Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has been voted Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association. After an 11-5 season as well as a road win in the playoffs under ludicrous circumstances, Stefanski made it easy to give him the award.
Being a first year head coach is difficult under the best circumstances. With a pandemic limiting the amount of practices and having to adapt to virtual learning, the Browns were able to adapt better than any other team that changed head coaches. The Washington Fooball Team under Ron Rivera was the second best, going 7-9.
Stefanski shed the label of rookie head coach in just his second regular season game, guiding the Browns to their first win of the season over the Cincinnati Bengals. His clock management and overall preparation made game days operate smoother than any number of teams with coaches with years of experience.
The Browns went from losing games by ending halves poorly in previous seasons to winning games due to maximizing their performance at the end of halves, scoring points while preventing opponents from getting the ball back with time to do anything.
The award is not just for Stefanski, but a staff that excelled this season. The team had tremendous coaches that operated like a well oiled machine much of the season. A credit to Stefanski empowering and trusting those he hired to do their jobs and perform the roles he had outlined for them. At this point, the Browns appear quite fortunate in that they should be able to come back with the same staff as the team looks to make a push for the Super Bowl in 2021.