On coldest day in 41 years, Kevin Stefanski sets fire to his seat
The Cleveland Browns fell to 6-9 with a loss to New Orleans but what really stood out was how poorly Kevin Stefanski performed as a play caller
There was a lot to pick apart in this latest loss for the Cleveland Browns. Deshaun Watson struggled under center. Amari Cooper, Deshaun Watson, and David Njoku all had awful drops. The defense also gave up a couple of long touchdown drives.
As frustrating as all of that was, the worst part of their loss Saturday was the performance of head coach and play caller Kevin Stefanski.
The third-year coach has been making several head-scratching play calls all season but had arguably his worst game of the year. Despite the conditions being terrible, he continued to dial up the pass — and that included a drive in the fourth quarter where he threw it deep twice in a row. First, it was a second-and-eight where Watson missed Amari Cooper. Then, on third-and-eight, he was unable to connect with David Njoku.
After that, he went for it on fourth-and-two in his own territory and again decided to throw the ball. Naturally, that ball also hit the turf and should have ended the game if New Orleans’ offense wasn’t in a funk of their own.
Kevin Stefanski sets fire to his seat
In all, Watson completed just 15 of 31 passes in the loss. It was already confusing to see so many passes considering the weather, but even worse since it wasn’t working.
At kickoff, the temperature was just six degrees which was the coldest game in Cleveland since 1981. Despite this, Stefanski found a way to set fire to his seat.
Entering the game, there were reports that his job was safe heading into 2023. But you have to wonder if the loss to a team that is used to playing in a dome on a frozen field changes that.
Chances remain high that the Browns will keep Stefanski in 2023. This front office surely committed to him when they made the trade for Watson — and likely decided they weren’t going to let the outcome of this campaign change their thinking.
Still, it’s fair to ask if he’s the right guy for the job after seeing the same mistakes week in and week out.