Is Kevin Stefanski on the Hot Seat in 2023?

Kevin Stefanski is the most successful Browns head coach since Bill Belichick, but is that enough to secure his job?

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski could be on the hot seat if he doesn't impress in 2023.
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski could be on the hot seat if he doesn't impress in 2023. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Stefanski is the first Browns head coach to win a playoff game since Bill Belichick. But we know the NFL has a short memory.

So with two losing seasons since then, each with fewer wins than the last, Browns fans are starting to wonder whether Kevin Stefanski is on the hot seat in 2023.

Browns Rumors: Kevin Stefanski on the Hot Seat

I'm going to give this one a resounding yes. Kevin Stefanski has to be on the hot seat, otherwise Andrew Berry's just not doing his job.

I'm not saying Stefanski needs to win the Browns a Super Bowl here, but he's got to show something more than he did over the last couple seasons.

We can forgive some of the issues. Baker Mayfield had already taken a step back from his rookie year successes when Stefanski got here. The roster had a lot of brand-name value, but not much depth and a lot of salary issues.

And then last season, his worst yet, saw him forced to start a backup quarterback for most of the year.

But that's what makes this season do-or-die.

He's got Deshaun Watson starting in Week 1. Watson's had a full offseason to build chemistry with this offense. There's more firepower than ever with Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, David Njoku and Nick Chubb all in the starting lineup. The offensive line is solid and has tons of continuity.

There aren't any excuses left on offense — especially because it's Stefanski's choice that he continues to handle playcalling duties rather than passing them off to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

The defense is much less directly in Stefanski's hands, but in a way that might even increase the pressure on him.

If this unit, which is loaded with talent and has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL this season, succeeds? The credit will go to the players and to Jim Schwartz.

But with the perception of so much talent and with Schwartz' reputation as a great defensive mind, blame for a disappointing season may well get shifted on to Stefanski.

The Browns are in one of the toughest divisions in football, but they're a team that's clearly built with the goal of winning now, and there's plenty of potential here to make a Wild Card push even if we can't win the AFC North.

Andrew Berry has done some great work as the Browns GM, especially this offseason, and I trust him to make the right move with Stefanski. Another losing season just isn't acceptible, and if the Browns get off to a rocky start then Stefanski would have a real shot at being the first head coach fired this season.

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