At the time the firing of Alex Van Pelt was announced, it came as a bit of a surprise to me. The Cleveland Browns offense was a shell of itself with injuries in 2023, so I just assumed after a playoff run that everyone on the staff would be safe unless poached away.
But after seeing the announcement and sitting on it for a few minutes, it does add up. Andrew Berry bet the mortgage per se with the trade for Deshaun Watson, and now Kevin Stefanski needs to find the perfect pieces to make that happen.
It’s unclear if Berry recommended that Stefanski find a new offensive coordinator for the 2024 season, but if they truly want to attract top-end talent, there's a chance Stefanski will give up calling plays. It’s unclear of the path at the moment, but here are a few options that make sense.
No. 3 – Zac Robinson
Currently, Zach Robinson is the quarterback coach and passing coordinator for the L.A. Rams. After a college career as a quarterback at Oklahoma State and a short tenure in the NFL, Robinson comes from the coveted Sean McVay tree.
Robinson could be appealing for a couple of reasons to Stefanski. One, he's in an offense that flourishes with motion, and play-action, yet still pushes the ball downfield. Deshaun Watson would likely prefer to be in shotgun more than Robinson would design, but he’s succeeded with Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford.
Robinson would potentially not take over play-calling duties right away from Stefanski. There's no doubt that Stefanski enjoys the play-calling duties, so it may be tempting for him to bring in someone to groom.
The difference between Robinson and Van Pelt is that there would have to be a clear path to him being the full-time play-caller. There's a real scenario where Robinson would get a better offer from another team, as his name will be popular for most offensive coordinator openings in this cycle.