Browns likely keeping Kevin Stefanski around, other big changes possible

Kevin Stefanski, Browns. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Stefanski, Browns. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite rumors flying around on social media that the Cleveland Browns could move on from Kevin Stefanski following an underwhelming season, reports say he’ll return next season.

The Cleveland Browns will retain Kevin Stefanski and the 2020 Coach of the Year will have a full season with star quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2023, according to a report by CBS Sports Insider Jonathan Jones.

Just because the Browns will keep their head coach around for another year doesn’t mean that changes amongst the coaching staff won’t happen this off-season. One thing that Jones identified in his report was that there could be a change to the offensive philosophy next season.

"Team owner Jimmy Haslam is a University of Tennessee alumnus who has closely watched the Air Raid offense the Volunteers have installed to great success in the SEC. – Jonathan Jones, CBS Sports"

Implementing an Air Raid offense in Cleveland would not completely shut down the run game, as many Browns fans assume. The rushing attack would still be utilized, however, the passing game would be much more open for Watson to produce for the Browns.

With Kareem Hunt scheduled to become a free agent in 2023, Cleveland would be able to focus the rushing attack on Nick Chubb while Watson can air the ball out and play to his strengths. Along with an above-average offensive line that just extended Jack Conklin, the Air Raid-type offense could be exactly what the Browns have been looking for.

Stefanski and the Cleveland offense currently use the wide-zone scheme, which emphasizes the rushing attack and play-action passes. It utilizes multiple tight ends and doesn’t require many good receivers, however, several elite wideouts obviously couldn’t hurt.

If the Browns end up hiring offensive coaches who specialize in the Air Raid offense, Cleveland could find themselves looking for and making acquisitions for other wide receivers to play next to Amari Cooper.

One name that has been buzzing is Watson’s former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who could find his way out of Arizona at seasons end, although it’s not likely due to financial and compensation-related reasons.

Some wide receivers who are scheduled to become free agents this offseason are JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jakobi Meyers, Sterling Shepard, Allen Lazard, and Mecole Hardman, among others.

The last time Watson played a full season, in 2020, he led the entire league in passing yards, given the interest to bring in a high-flying offense.

The window for the Browns to win a Super Bowl is open while Watson is in his prime among other star players, so fans can expect the team to make aggressive moves to make a run in hopes of going deep in the postseason.

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