The Cleveland Browns made three additional coaching hires official last week as head coach Kevin Stefanski continues to methodically build his first coaching staff.
First up is defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, the son of longtime defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and the brother of University of Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin has spent time in both college and pro football, and served the pass two season as the pass rush specialist for the San Francisco 49ers.
In San Francisco, Kiffin worked with a defensive line that featured five first-round picks, including rookie Nick Bosa. On the way to winning the NFC and advancing to Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers led the league in forced fumbles and passing yards per game. San Francisco also ranked among the NFL leaders in passing first downs allowed (150, tied for first), total yards per game allowed (281.8, second), average yards per play allowed (4.66, second), red zone trips allowed (40, second), defensive touchdowns (five, tied for third), sacks (48, tied for fifth), total takeaways (27, sixth), opposing passer rating (83.0, seventh) and points per game allowed (19.4, eighth). Bosa was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after collecting nine sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Browns named T.C. McCartney as an offensive assistant.
"I knew I was going to coach. All those years playing, I think I saw it a little bit differently than the guys I played with."— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 13, 2020
Meet offensive assistant T.C. McCartney » https://t.co/54MqzrwWVc pic.twitter.com/q9QowDSarT
McCartney spent the 2019 season as the quarterback coach with the Denver Broncos, earning some praise for helping develop rookie quarterback Drew Lock over the final five games of the season, when Lock led the Broncos to a 4-1 record. McCartney was let go along with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello when the Broncos decided that Pat Shurmur was a must get as offensive coordinator.
McCartney previously worked in Cleveland as an offensive quality control coach in 2014. Before joining the Broncos, McCartney spent two seasons on head coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff with the San Francisco 49ers.
McCartney spent his first three years of coaching as a graduate assistant at LSU (2011) and Colorado (2012-13) before landing a job with the Browns. McCartney helped install an offense that began the season as one of the league’s best rushing attacks and served as the backbone of the team’s 7-4 start before dropping back to the middle of the pack following C Alex Mack’s season-ending injury.
McCartney reunited with Shanahan in San Francisco for the 2017-18 seasons as an offensive assistant/quality control coach. During that stretch, the 49ers ranked among the league leaders in passing offense and recorded 113 rushes of 10-plus yards, fifth-most in the NFL during that span.
Staying on offense, Scott Peters will take over as an assistant offensive line coach, working with Bill Callahan.
Peters had a seven-year career in the NFL as an offensive lineman, starting in 2002 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent single seasons with the New York Giants (2003), San Francisco 49ers (2004), Carolina Panthers (2006), and the Arizona Cardinals (2007 through 2009).
After retiring, Peters opened an MMA gym, took home several Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world championships, and founded Tip of the Spear, an instructional training and skill development system for football coaches and players.
Peters is planning to use both his professional background and MMA experience to teach the Browns offensive line a few new tricks, according to the team’s website:
“You can’t just say, ‘Hey, this is going to work.’ You have to show them and let them feel it so they understand why. That’s one of the things that I think I do best. I think teaching is more than just standing there with a clipboard and a whistle. Demonstrations are huge. With my abilities as a former player and understanding situations, it’s invaluable. To try to articulate details, I don’t think I always had that when I was playing.”
While the Browns have not announced it, they will reportedly hire Brandon Lynch as an assistant defensive backs coach, according to Hoist The Colours:
Lynch has spent the past three seasons coaching ECU’s cornerbacks. Over that time, he’s become known as one of the staff’s most dynamic recruiters. Lynch was the only coaching holdover from Scottie Montgomery’s coaching staff when Houston took the job in December of 2018. He’d worked under Houston previously at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Once the Lynch hiring becomes official, Stefanski’s first coaching staff will include:
- Alex Van Pelt, offensive coordinator
- Callie Brownson, chief of staff
- Bill Callahan, offensive line coach
- T.C. McCartney, offensive assistant
- Scott Peters, assistant offensive line coach
- Stump Mitchell, run game coordinator/running backs coach
- Chad O’Shea, pass game coordinator, wide receivers coach
- Drew Petzing, tight ends coach
- Joe Woods, defensive coordinator
- Jason Tarver, linebackers coach (not confirmed)
- Jeff Howard, pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach
- Brandon Lynch, assistant defensive backs coach (not confirmed)
- Chris Kiffin, defensive line coach
- Mike Priefer, special teams coordinator
- Doug Colman, assistant special teams coordinator