Should the Browns hire Kevin Stefanski after Vikings loss?

Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, NFL Playoffs

The Minnesota Vikings looked rough in their loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Should the Cleveland Browns hire Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski?

After stunning the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card Round, the Minnesota Vikings sputtered on offense vs. the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers. Minnesota lost 27-10, managing only six first downs all afternoon at Levi’s Stadium. It was a bad showing for the entire team, especially the Vikings’ highly touted offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.

Last year saw Stefanski be a finalist for the Cleveland Browns’ head-coaching vacancy that ultimately went to Freddie Kitchens. After a highly-dysfunctional 6-10 campaign in 2019, the Browns fired Kitchens and are the last team in the league without a head coach. Stefanski interviewed with the Browns again this year. Should they hire him after this bad performance?

It’s tough to say because Stefanski is an offensive mind who may be able to get the most out of third-year starting quarterback Baker Mayfield, who regressed considerably in his second season in the league. Given that he’s already interviewed twice with the Browns, that might make him a favorite for the gig should the Haslam Family go in that direction.


That being said, you can’t be pleased with what you saw on Saturday afternoon in Santa Clara. The Vikings have a roster that should have been able to at least hang with the 49ers. But quarterback Kirk Cousins resolved into a postseason quarterbacking pumpkin and Dalvin Cook’s presence in the ground game was non-existent. There are also other concerns about Stefanski.

A big reason the Vikings offense was as strong this year was that the organization brought in former Houston Texans and Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak as an offensive assistant. He was instrumental in making the ground game so spectacular. One could argue that Kubiak’s presence in Minneapolis largely propped up Stefanski in this season.

Ultimately, we can’t say that this game will be the reason Stefanski won’t get the job. The 49ers have a tremendous defense and quite frankly, wasn’t the Vikings’ season supposed to end last week in New Orleans vs. the Saints? He could very well get the job this time around, though his last game coaching the Vikings has to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Overall, we have to expect Stefanski to be a finalist yet again for this Browns’ gig. He’ll end up finishing top-three and may end up getting it. But if he’s not hired by the Browns on Monday or Tuesday, after they have interviewed all of their candidates, it’s not a good look. We’ll know if Stefanski ends up getting it in the next few days.

The longer the wait, the less likely it becomes.

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