cloudyn.png
Monday January 27th, 2020 3:32AM

Stefanski officially hired as Browns coach, GM search on

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Stefanski is getting a turn at fixing the busted Browns.

The Vikings offensive coordinator was officially hired by Cleveland on Monday as the 18th full-time coach in franchise history and 10th since the Browns' 1999 expansion return, which to this point has been a resounding two-decade debacle.

The 37-year-old Stefanski, who spent 14 seasons as an assistant in Minnesota and has never been a head coach at any level, signed a five-year contract. Financial terms were not immediately available. Stefanski will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Parading out a new coach is an annual or semi-annual exercise with the Browns, who haven't been to the playoffs since 2002 and have been in a perpetual search for a coach to help restore their damaged image. Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have hired five coaches, and the Browns are 33-94-1 since since they agreed to buy the team before the 2012 season.

Stefanski accepted contract terms and agreed to accept the Cleveland job on Sunday, a day after the Vikings' season ended with a 27-10 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

“We were looking for a strong leader of this football team, a very bright coach with a high football IQ, who could establish a strong understanding of what he expected of his players, hold them accountable and confidently navigate the challenges and opportunities that present themselves throughout a season,” the Haslams said in a statement. “Kevin exemplifies these qualities and more.

“He has a tremendous ability to relate well and communicate well with his players, has experienced many coaching facets of a team, and understands how to put them in the best position to succeed while also establishing a winning culture.”

The Browns spent two weeks talking to candidates and chose Stefanski out of a group of eight, including Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who's been part of six Super Bowl-winning staffs.

Although Stefanski lacked head coaching experience, the Browns were impressed with him when he interviewed a year ago. But Cleveland instead hired Freddie Kitchens, who was overmatched in his first season and was fired after going 6-10 with a roster ripe with talent.

Stefanski appealed to the Browns in part because of his ability to adapt. He has worked under three head coaches with the Vikings since 2006. He also had success in developing quarterback Kirk Cousins over the past two years, and the Browns are counting on him to help Baker Mayfield, who had a disappointing second season.

Mayfield's statistics were worse across the board as his touchdown passes dropped from 27 to 22; he threw 21 interceptions compared to 14 in 2018 and his completing percentage dropped from 63.8 to 59.4.

"It's very exciting obviously for me and my family,” Stefanski said. “We're really looking forward to moving out here and getting situated in Cleveland and the adventure of it all. From my professional level, I just could not be more eager to get to work with this group. I think we have some really good players here.

“I think we have some outstanding people in this building. I know we have to add a GM and add some more pieces to this puzzle. I think the eager part for me is to get to work, buckle down and start to put together a program.”

Stefanski is in the early stages of assembling his staff and he could bring some colleagues over from Minnesota to be his coordinators. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken is not expected to be retained by the Browns and it's not clear yet about Cleveland defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Stefanski is expected to retain specials teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who improved the team's punting, kicking and coverage units dramatically in one season. He and Stefanski worked together from 2011-18 with the Vikings.

With Stefanski signed, the Browns have switched their focus to finding a new general manager after John Dorsey was surprisingly ousted following the season.

Eagles vice president Andrew Berry, who previously worked in Cleveland's front office, is scheduled to interview for the GM opening later this week. Berry was part of a front office with the Browns that oversaw teams that went 1-15 and 0-16 in consecutive seasons.

The team has also requested permission to interview Vikings assistant GM George Paton, a person familiar with the team's plans told the Associated Press. If their request is granted, the Browns will speak to him in the next few days, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not making its plans public.

Stefanski worked with Paton for the last 13 years in Minnesota.

Jimmy Haslam recently stressed the importance of a strong alignment between his coach and GM going forward, and Berry's familiarity with Cleveland's roster as well as his connection with chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta would seem to make him a good fit.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Business, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US drops designation of China as currency manipulator
The Trump administration is dropping its designation of China as a currency manipulator in advance of the signing Wednesday of a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade agreement
6:00PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Stefanski officially hired as Browns coach, GM search on
The Browns officially have a coach
5:59PM ( 8 minutes ago )
AP Source: NHL All-Star game to feature women 3-on-3 event
The NHL is adding a three-on-three women's game to its all-star festivities in St. Louis later this month
5:49PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump to become fan in chief at college football title game
President Donald Trump will turn sports fan for an evening as he attends the College Football Playoff Championship game on Monday between No. 1 Louisiana State University and No. 3 Clemson
5:08PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Hinch, GM fired for Astros sign stealing after MLB bans pair
The Houston Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for the team's use of electronics for sign stealing during the Astros' run to the 2017 World Series title
4:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hinch, Luhnow fired for Astros' sign stealing
The Houston Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for the team's use of electronics for sign stealing during the Astros' run to the 2017 World Series title
4:07PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Tigers roam foggy Big Easy looking for CFP title
Fans for No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson have descended on foggy New Orleans for the College Football Playoff championship
2:05PM ( 4 hours ago )
Gonzaga stays No. 1 as Baylor makes up ground in Top 25 poll
Baylor climbed to No. 2 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll after resounding road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas last week
1:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
After 2 TDs in Seahawks' loss, Lynch 'not sure' on future
Marshawn Lynch says he's not sure about his future in the NFL after his surprise comeback with the Seattle Seahawks
10:29AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Lebanese protesters block road outside central bank
Lebanese protesters have returned to the streets after weeks of calm, impatient with politicians failing to tackle a deepening economic crisis
5:23PM ( 45 minutes ago )
New Boeing CEO inherits crisis created under his predecessor
Boeing's new CEO is in place, and he is laying out goals for this year, starting with the safe return to flight of the grounded 737 Max
4:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Witness recalls panic after children swept to sea in Oregon
The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped searching for a 4-year-old Oregon boy who was swept out to sea Saturday along with his 7-year-old sister and his father
4:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Texans-KC set NFL playoff record with 52 points in 1st half
The Texans and Chiefs set a postseason record for combined points in the first half on Sunday when the Chiefs rallied from a 24-0 first-quarter deficit to take a 28-24 lead into the locker room
5:01PM ( 1 day ago )
49ers use early season formula on playoff win vs. Vikings
The formula that fueled a perfect first half of the season for San Francisco was more than enough to carry the 49ers into the NFC championship game
4:35PM ( 1 day ago )
Chiefs' Jones inactive for playoff game; Texans' Fuller OK
The Kansas City Chiefs are without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones for their divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans
2:08PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
US drops designation of China as currency manipulator
The Trump administration is dropping its designation of China as a currency manipulator in advance of the signing Wednesday of a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade agreement
6:00PM ( 8 minutes ago )
AP Source: NHL All-Star game to feature women 3-on-3 event
The NHL is adding a three-on-three women's game to its all-star festivities in St. Louis later this month
5:49PM ( 18 minutes ago )
McConnell on US-Iran strategy: 'Let's not screw it up'
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he opposes a bipartisan resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran
5:43PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Queen agrees to let Harry, Meghan move part time to Canada
Britain’s pragmatic Queen Elizabeth II has brokered a deal to secure the future of the monarchy, charting a course for Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, that allows them to live part time in Canada while still remaining firmly tied to the House of Windsor
5:41PM ( 27 minutes ago )
A fire, an SOS, a rescue: Man spends weeks in remote Alaska
Authorities say they have rescued a man who survived in a makeshift shelter in the Alaska wilderness for about three weeks after his remote cabin burned
5:40PM ( 27 minutes ago )