Kevin Stefanski's three biggest priorities for the Browns

Posted: 12:35 PM, Jan 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-12 12:35:21-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns have hired Kevin Stefanski to be the team’s next head coach.

Here’s what Stefanski‘s three biggest priorities will be as he takes over as the team’s 18th full-time head coach.

Play calling

There was nothing more infuriating last season than watching the Browns run three-straight passing plays in the red zone with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt at their disposal or run a draw on 4th and short.

Hopefully, Stefanski hires an offensive coordinator he feels confident in calling the plays so he can focus on being the head coach of the Browns, something former head coach Freddie Kitchens failed to do.

Stefanski will want the play-caller to know the strengths of his offense and routes best suited for quarterback Baker Mayfield. An uptempo offense with quick slants and a lot of RPOs in the game plan should be a priority for whoever Stefanski selects as the play-caller.

Getting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. meaningful targets, especially in the red zone, is a must-solve problem for Stefanski and his offensive coordinator.

Finding a general manager to fix position issues

Before the Browns selected Stefanski to be the new head coach, co-owner Jimmy Haslam said in a press conference that the head coach would be heavily involved in helping select the new general manager after being hired.

"We are going to hire the coach first and then we will do the GM search. The coach will be involved in that process but will not have the final say. [The head coach] will not have the final say but will be heavily involved in that process," Haslam said.

Stefanski has a lot of influence on who becomes the next general manager, so he’ll want to focus on making sure his suggestion understands what the Brown need to focus on in the draft and with the current rosters.

The Browns, and whoever their general manager may be, needs to focus on strengthening the offensive line.

Trading Kevin Zeitler in the spring was a major hit to the line. With JC Tretter and Joel Bitonio the only saving graces, the Browns are in desperate need to strengthen the line by signing or drafting talent to protect Mayfield.

After the o-line is taken care of Stefanski's general manager should look to add talent and depth at other in-need position, such as safety and linebacker.


It’s no secret the Browns do not have a winning culture. With zero Super Bowl appearances and just once since the team returned in 1999, the Browns haven’t had winning in their recent history.

There’s no way to change that other than to win, but Stefanski can change the way the players see themselves and carry themselves. Make sure Denzel Ward knows he’s wearing Eric Metcalf’s jersey and remind Austin Seibert the importance of the No. 4 he shares with the beloved Phil Dawson. Teach the players all about Bottlegate, The Fumble and The Drive and the heartbreak Cleveland fans went through so that they have a better understanding of why winning here would be that much more special.

Aside from helping establish a winning culture in Cleveland, Stefanski will need to focus on getting the team in sync and establishing discipline among the 53 men in the locker room.

This time around, senseless penalties and sloppy execution should not be tolerated. Players should be held accountable for their words, their actions and their performance on and off the field. Stefanski will need to be a strong leader and someone the players respect so that his words resonate with them and the players can go from a group of players to what the goal has been all along—a team.

RELATED: Report: The Cleveland Browns have hired Kevin Stefanski as the new head coach

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WEEK 1 · Thu 08/08 · Browns 30, Redskins 10 (1-0)

WEEK 2 · Sat 08/17 · Browns 21, Colts 18 (2-0)

WEEK 3 · Fri 08/23 · Buccaneers 13, Browns 12 (2-1)

WEEK 4 · Thu 08/29 · Browns 20, Lions 16 (3-1)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 09/08 · Titans 43, Browns 13 (0-1)

WEEK 2 · Mon 09/16 · Browns 23, Jets 3 (1-1)

WEEK 3 · Sun 09/22 · Rams 20, Browns 13 (1-2)

WEEK 4 · Sun 09/29 · Browns 40, Ravens 25 (2-2)

WEEK 5 · Mon 10/07 · 49ers 31, Browns 3 (2-3)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/13 · Seahawks 32, Browns 28 (2-4)

WEEK 7 Bye

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/27 · Patriots 27, Browns 13 (2-5)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/03 · Broncos 24, Browns 19 (2-6)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/10 · Browns 19, Bills 16 (3-6)

WEEK 11 · Thu 11/14 · Browns 21, Steelers 7 (4-6)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/24 · Browns 41, Dolphins 24 (5-6)

WEEK 13 · Sun 12/01 · Steelers 20, Browns 13 (5-7)

WEEK 14 · Sun 12/08 · Browns 27, Bengals 19 (6-7)

WEEK 15 · Sun 12/15 · Cardinals 38, Browns 24 (6-8)

WEEK 16 · Sun 12/22 · Ravens 31, Browns 15 (6-9)

WEEK 17 · Sun 12/29 · Bengals 33, Browns 23 (6-10)