The Cleveland Browns are 7-4 going into Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. The team that, depending on their mood, fans either had Super Bowl aspirations for or thought was doomed is in a position to make the NFL playoffs.
Very few, if any, believe this Browns team has a chance to make it far in the postseason at this point but making the playoffs would be an accomplishment. Cleveland will start their fourth different quarterback in Week 13, lost their best playmaker in Week 2 (Nick Chubb) and been without their starting offensive tackles.
HC Kevin Stefanski, through all of that, has remained steadfast. While fans and media get frustrated with his repetitive statements, lack of emotion on the sideline, commitment to running reverses and other annoyances, Stefanski has kept the team winning despite all the issues.
According to a report (The Athletic, subscriber), multiple league sources have stated that Stefanski is not on the hot seat, neither is GM Andrew Berry:
... Stefanski is here to stay based on conversations with multiple league sources. That seal of approval goes for general manager Andrew Berry too.
... Stefanski has kept a consistent attitude in the building of “just win” and it’s working.
Berry has built a very good roster for Stefanski to work with but no one in either position can do a whole lot when injuries continue to pile up. As noted in the article, most teams fold as soon as they lose their starting quarterback much less all the other injuries the Browns have had to deal with.
During conversations with league sources at the NFL Combine, I’ve been told clearly that multiple teams would hire either Berry or Stefanski immediately if they were fired by Cleveland. It was noted to me that “you fire guys you like to get either one of those guys running your team.”
Browns fans feel differently, especially after losses like the one in Week 12 to the Denver Broncos. There are a variety of personality, game management, personnel decisions and the dreaded “analytics” word that seem to be off-putting to many in the Cleveland fanbase. Those issues, mostly, disappear with wins but that is true of any fanbase.
For those who are glad that the Hue Jackson, Freddie Kitchens, Gregg Williams, Mike Pettine and Rob Chudzinski days are over, today’s report will be celebrated. For those who think Stefanski and Berry are too smart for their own good, should be replaced, don’t show enough emotion or rely on analytics too much, today’s report will be met with skepticism and/or anger.
How do you feel about the idea that Stefanski and Berry are “here to stay”?