3 reasons Browns coach Kevin Stefanski isn’t on the hot seat

Browns, Kevin Stefanski. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Kevin Stefanski. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has been criticized this season but here are three reasons he’s not on the hot seat

Kevin Stefanski began his NFL coaching career primarily as an offensive-minded assistant coach. He was in the Minnesota Viking organization for 14 years and in 2020 got his opportunity to become a head coach with the Cleveland Browns. There were a lot of questions about Stefanski at the time and if he could step in and do well as a head coach despite not having any previous experience in this role.

The 2020 season ended up being one to remember for Browns fans as they ended up with an 11-5 record and got into the playoffs. In order to get to those playoffs, they had to beat their divisional foe Pittsburgh Steelers. They did that and then beat them again the following week in a playoff game.

That put Stefanski’s Browns into the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns hung with the Chiefs but ultimately lost that game. However, there was a lot of anticipation for what the coming years would look like under Stefanski’s guidance.

Since that moment though, the Browns and their head coach have struggled. They finished with an 8-9 record a season ago and missed the playoffs and then this year, they’ve gotten off to a rocky start and are sitting at 3-5 as they rest on their bye week.

Is Stefanski’s job safe? In all likelihood it is and there are three primary reasons why that’s the case right now. Let’s look a little deeper at these and why if any of these reasons change then the coach’s job might not be so secure.

3 reasons Kevin Stefanski isn’t on the hot seat

Deshaun Watson, Browns, Kevin Stefanski
Kevin Stefanski, Deshaun Watson, Browns. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

No. 3: Deshaun Watson

The future franchise quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, Deshaun Watson is currently suspended for the first 11 games of the Cleveland season. The team is spending a boatload of money on Watson, who is considered a top-10 quarterback in the NFL, and with him sitting out most of the season, Stefanski‘s job was always likely safe no matter how this year went.

Watson is scheduled to return in Week 13 when the Browns go down to play the Houston Texans and from there, they’ll have six games under the new quarterback’s lead. This all gives Stefanski more time, even if the team struggles in the next few weeks as they wait for the return of the quarterback.

Stefanski has done a good job with his offense to this point of the season while using a backup quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. The team has moved the ball well on offense and now with the return of Watson, Stefanski hopefully will be able to take full advantage of the situation. If he can get the most out of Watson in those last six games, it will certainly build more confidence in keeping the coach around for a lot longer.