3. Mike Priefer, Special Teams Coordinator
This one doesn’t seem likely to happen but that doesn’t mean it’s the right move.
Not long after hiring Jim Schwartz, Mary Kay Cabot reported that Mike Priefer and defensive back coach Jeff Howard were both safe. Of course, there were reasons this needed to be said.
For Howard, he was in charge of a secondary that allowed several huge plays due to breakdowns in communication. He also had an answer in a press conference that raised eyebrows when he tried to justify their lack of adjustments on Ja’Marr Chase in a loss to the Bengals
Even with that being the case, there were some positives from the secondary that Howard might have been able to point to in order to save his job. Martin Emerson, a third-round rookie, was much better than expected and grant Delpit made strides as the season progressed.
As for Priefer, it’s hard to find the silver lining. He’s been the special teams coordinator since 2019 — back during the Freddie Kitchens
era. During that time, special teams have been a complete nightmare for the Browns.
They struggle in both kick and punt coverage and haven’t been able to find a decent field goal kicker throughout his tenure. Throw in the fact that they’ve been less than ideal in the return game as well and it’s hard to see why Priefer’s coming back.
Of course, there’s still time for Kevin Stefanski and the powers that be to change their minds, and they really should. It’s time for a change of voice in this important facet of the game.