The timing of Mike Priefer’s firing by the Cleveland Browns may make a little sense now with further information available.
Over a month after the season ended, HC Kevin Stefanski made the decision to fire Priefer. The two coaches had been together since 2020 in Cleveland and shared time together with the Minnesota Vikings.
Priefer was the second coordinator that Stefanski fired from his original staff with DC Joe Woods shown the door the day after the season ended. Woods was replaced by Jim Schwartz a week later.
Now comes word that Priefer’s firing could be due to the availability of another special teams coordinator that Cleveland would like to interview:
The #Browns requested an interview with #Colts special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, who is considered a top candidate for the same job in Cleveland, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 21, 2023
A former Browns special teams ace, Ventrone has led one of the NFL's top units in Indianapolis.
Bubba Ventrone played for the Browns for four seasons between 2009 and 2012 as one of the team’s special teams stars. Ventrone played eight seasons in the league before turning to coaching.
The Indianapolis Colts just hired Shane Steichen to be their head coach last week. Ventrone had been interviewed for the position as well.
Cleveland has to request permission as Ventrone is still under contract as the Colts special teams coach. Its possible Stefanski got word that Steichen might be looking to move in a different direction in Indianapolis.
We will keep you updated on the special teams search as it may move relatively quickly for the Browns before the NFL combine next week.