliance, but then there are games on Sunday, where fans and players alike wonder out loud, exactly what is he doing? Either that’s Woods’ game plan or it’s Stefanski’s game plan.
The fact that the players are now calling out the coaches may be a sign that things need some serious overhauling. Part of the issue is the fact that Stefanski has taken the Bill Belichick approach to interviews, for the most part; where he deflects, undercuts, and avoids legitimate questions about what he plans to do.
Just saying you’re going to do better is not a relieving thing for fans to hear. Yes, injuries have impacted the team and have hindered a lot of what they may have wanted to do but if you can’t see that adjustments need to be made due to a lack of key personnel, then that’s a pretty big deal.
The Browns carried two fullbacks for their game against the Patriots, yet only played nine snaps total, despite Stanton shoving off in the preseason that he’s a capable runner. You’d think they’d put in some three back sets if they were on the roster at the same time, and run the ball more from loaded packages.
Not keep throwing in empty sets after the Patriots figured out the game plan.