Ask anyone one of the major reasons the Cleveland Browns are 10-4 and on the brink of making the playoffs in 2020, and you will get the same answer.
It is the Stefanski factor.
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) December 10, 2020
Long rumored to be in the running for the NFL Coach of the Year, Kevin Stefanski has now emerged as the odds-on favorite.
As of December 23, Bovada, also known as Odds Shark, has the latest Coach of the Year odds as follows:
If you’re wondering, this is a marked change from the previous Odds Shark odds from December 15.
At that time, Ron Rivera and Mike Tomlin were the leading candidates with Brian Flores and Kevin Stefanski as the outliers.
Updated odds to win NFL Coach of the Year (BetOnline)
Ron Rivera +200
Mike Tomlin +225
Brian Flores +450
Kevin Stefanski +550
Sean McDermott +1200
Andy Reid/Sean McVay/Sean Payton +1600
Franck Reich/Matt LaFleur/Mike Vrabel +1800
Joe Judge +5000
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) December 15, 2020
Coach Kevin Stefanski
Stefanski is focused on the game, the task ahead, and does not pay attention to the off-the-field things beyond his control.
The man doesn’t even have a social media account; that says a lot.
He was very direct about what his coaching style would look like even back in January, pre-pandemic, when he was introduced as the Browns’ new head coach.
“My leadership style is to be authentic. I’m going to be me. And I think that’s good enough and I’m going to be direct with our players and they’re gonna get to know me and I’m gonna get to know them. I want to lead from a relationship standpoint; I want them to understand what I’m about. There will be no mistake, just like today, I’m ready and willing and excited to lead from out in front as I stand before you. And I’m also ready and willing to step back and let the success and shine the light on our players, which is where it should be…To use a basketball term so my dad can understand this: I want to be the point guard for this organization. I want to bring the ball up, but then I want to share the basketball and let somebody else get an easy bucket.”
Browns Need To Win
Right now Stefanski and the Browns are making sure they don’t let up.
Playing the 1-13 Jets could be considered a trap game, but Stefanski won’t allow it.
He also won’t be watching the scoreboard on Sunday to see what other AFC North teams are doing.
When asked about that this week, he made it clear the only scoreboard he cares about on Sunday is the Browns and Jets one
For so long the Browns have been the doormat of the NFL.
Now with 2 consecutive weeks of national primetime coverage, people are starting to see what Baker and the boys can do.
That’s why the game with the Jets is a dangerous one; the Browns are the away team and an 8 1/2 point favorite.
But the Browns can’t buy into the love; they are better off playing with an underdog tag.
You can bet Stefanski will do everything in his power to keep the Browns focused.