After a disappointing 2019 season with little offensive consistency, can Kevin Stefanski turn around the Cleveland Browns offense?
To the surprise and frustration of most Cleveland Browns fans, the offense failed to meet expectations in the 2019 season. After a promising rookie season consisting of 27 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions in 13 and a half games from quarterback Baker Mayfield, there was plenty of optimism about the production of the offense this year.
The offense in 2019 was far from electric. It seemed flat, confused, and dysfunctional. Who was responsible? What was the reason?
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Many fingers pointed at head Coach, Freddie Kitchens, some pointed at a sophomore slump from Mayfield, and others at lackluster offensive line. Whatever the reason was for a disappointing offensive season, the Cleveland Browns may have found the answer in Kevin Stefanski.
Stefanski had plenty of success with the Minnesota Vikings as their offensive coordinator and play-caller. Why will he be successful again in Cleveland?
The Browns offensive personnel is very similar to that of the Vikings. Minnesota had a tremendous wide receiver duo in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen who were able to get open down the field, as well as a workhorse-style running back in Dalvin Cook. The Browns match that blueprint with Beckham Jr., Landry, and Chubb. Most importantly, Stefanski can put Mayfield in positions for him to succeed.
Stefanski loves to run the football. Many Browns fans wanted Chubb to have more carries as he was second in the league in rushing yards, despite being neglected for portions of games. After establishing the run, Stefanski transitions into play-action passing.
Mayfield thrives in the play-action and run-pass option schemes. When given time to set his feet and throw with his eyes down the field, Mayfield is deadly accurate. With Beckham and Landry getting healthy and back to speed this offseason, they will be continuously open for the Browns.
Play-action also gives the offensive line an advantage. While expecting the run, the defensive line gives up their pass-rush leverage. The Browns struggled to give Mayfield ample time to pass all year, but perfectly timed play-action will allow for a clean pocket.
Kevin Stefanski had the Viking's offense ranked 8th in points per game last year, according to NFL.com. After a year of completely inconsistent scoring, the Browns desperately need an offensive scheme that can consistently put up points. Stefanski is their guy.
Look for the Browns to live up to the offensive expectations this year. After an entire offseason to get chemistry, Mayfield, Landry, and Beckham Jr. will be on the same page. Stefanski will have the offensive scheme to give our players the best opportunity to play to their respective strengths. An explosive year awaits the Cleveland Browns offense.