Former Head Coach Eyed For Browns Defensive Coordinator Position

Getty Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer and former offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.

The Cleveland Browns have found their next head coach in Kevin Stefanski and the former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator is looking to fill out his staff with capable coaches.

Someone who is reportedly on Stefanski’s radar to run the defense is former Broncos, Bills, Cowboys, Saint, Falcons and Texans head coach Wade Phillips, according to cleveland.com. Phillips most recently was the defensive coordinator for the Rams, but did not have his contract renewed with LA after three season, which he announced on Twitter.

“I want to thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their success the last 3 years,” Phillips tweeted. “Most of all I want to thank the players who I loved working with. I still want to coach and feel I can contribute.”

Wade Phillips has a Packed NFL Resume

The Rams ranked 13th overall, 19th against the run and 12th against the pass last season under Phillips.

At 72 years old, Phillips is one of the most experienced coordinators around. His first NFL job came in 1976 when he coached the Houston Oilers defensive line.

With Steve Wilks calling the shots as the DC in Cleveland, the Browns gave up 24.6 points per game, but saw many injuries at key positions. There was also the fact that Pro Bowl defensive end and Defensive Player of the Year contender Myles Garrett was suspended after a Week 11 incident where he bashed Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet.

VideoVideo related to former head coach eyed for browns defensive coordinator position2020-01-13T22:47:59-05:00

If Phillips was to take over, he runs a 3-4 defense, which would mean Garrett and fellow pass-rusher Olivier Vernon would likely have to convert to outside linebacker.

Kevin Stefanski Officially Announced as Browns Head Coach

It was reported on Sunday that the Browns were planning to sign Stefanski to be their 18th full-time head coach, but the team made it official on Monday with a statement.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kevin as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “We were looking for a strong leader of this football team, a very bright coach with a high football IQ, who could establish a strong understanding of what he expected of his players, hold them accountable and confidently navigate the challenges and opportunities that present themselves throughout a season.

“Kevin exemplifies these qualities and more. He has a tremendous ability to relate well and communicate well with his players, has experienced many coaching facets of a team, and understands how to put them in the best position to succeed while also establishing a winning culture. Kevin, Michelle and their family will be tremendous additions to the Cleveland community and we look forward to having him lead our football team.”

Stefanski — who will reportedly be on a five-year deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter — will be introduced on Tuesday in a press conference, but gave a statement prior to getting in front of the mic.

“It’s very exciting obviously for me and my family,” Stefanski said. “We’re really looking forward to moving out here and getting situated in Cleveland and the adventure of it all. From my professional level, I just could not be more eager to get to work with this group. I think we have some really good players here. I think we have some outstanding people in this building. I know we have to add a GM and add some more pieces to this puzzle.

“I think the eager part for me is to get to work, buckle down and start to put together a program. Before you know it, the players are back in the building and we’re going to be putting a system together offensively, defensively, etc. I think that’s the fun part, when these guys get back in this building.”

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