People are getting worked up over new Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski calling his own plays. Let’s just not do this, please.
Oh my God, Kevin Stefanski is going to call his own plays! Twitter is ablaze with Cleveland Browns fans who are angry about hiring a young offensive coordinator who is expected to call his own plays.
He must be Freddie Kitchens 2.0. Doom, gloom and more doom. Quick, grab a torch and pitchfork, and get ready to storm Cleveland FirstEnergy Stadium! Everyone knows that coaches cannot be trusted to call their own plays, right?
As Cris Carter might say, “Come on, man!”
While we are storming FirstEnergy Stadium, why not also storm Lambeau Field? They have a first-year coach who rose to the position after only one year calling plays as an offensive play-caller. Obviously, Matt LaFleur is an incompetent choice by the Packers, right?
The team the Packers are playing for the Super Bowl berth is coached by former Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who also calls his own plays. He’s going up against former Browns coach Mike Pettine, who is the Packers’ defensive coordinator. Funny thing, that.
Over in the AFC, Andy Reid is calling his own plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, and despite that horrible situation, they rang up 51 points on the Houston Texans. Ask Houston how much Reid’s bad playcalling helped them. Apparently it worked well enough to get the Chiefs into the AFC title game.
The remaining Super Bowl contender is Mike Vrabel‘s Tennessee Titans. Vrabel does not call his own plays. Does that guarantee that Tennessee will win the Super Bowl? They might, but on the other hand, Vrabel was a defensive player and coach, so no wonder he does not make the play calls on offense.
The decision on who should be the play-caller depends on the individual coach and the team. Heck, Marty Schottenheimer called his own plays his last year of coaching the Browns, but of course, Art Modell put an end to that.
This business of needing the offensive coordinator to call plays arose this year because Freddie Kitchens was so bad and one of the things he did was to make play calls. But the problem was not that the coach was calling the plays, the problem was that Freddie Kitchens was not a good head coach! Play calls were only one aspect of the job and there were many negatives.
There were a number of intolerable problems with the team on offense and defense, not to mention the overall lack of discipline, and they were not going to be solved just by having someone else call plays.
Freddie was not going to be transformed into a championship coach just by letting Todd Monken make the play calls. Monken might have been an improvement, but the Browns were still a bad team getting worse and that is why they cleaned house.
So how about we put away the torches and pitchforks for a while? Have yourself a beer and a Polish Boy sandwich and think it over a bit. Give the guy a chance.