Who will call the plays for the Cleveland Browns in 2020?
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has recently stated he has not decided who will call plays in 2020. Here’s what is likely to happen with the playcalling role.
His full quote can be seen below:
“That really remains to be seen,” he said. “I’d like to get everybody back in the building, get out there practicing and get together before we make that decision. That decision will be made before September 13, I promise you that.”
It feels as there has been a constant battle for play-calling duties among Baker Mayfield‘s entire tenure in Cleveland. First, he had the conflict between Todd Haley and Hue Jackson to call plays, where Hue Jackson won out. Then, Freddie Kitchens called plays without question for around half a season, only to be promoted to head coach and bring in his own offensive coordinator to battle with over calling plays.
Freddie won out in his struggle against Todd Monken to call plays, and the following 6-10 season came as a result. This time around, it seems like there is not some big argument over the power to call plays, which is refreshing to see.
The last time Alex Van Pelt was able to call plays was for a single season in 2009, for the Bills. The Bills offense would finish 28th in the NFL with a whopping 16.1 points per game. A lot in the NFL has changed since 2009, and over the past decade, Van Pelt as probably got a lot better as a coach. Considering he had three quarterbacks start a game that season, and those three being Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, and Brian Brohm, you can cut him some slack there.
With all that being said, I find it very unlikely that Van Pelt is the one to call plays, especially early on. Kevin Stefanski is an offensive-minded coach who was hired to bring in his scheme, so it seems only logical that he will call the offense at first.
In Kevin Stefanski’s lone full season as an offensive coordinator in 2019, he was able to put up 25.4 points per game, which was 8th in the NFL for the time. Considering his quarterback at the time was Kirk Cousins, who is significantly better than the 2009 versions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards, and Brian Brohm, the direct comparison of points per game shouldn’t be the main argument for Stefanski calling plays over Van Pelt.
Again, Stefanski was brought in as an offensive-minded coach and will more than likely be the one calling plays. Especially considering that Van Pelt really hasn’t done it for a full season since 2009, it seems like the only logical move would be to have Stefanski call plays.
This doesn’t mean, however, that Stefanski will be the only one coming up with the offensive gameplan. The play call sheet will be meticulously put together by the entire offensive coaching staff. I highly doubt we see a repeat of last season’s debacle with calling plays.
Don’t sleep on offensive line coach Bill Callahan’s influence on the weekly gameplans either, considering he has experience calling plays in the NFL too. Stefanski will most likely get the title of play-caller and the final say on plays, but it will not be without the help of the other coaches on the staff.