The 2023 season was an unquestionable success for the Cleveland Browns considering the massive injury hurdles they had to overcome. However, the year didn't end with the team hoisting the Lombari Trophy, which is the ultimate goal for this win-now roster.
As a result, some changes will be made this offseason to better set up Cleveland to contend in 2024. On Wednesday, news came out of several shakeups on the coaching staff.
CBS Sports' Josina Anderson first reported in the morning that the Browns are moving on from running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney.
Anderson also said offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt had been fired, but several reporters (including those on the local beat) refuted that information soon after.
This news certainly comes as a surprise. Mitchell has served as the RBs coach since 2019, where he's directly worked with star Nick Chubb during his ascension to one of the league's best at his position. Mitchell has also gotten the most out of Kareem Hunt in this latter stage of his career, including a career-high nine rushing touchdowns in 2023 with Chubb sidelined.
McCartney's enjoyed similar success overseeing the development of rising tight end David Njoku. After being promoted to TEs coach in 2022, McCartney helped Njoku post a bounce-back campaign that saw him go over 600 yards for the first time since 2018. Njoku took an even bigger step forward this past season, setting career highs in receptions (81), yards (882) and TDs (6).
Perhaps these changes relate to Van Pelt's uncertain job status. It's possible Stefanski, who was once an OC himself, wants a different scheme in 2024. Eventually firing Van Pelt could be Stefanski's way of trying to raise his offense's ceiling after middling statical finishes in each of the past four years.
In other Browns news: