Kevin Stefanski is about to embark on one of the biggest offensive challenges of his entire coaching career. Not that this is going to be a hard transition for the third-year head coach but it will be a challenge for him. When the Cleveland Browns traded for Deshaun Watson last spring. Many thought the Browns could just plug him into this west coast offense. However, Watson’s skill set isn’t best utilized running a system where you first run the ball. Watson is the best with the ball in his hands making plays. Stefanski will have the challenge of putting together an offense that best fits Watson and his skill set. As well as creating an offense that can lead them to a Super Bowl. Going into the off-season there are varying options for this coach to incorporate a Super Bowl-caliber offense.
Kevin Stefanski Returning In 2023
Early last Saturday before the Browns played the Saints there were multiple reports that Kevin Stefanski would be returning as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns next season. When he was hired in 2020 he signed a coaching deal that was five years in duration. After his first season as head coach Stefanski would win AP coach of the year. Along with leading the Cleveland Browns to its first playoff appearance in nearly 20 years. Likewise, the Browns would win a playoff game for the first time since 1994. Following his accomplished first season, the last two seasons have been disappointing. As a head coach Stefanski is at a crossroads in his young head coaching career.
Kevin Stefanski’s Deshaun Watson Led Offense
Since Deshaun Watson became the Starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns the offense has been in a drastic shift. From the time of Jacoby Brissett when the identity was to run the ball first and foremost. With Watson, he is at his best with throwing the ball and coming up with unscripted plays. For instance, over the last month, Stefanski has incorporated more shotgun and pistol formations. From the shotgun, there need to be more vertical threats going down the field. Owner Jimmy Haslam alumni of Tennessee is very keen on the air raid offense the Vols have adopted this past season. For that to happen it has been reported that some of the Browns’ offensive staff will be changed. New minds will be brought in to transform the offense into what they want it to be.
Kevin Stefanski’s New Offensive Scheme
For the last month, the Browns have been changing their offense on the fly to fit Watson the best it can. Stefanski has always catered the offense to fit the quarterback. He has given the signal callers major input on the offensive plays that are run. When Brissett was starting he talked about how if he did not like a play then Stefanski would scrap it and go with a play that he feels more comfortable with. Much will be the same for Watson, running plays that fit his skill set and allows him to be comfortable. Compared to other coaches and coordinators Stefanski does not force players to fit his system. He schemes for his player’s strengths and put them in a position to be successful. During this off-season what can Cleveland put together to fit the entire offense best?
Kevin Stefanski Furthering The Offense
With the Cleveland Browns now being led by Watson, some offensive personnel changes must be made. For instance, this offseason the Browns must look to add two more veteran receivers that advance this offense. One of those two receivers should be a speed guy that can open things up vertically. A player that can threaten defenses over the top will open up the run game and allows Watson to air it out. Similar to how the Cowboys added T.Y. Hilton this year the Browns could look to do the same this off-season. The next wideout they should look to add is a slot guy who can operate in space. A player that is similar to Jarvis Laundry. That player can help make things happen with Watson on unscripted plays. Lastly, they need a running back who can operate out of the shotgun and catch the ball from the backfield.
To win in today’s NFL a team must be able to throw the ball effectively. Over the last three seasons, the Browns have been close to the top in the NFL in running the ball. That type of offense has allowed the Browns to be top ten in offense but has not translated into continuous winning. Kevin Stenaski and this offense must look to score more points intentionally. Stefanski must update the offense, however, not completely change the offense. In furthering the offense it should capitalize on what Watson does best within the scheme. For that to happen get him another running back along with Nick Chubb who fits in the shotgun and more red zone threats.
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