Cleveland Browns first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski was named the NFL Coach of the Year by Sporting News and Pro Football Writers of America on Thursday, which was no surprise to Odell Beckham Jr.
The Browns wide receiver responded to the news on Twitter, writing: “Duhhhhhhh…..”
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) January 21, 2021
Behind Stefanski, the Browns made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and notched their best record since 1994.
Stefanski is the first Browns head coach to earn the PFWA’s honor since Marty Schottenheimer won AFC Coach of the Year in 1986, per the Browns official release. For Sporting News, it’s the first time since Paul Brown won it in 1953.
While the Browns saw their season end last week after a 22-17 loss to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round, Stefanski acknowledged there was still lots the team could be proud of.
“Looking back on the season, as we all do when the finality of this thing and it is over, I think we definitely achieved a lot,” Stefanski told reporters on Monday. “We did some things we set out to do, but ultimately, we came up short and there is a very real sense of disappointment there among our players and coaches right now. We can definitely look back and see some things that we accomplished and be proud of that.”
Kevin Stefanski Has Praised Odell Beckham
What makes the Browns accomplishments even more impressive is that they did it without Beckham, one of their most talented offensive players.
“I know he is working really hard to get better in his rehab. I am excited to get him back here,” Stefanski said. “I know it was not easy for him being away from his teammates, especially as these games got bigger and into the playoffs. I know he definitely wanted to be a part of it.”
Beckham acknowledged as much on his Instagram recently, sending a message to his team.
“It was a bittersweet season being on the outside looking in when all I wanted was to be in it with the team,’’ the receiver posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday. “I had to put my pride aside and just watch it unfold. I’m proud and inspired by this squad’s growth and effort this year.”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 20, 2021
Odell Beckham Has Been Working Out With Saquon Barkley
Beckham rehabbed away from the team and one of his workout buddies has been Saquon Barkley – his old teammate with the Giants.
“Only thing I do know that I have planned for sure, I’m definitely going to link up with [Odell],” Barkley told ESPN this week. “Obviously Odell tore his knee a little too. I think we both need just being there. We’re really good friends. Competing with each other and pushing each other will also be good too. That’s the only thing I know for certain I will do. Everything else is up in the air.”
Before tearing his ACL in October, Beckham had 23 catches on 43 targets for 319 yards and three touchdowns, also adding a rushing score.