With the new hire of Kevin Stefanski as the Cleveland Browns head coach, they will need to begin building his coaching staff. Keeping Mike Priefer should be at the top of their to-do list this offseason.
The Cleveland Browns are bringing in yet another first-time head coach, this time hiring 37-year-old Kevin Stefanski out of the Minnesota Vikings organization. Stefanski must have been highly regarded within their organization, as he worked there for 13 years and has no NFL or even college experience coaching outside of Minnesota.
His lack of experience will make it more difficult for him to build a staff. With that being said, the Browns already have one of the best special teams coordinators under contract, who also happens to be someone Stefanski worked with.
Mike Priefer is highly regarded around the NFL as a top special teams coach, as he took the Browns from the 30th ranked special teams unit to 15th in just a year, according to footballoutsiders.com
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Priefer was also the special teams coordinator for the Vikings from 2011-2018, so he and Stefanski should have plenty of experience working together. I expect Priefer to even get an assistant head coaching role out of the Browns along with a pay raise, as he could definitely be someone who helps Stefanski get used to being an NFL head coach.
Priefer also has worked around the NFL and should have many connections that could come to the Browns.
Priefer’s prior stops in the NFL before Cleveland and Minnesota were with the Broncos and Chiefs working as their special teams coordinators, and with the Jaguars and Giants as the assistant special teams coordinator. In my opinion, Mike Priefer has a good coaching background and should be up for a head coaching job soon, so Cleveland being able to keep him on staff would be very valuable for the franchise. Priefer could even help Stefanski build out his coaching staff.
Priefer’s success in Cleveland and Minnesota should bode well for the Browns future, as he has currently been the primary coach in the development of the Browns young kicker Austin Seibert and punter Jamie Gillan, both who look to have promising futures in the NFL.
Changing up special teams coordinators on this team right now might stunt their growths as individual players and could regress the unit, so the Browns should avoid losing him as much as possible.
It’s been reported by Mike Garafalo on twitter that there is a strong possibility that Priefer sticks around in Cleveland, which would be a great first start to rebuilding this Browns coaching staff again.
I would not be surprised if he was not the only Browns coach that sticks around in Cleveland for another few years.