Kevin Stefanski’s five biggest challenges as a Cleveland Browns coach

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Being a head coach of the Cleveland Browns means two things: you better be good and be good very fast, because you can only get a year or two to prove yourself. Of the five coaches in the first eight years Jimmy and Dee Haslam owned the team, two lasted one year, two lasted two years, and one, which was 1-31 in its first two years, was inexplicably brought back by a third , but was fired halfway.

Kevin Stefanski, the sixth head coach in the nine years that the Haslams have owned the team, is entering the position of the most volatile coach in the NFL, after being hired by the most impatient property in the league.

It is better that it be good, and that it be good fast, even if you have a five-year contract. Fortunately for Stefanski, he is inheriting what many believe is a playoff caliber list. This is not a reconstruction. This is a restart. However, the 37-year-old head coach faces many challenges. Here are the five biggest:

LEADERSHIP

The reason why Stefanski is the new head coach of the Browns is that the last head coach fought with the leadership. Freddie Kitchens never seemed to understand that aspect of the job, and the illegality with which his team played indicated a lack of respect on the part of the players towards the man in charge. Changing that culture will be one of Stefanski’s most immediate and important tasks.

“My leadership style is to be authentic,” he said. “It’s going to be me. I think it’s good enough. I’m going to be direct with our players. They’re going to meet me and I’m going to meet them. I want to lead from the point of view of the relationship. We will have a culture of responsibility, with structures established so that players understand our rules and what it is about. We will be demanding and hold each player accountable, because I know this about the players: they may not come out and ask you that, but that is what they want. “

MAYFIELD FIXING PANEL

The new coach must address and reverse the alarming decline in 2019 of the supposed field marshal of the franchise. The 2019 version of Mayfield was a shadow of the 2018 version. The confident and precise gunman became a nervous leader, confused, overloaded and anxious, further hampered by an offensive line with leaks and some independent thought path corridors within Your receiving body

Stefanski must bring order and organization to chaos.

“That is exciting for me,” he said of that challenge. “I really want to duck with (Mayfield). His skill set is legitimate. He is as precise as they are. There are some things we will do schematically with him that we hope will be easier for him. I really want to see the jump he will take. this guy. I really think he has the chance to take off. “

PLAY CALLING

Again, this is another area where Kitchens, a rookie head coach who served as his own player, seemed overwhelmed, and the offensive, particularly Mayfield, suffered because of it. Stefanski was the player who called for a playoff team in Minnesota. It remains to be seen if he continues to call plays as head coach in Cleveland, but does not seem as stubborn as Kitchens was, who, despite strong criticism throughout the season, refused to give up the plays.

“I have had very good conversations with a lot of head coaches, some who have called the plays and others who have not,” Stefanski said. “We need to work on that while we gather our staff. I’m interested in what’s best for the Cleveland Browns. If that’s me calling plays, great. If not, I’m fine with that too. “

CONTROLLING EGOS

The Browns list includes some great personalities, with strong opinions, who are not afraid to express their views during the week or during the games. The side shouting matches between players and coaches were the norm during the 2019 season. The lightning rod there, of course, is Odell Beckham, who, under the kitchens, seemed to march towards his own drummer, omitting the voluntary OTAs and being frequently fined by the league for violations of the uniform code on game day, like wearing a doll. watch. Such pranks are considered colorful when a team is winning, but problematic when they are not.

Stefanski’s stance on that seems to be that if you are not going to shut up, you better endure it.

“I don’t care about personality, because I respect working men,” he said. “Personality is welcome. Production is required. “

EMBRACE THE ANALYSIS

Under the ownership of the Haslams, the Browns have apparently come and gone to the emphasis on analysis. For a while they were very interested in it, but under the kitchens and former general manager John Dorsey, not so much. Now the pendulum seems to be turning the other way.

Paul DePodesta, director of strategy of the Browns (“the analyst”), seems to have a growing influence within the organization. The plan is to hire a general manager of like-minded ideas, who will work together with Stefanski and DePodesta in the search for numbers or, at least, in the information to reach glory.

“The analysis is not just about numbers,” DePodesta said. “It’s about creating frameworks for making decisions in areas of uncertainty that hopefully stack the odds in their favor.”

Stefanski says he is in favor of having the odds stacked in his favor.

“We are all on the same page, and that is important,” he said. “If we are all pulling in the same direction, we have a chance. I am looking for any advantage we can get. Information is power. (Analytics) is a way we can provide shocking information to our coaches that will help the product in terms of profits and losses. Analytics, I can’t say it enough, it’s a tool. ”

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Being a head coach of the Cleveland Browns means two things: you better be good and be good very fast, because you can only get a year or two to prove yourself. Of the five coaches in the first eight years Jimmy and Dee Haslam owned the team, two lasted one year, two lasted two years, and one, which was 1-31 in its first two years, was inexplicably brought back by a third , but was fired halfway.

Kevin Stefanski, the sixth head coach in the nine years that the Haslams have owned the team, is entering the position of the most volatile coach in the NFL, after being hired by the most impatient property in the league.

It is better that it be good, and that it be good fast, even if you have a five-year contract. Fortunately for Stefanski, he is inheriting what many believe is a playoff caliber list. This is not a reconstruction. This is a restart. However, the 37-year-old head coach faces many challenges. Here are the five biggest:

LEADERSHIP

The reason why Stefanski is the new head coach of the Browns is that the last head coach fought with the leadership. Freddie Kitchens never seemed to understand that aspect of the job, and the illegality with which his team played indicated a lack of respect on the part of the players towards the man in charge. Changing that culture will be one of Stefanski’s most immediate and important tasks.

“My leadership style is to be authentic,” he said. “It’s going to be me. I think it’s good enough. I’m going to be direct with our players. They’re going to meet me and I’m going to meet them. I want to lead from the point of view of the relationship. We will have a culture of responsibility, with structures established so that players understand our rules and what it is about. We will be demanding and hold each player accountable, because I know this about the players: they may not come out and ask you that, but that is what they want. “

MAYFIELD FIXING PANEL

The new coach must address and reverse the alarming decline in 2019 of the supposed field marshal of the franchise. The 2019 version of Mayfield was a shadow of the 2018 version. The confident and precise gunman became a nervous leader, confused, overloaded and anxious, further hampered by an offensive line with leaks and some independent thought path corridors within Your receiving body

Stefanski must bring order and organization to chaos.

“That is exciting for me,” he said of that challenge. “I really want to duck with (Mayfield). His skill set is legitimate. He is as precise as they are. There are some things we will do schematically with him that we hope will be easier for him. I really want to see the jump he will take. this guy. I really think he has the chance to take off. “

PLAY CALLING

Again, this is another area where Kitchens, a rookie head coach who served as his own player, seemed overwhelmed, and the offensive, particularly Mayfield, suffered because of it. Stefanski was the player who called for a playoff team in Minnesota. It remains to be seen if he continues to call plays as head coach in Cleveland, but does not seem as stubborn as Kitchens was, who, despite strong criticism throughout the season, refused to give up the plays.

“I have had very good conversations with a lot of head coaches, some who have called the plays and others who have not,” Stefanski said. “We need to work on that while we gather our staff. I’m interested in what’s best for the Cleveland Browns. If that’s me calling plays, great. If not, I’m fine with that too. “

CONTROLLING EGOS

The Browns list includes some great personalities, with strong opinions, who are not afraid to express their views during the week or during the games. The side shouting matches between players and coaches were the norm during the 2019 season. The lightning rod there, of course, is Odell Beckham, who, under the kitchens, seemed to march towards his own drummer, omitting the voluntary OTAs and being frequently fined by the league for violations of the uniform code on game day, like wearing a doll. watch. Such pranks are considered colorful when a team is winning, but problematic when they are not.

Stefanski’s stance on that seems to be that if you are not going to shut up, you better endure it.

“I don’t care about personality, because I respect working men,” he said. “Personality is welcome. Production is required. “

EMBRACE THE ANALYSIS

Under the ownership of the Haslams, the Browns have apparently come and gone to the emphasis on analysis. For a while they were very interested in it, but under the kitchens and former general manager John Dorsey, not so much. Now the pendulum seems to be turning the other way.

Paul DePodesta, director of strategy of the Browns (“the analyst”), seems to have a growing influence within the organization. The plan is to hire a general manager of like-minded ideas, who will work together with Stefanski and DePodesta in the search for numbers or, at least, in the information to reach glory.

“The analysis is not just about numbers,” DePodesta said. “It’s about creating frameworks for making decisions in areas of uncertainty that hopefully stack the odds in their favor.”

Stefanski says he is in favor of having the odds stacked in his favor.

“We are all on the same page, and that is important,” he said. “If we are all pulling in the same direction, we have a chance. I am looking for any advantage we can get. Information is power. (Analytics) is a way we can provide shocking information to our coaches that will help the product in terms of profits and losses. Analytics, I can’t say it enough, it’s a tool. ”

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