The Cleveland Browns spent three years under HC Kevin Stefanski with almost complete continuity of the coaching staff from one year to the next. Last year, Stefanski moved on from defensive coordinator Joe Woods and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer in the first big shake-ups of his coaching group.
The additions of DC Jim Schwartz and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone paid dividends on the field in 2023.
Fan and media rumblings for Stefanski to lose his job died down as the team surged to an 11-6 record and the top wild card spot in the NFL playoffs despite huge injury issues.
According to multiple reports, the coaching staff will once again see an overhaul this offseason with a focus on the offensive side of the ball:
Breaking: I’m told the #Browns have fired offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney, per source.— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 17, 2024
Some of the players are upset from the news.
There are still questions related to Alex Van Pelt as Ian Rapoport and Mary Kay Cabot report decisions have not been made related to the offensive coordinator:
The #Browns are going through the offensive staff role evaluation process, source said. RB coach Stump Mitchell has been fired, as @JosinaAnderson reported. TE coach TC McCartney will not be retained. OC Alex Van Pelt remains under contract, with no other final decisions made.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2024
#Browns shaking up offensive staff: OC Alex Van Pelt remains under contract during eval, but @JosinaAnderson reports he told people he's been let go; RB coach Stump Mitchell fired & TE coach T.C. McCartney not retained, per source https://t.co/8qqq3bQjQD— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 17, 2024
Anderson doubled down on her report on AVP:
I’m told Alex Van Pelt informed some of members of the team yesterday he was let go Tuesday afternoon upon hearing this specific news & received messages of condolences to that end, along with Mitchell and McCartney per source. https://t.co/rWdOOZAPi9— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 17, 2024
The confusion may be related to some nuance wording with Van Pelt’s contract possibly expiring soon instead of him getting fired. The team’s offensive coordinator was hired in late January 2020.
AVP confirmed his departure to ESPN’s Jake Trotter:
Alex Van Pelt tells me he's out as Browns offensive coordinator. "On to the next one. Proud of my time there." AVP had been with Cleveland since 2020. (Also, the Browns fired RB coach Stump Mitchell and not renewed the contract of TE coach T.C. McCartney)— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 17, 2024
Stump Mitchell is the most known name of the three with his playing career and long history as a coach in the league. Mitchell was lauded a “The best running backs coach I’ve ever been around” in an NFL Films special.
We will keep you updated on the team’s coaching staff if more reports come out and as news becomes official.
How do you feel about the Browns coaching staff changes that were reported today?