Cleveland and Philadelphia will forever be linked. An not just because of Carson Wentz.
Yes, it’s true. The 2016 draft-day blockbuster trade between the Browns and Eagles allowed Philadelphia to move up and select their franchise quarterback. Thank you, Cleveland.
The connection received a new twist on Sunday with the Browns reportedly hiring Kevin Stefanski as their next head coach. The former Vikings offensive coordinator was born and raised in Philadelphia and even served as a coaching intern for the Eagles in 2005 under then-coach Andy Reid. He’s the son of former Sixers GM Ed Stefanski and played college football at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stefanski, who will turn 38 in May, attended St. Joseph’s Prep and grew up in Drexel Hill, PA. Obviously, he rooted for the Eagles as a youngster. His favorite player? Reggie White, according to a Philly Voice profile that appeared in October.
“You learn fast, and it’s little stuff that helped me get here,” Stefanski told Philly Voice. “Like anything in life, you have to earn it. I was working in the Penn department of football operations, and like a lot of entry-level gigs in all industries, it’s sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Browns Set to Hire Eagles’ Top Front-Office Executive
With Kevin Stefanski off to Cleveland, the dominoes are beginning to fall.
The Browns are reportedly set to tab Andrew Berry as their next GM. Berry serves as Vice-President of Football Operations for the Philadelphia Eagles, a trusted adviser to GM Howie Roseman and highly-touted personnel executive. He’s primed to take charge in Cleveland.
Berry was a new addition to the Eagles’ front office after being hired last February to be the organization’s “analytics” guy. He previously served as Vice-President of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns from 2016 through 2018. Prior to that, the Harvard graduate spent seven seasons in the front office for the Indianapolis Colts, primarily in charge of scouting and player personnel.
The 32-year-old has been a hot name around the NFL for a long time. The Eagles originally hired him as insurance in case former Vice-President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas left, which he did over the summer. Berry assumed many of Douglas’ duties when he exited Philadelphia to become GM of the New York Jets.
“These jobs that you have, there’s a lot that goes on,” Roseman told The Inquirer last year at the NFL Combine. “Obviously, the most important thing is improving our roster and making sure we have the right players. He’ll be a part of that. But also looking at decision-making and every area of football ops.”
Jim Schwartz Staying Put as Eagles Defensive Coordinator
Jim Schwartz had largely been seen as a top choice to be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. That’s not happening.
With that title off the table, Schwartz is expected to return to Philadelphia and resume his role as Eagles defensive coordinator. Head coach Doug Pederson gave Schwartz a (confusing?) vote of confidence earlier this week before saying the long-time assistant would be his defensive coordinator in 2020.
“I would assume, yes,” Pederson said of Schwartz keeping his job. “He’s currently my DC [defensive coordinator], yeah.”
Pederson later clarified and apologized for the way he awkwardly explained the situation during his joint press conference with Eagles GM Howie Roseman. Schwartz is his guy, plain and simple.
“Jim has done an outstanding job with our defense, obviously, and the improvement that we saw throughout the course of this season,” the head coach said of Schwartz.