How Kevin Stefanski can still call some Cleveland Browns plays

Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Stefanski can still call some plays for the Cleveland Browns

This weekend is going to be unprecedented for the Cleveland Browns as they will be playing in their first playoff game since 2003, but they will be without their head coach in that game. That’s because Kevin Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be allowed to coach in the playoff game he led his team to.

With Stefanski out, the Browns will turn to special teams coach Mike Priefer as the acting head coach. As for the play-calling duties that Stefanski normally handles, that will fall on offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

Thankfully, it won’t be hard at all for Van Pelt to call plats, since all you need to do is put a “finger on a chart” and read what it says. Or at least, that’s what Stefanski says he does.

"“I put my finger on a chart, and I read,” Stefanski said of his game-day duties via Ellis L. Williams of “That is not very hard. AVP can definitely do that much better than I can.”"

Clearly, Stefanski was oversimplifying things but he’s correct that Van Pelt will be able to handle the job. And, he will also have a lot of input, especially on the first 10-20 plays of the game.

As pointed out by Ellis L. Williams, Stefanski will script the early plays and help install the game plan for his team. The real question will come down to how Van Pelt runs things during the two-minute offenses — or when things start to fall apart.

The good news is, Van Pelt has called plays in the past and has always had the respect of those he coached. Recently, he was given a vote of confidence from a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback as Aaron Rodgers said he believed the Browns OC can get the job done.

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It’s an unprecedented situation but Stefanski and the Cleveland coaching staff have shown all season they can roll with the punches and adapt on the fly. This Sunday will be a chance to show they can do this on the biggest stage.