After Freddie Kitchens did what was considered a bad job coaching the Cleveland Browns in 2019, he was fired and Kevin Stefanski, who was then the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, was hired to replace him.
Stefanski appeared the get the long-suffering Browns over the hump in his first season in charge of them, coaching them to an 11-5 record and a playoff spot, their first since 2002.
Once in the postseason, Cleveland shot down the Pittsburgh Steelers, 48-37, for its first playoff victory since the mid-1990s.
It appeared that quarterback Baker Mayfield was starting to figure it out, as he posted 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in the regular season.
But this past season, it all seemed to fall apart, as there were some injuries to key players, but ultimately the Browns failed to execute, falling to an 8-9 record and missing the playoffs.
I don't care who the QB is if the Brown's lose this Kevin Stefanski should be fired A. S. A. P. https://t.co/vYF2UD8PNC
— Bradley Fafrak (@BradleyFafrak) May 12, 2022
Some Of The Main Factors Are Beyond Stefanski’s Control
The biggest question facing the Browns right now is whether Watson will be suspended by the NFL league office.
Although a grand jury didn’t move forward with criminal charges after multiple women accused him of misconduct during massage therapy sessions, he is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits.
Some fans are calling on commissioner Roger Goodell to take swift action against Watson in order to set a precedent for everyone else amidst what some claim is a culture of violence, misconduct and even crime throughout the league.
If Watson is suspended, it could single-handedly torpedo the Browns’ season and their chances of fulfilling their collective potential.
Injuries are also a factor, as always.
If the Browns miss the playoffs this coming season after more injuries and especially a Watson suspension, it wouldn’t be fair to blame Stefanski, all things being equal.
If Jimmy G is traded or walks & Tre Lance doesn’t live up to the hype is Kyle Shannahan still given more time?
Kevin Stefanski had 11 & 8 wins & he on the hot seat & he had a QB who can’t see a wide open RB 2 yds in front of him for a 1st down 🤷🏿♂️
— Agree to Disagree (Sports & Politics) (@TheRealXavierP) May 14, 2022
Is It Really Fair To Fire A Coach Every Time His Team Underperforms?
One thing that many teams in pro sports lack is the patience to see a building or rebuilding process through all the way.
Plenty of times, coaches in the NFL, as well as in the NBA, get fired after one bad season, even if injuries and/or a bad roster were to blame much more than the said coach.
In Stefanki’s case, it may seem extra unfair given the strong job he did in his initial season with the team when it had many of the same key players it had the previous year when it won just six games.
He won the Coach of the Year award for getting so much out of the roster he was given to work with, and it may be a slap in his face if he were to be dismissed should the Browns not do well in 2022.
With a new-look roster, perhaps the Browns organization should be a little more patient than that.