The Cleveland Browns have made some changes to their coaching staff and more are expected to happen in the coming weeks.
In her latest Q&A column, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com replied to an inquiry about coaching changes and was clear that more moves are on the way.
“The Browns will make several more staff changes over the next few weeks. Kevin Stefanski gave the coaches last week off while he focused on hiring Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator,” Cabot wrote. “Now that they’ll be back in the building this week, he’ll finalize plans for 2023 as much as possible.”
Some of the changes could be dictated by staff members interviewing for other positions, which has already started. Secondary coach Jeff Howard is set to interview with the Chargers to be their linebackers coach, while receivers Chad O’Shea has been eyed for offensive coordinator openings with the Ravens and Jets. The Jets also tried to interview veteran offensive line coach Bill Callahan but he turned it down, instead agreeing to an extension with the Browns.
Cabot previously reported that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer’s job is safe, although the unit has also struggled with inconsistency and an overall lack of game-changing plays.
Browns Brought in Jim Schwartz to Replace Joe Woods
The most significant move the Browns made was letting go of embattled defensive coordinator Joe Woods, who was under fire for the inconsistent showings from the unit. The Browns replaced Woods with veteran Jim Schwartz, who comes to the table with plenty of experience and a history of getting production out of his defensive line.
Schwartz had spent the last two seasons as a senior defensive assistant with the Titans. He has previously been a defensive coordinator with the Titans, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, helping build top 10 defensive groups with each of those teams during his tenures. He was also the head coach of the Lions from 2009-13.
Schwartz will have some tools to work with, premier among those being Myles Garrett, who notched 16 sacks for a second consecutive season.
“It’s my job to give him some answers and to be able to give him some pieces, scheme-wise and personnel-wise, around him to allow him to be free and more productive,” Schwartz said. “The bar is set really high for a good reason.
Kevin Stefanski Hanging on to Play-Calling Duties
Another burning question around the Browns has been the play-calling duties on the offensive side of the ball, which Kevin Stefanski has hung on to since taking over in 2020. He doesn’t plan on giving it up any time soon.
“I look at everything about our operation, how we prepare and how we practice. I look at everything,” Stefanski said during an appearance on The Ken Carman Show. I’ll continue to look at everything. If I feel like there’s a better way to do it, we would do it.”
Stefanski did admit that it’s not an easy task to take on, leaving him “exhausted” after games.
“It’s fun, maybe in the moment, it’s exhausting. When it gets to gameday, you try to get out of the way as much as a possible. In terms of the play-calling, it’s exhausting,” Stefanski said. “You’re spent after a game, you really are.”
If Stefanski was to give up the play-calling at any point, it would fall on offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.