Browns: Kevin Stefanski approach to discipline should be applauded
The Cleveland Browns had a dust-up this week when Jadeveon Clowney decided to start pointing fingers, but Kevin Stefanski handled it perfectly
There are a lot of opinions out there regarding Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, and many of them are centered on frustration with missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. Stefanski, who won the NFL Coach of the Year award as a rookie in 2020 is now just 15-18 over the past two seasons.
As is often the case with teams that fall short of expectations, emotions have run high. That came to a fever pitch this week when Jadeveon Clowney went on an unexpected rant about Myles Garrett, saying he’s favored by the coaching staff.
During his tirade, Clowney said he was 95 percent sure (wonder where that number came from) that he wouldn’t return next season. That’s when Stefanski stepped in and made sure to bump that number up another five percent.
Stefanski sent Clowney home on Friday from practice and while he refused to tell the media what would come next, reports indicate that Clowney is done for the year — a message he reportedly kept in-house, only telling the players who were at practice.
While Stefanski didn’t get into too much detail, he did say he wouldn’t be sending any “locker room messages” but that he prefers honest and face-to-face interaction.
As is often the case, this led to several different responses — and the ones that are based on emotion are coming out of left field. There are some saying Stefanski clearly lost the locker room with this approach and has no control.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Kevin Stefanski has held the same approach during Browns tenure
Stefanski is being honest here and his track record proves as much. He’s now sent two star players home, getting rid of Odell Beckham last season and Clowney this year when they became a distraction. He also benched Myles Garrett for one series when he broke a team rule, and that sent everyone into a tizzy — even though Garrett himself came out saying he respected the coach’s decision.
When it comes to the players he sent home, they reportedly met with OBJ first but when common ground was not met, he was released. As for Clowney, it made no sense to do anything but part ways. With one game remaining, there’s nothing to salvage. Instead, it makes sense to let those who will be here in 2023 get some reps.
In all of those cases — as well as the Perrion Winfrey discipline earlier this year — Stefanski refused to speak to the media about specifics, continually calling it a team issue.
Whether or not you like the coach, his approach to player discipline has been fair and consistent across the board. Anyone questioning that is just looking for a reason to be mad.