Cleveland Browns to reportedly hire Kevin Stefanski as head coach

The Cleveland Browns have concluded their head coaching search and will be hiring Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.

The Cleveland Browns will be hiring Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as head coach, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Stefanski will become Cleveland’s 18th full-time head coach in team history.

Stefanski was a finalist for Cleveland’s head coaching vacancy last offseason, but the team decided to hire Freddie Kitchens instead. Stefanski was Cleveland’s Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta’s choice last offseason, and it appears he was his choice once again this time.

Stefanski was Minnesota’s interim offensive coordinator for the final three games of the 2018 season. 2019 was Stefanski’s first full season as an offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and helped push the Vikings into the playoffs.

Minnesota had the 16th-ranked offense during the regular season, averaging 353.5 total yards per game. They also had the eighth-best scoring offense, averaging 25.4 points per game. The Vikings had the 23rd-ranked passing offense and the sixth-best rushing offense.

Stefanski built his scheme around Dalvin Cook and the run game, which helped Kirk Cousins have open throws by utilizing play-action. Cook was one of the NFL’s leading rushers this season, despite missing multiple games at the end of the season.

Stefanski was with the Vikings since 2006 and has served in several roles as a position coach. He has served as the quarterbacks coach, running backs coach, and tight ends coach. Cleveland will be 37-year-old’s first job in the NFL outside of the Minnesota organization.

The Browns said from the start they wanted a coach who will be a leader and has the capabilities of being a head coach. Instead of focusing on their abilities as a coordinator, they wanted to find a coach who could manage being a head coach.

Next: Browns head coach-GM pairings becoming clear

Cleveland will now begin their search for a general manager, and Philadelphia Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel is expected to be the favorite for the position now that Stefanski is the head coach.