Kevin Stefanski set to return to Browns, coach in Kansas City
By Nick Pedone
The Cleveland Browns will have their coach back
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski heard his children celebrating upstairs, while his television’s broadcast feed was on a 45-second delay.
They just saw the Browns score a defensive touchdown on the first play of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Stefanski will not be in his basement much longer, as he is set to return to Berea on Thursday, and coach his team in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday in Kansas City.
The Browns did not miss much of a beat without Stefanski, who was out due to COVID-19, topping the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 at Heinz Field on Sunday Night. With Mike Priefer as interim head coach, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt called a masterful game to knock “big brother” out of the playoffs.
Even without Stefanski on the sideline, the Browns showcased the culture that he has helped build. Despite remarks from Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster, this was not the same old Browns team. This was a Browns team that knew their identity, stuck with it, and danced all the way back to Cleveland, despite being without key players and coaches due to COVID-19.
Stefanski was not willing to give an update about Denzel Ward, Joel Bitonio and Kevin Johnson, who are all sidelined with COVID-19. However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Browns should get all three players back. Starting right tackle Jack Conklin is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.
Jarvis Landry won’t need to FaceTime Stefanski on the field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday as he did after the Browns win at Heinz Field. As long as the COVID-19 tests remain negative, as they have, the Browns could see the practice field more than one time this week. They could get their players and coaches back.
They will need them, as the Browns travel to Kansas City to play the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.