Cleveland Browns Dud: Kevin Stefanski’s decision making
Kevin Stefanski has brought stability to a Browns team that has lacked anything resembling that since their return to the league in 1999. Not only that, but he has brought stability to a coaching position that has been a revolving door for as long as anyone can remember.
Since Stefanski first took the sideline as the head coach, the Browns have been a consistent team. Clean, disciplined football, with a focus on doing what they know best, running and using play action.
On Sunday, while the Browns walked away with a victory, several of Stefanski’s decisions left fans scratching their heads and made fans weary in the first half. On the very first possession, the Browns made it down to the Bears’ 38-yard line before the drive stalled, making a fourth-and-five.
The execution wasn’t great, as the offensive line allowed the defense to roll straight through and blow up the play. As if that weren’t enough, the Browns second offensive drive of the game also saw them go for it on fourth down, this time a fourth-and-one, and again, the offense came up short.
While the execution ultimately comes down to the offense, the decision to start the game with two fourth-down conversions, and failing on both, is questionable, especially against a quarterback in his first NFL start. While the defense stepped up big in the game and held the Bears’ offense in check, those decisions could come back to hurt them in future games against more quality competition.
Stefanski is still a very good coach, and is the coach that the Browns need to get where they want. On Sunday afternoon, however, a few decisions he made could have been better thought through.