Joe Flacco’s big arm and cut-it-loose mentality drew rave reviews from Cleveland Browns fans and pundits.
And if that wasn’t typical Browns football, it might be soon enough after Kevin Stefanski hires his next staff.
But as exciting as the prospect of a big play passing attack in Cleveland might be, change brings emotions.
And as ESPN’s Josina Anderson told 92.3 The Fan, the Browns’ coaching turnover is not a hit with the players.
.@JosinaAnderson on @923TheFan re: her report that #Browns have let go of OC Alex Van Pelt, RB coach Stump Mitchell and TE coach T.C. McCartney: “It is upsetting to some of the players. I would say that this was shocking, even internally.”
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) January 17, 2024
Anderson described today’s news as a shock to almost everybody, internally as much as publicly.
She describes the players as being upset at the news about their coaching shakeup.
Per Anderson’s initial report, Alex Van Pelt told players he was let go on Tuesday, although he is still under contract.
Running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney have been dismissed.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt never wasted a chance to rave about the effect Mitchell had on their careers.
Tight end David Njoku made his first Pro Bowl, helped by the attention he got in Flacco’s attack.
Van Pelt, while a non-assuming presence to fans, was well-liked in a role Stefanski said was vital.
For many of these Browns players, the current staff is all they have known.
Stump Mitchell was a rare carryover retained by Stefanski after coming to the Browns in 2019.
McCartney started as an offensive assistant in 2020 and replaced tight ends coach Drew Petzing in 2022.
Van Pelt was Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach when Stefanski hired him away as QB coach/offensive coordinator.
Cleveland’s offensive staff evaluation continues today, and there is still no official team announcement.