BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announced Friday that he’ll be calling the team’s offensive plays this season.
Stefanski decided to handle playcalling instead of giving that task to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.
“I think with any discussion, we spend a lot of time thinking about what’s best for the team,” Stefanski said. “That’s where we landed.”
Stefanski was hired by Cleveland after one full season as the offensive coordinator and playcaller for the Minnesota Vikings last year. Stefanski took over as Minnesota’s interim playcaller for the final three games in 2018.
With Stefanski calling plays, the Vikings ranked ninth in the league in offensive efficiency in 2019.
In the offseason, Stefanski said he planned to audition Van Pelt for playcalling duties during the preseason games. Those games were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When I’ve called it, we’re very collaborative,” Stefanski said. “We’ll have a lot of people who have a hand in this.”
Earlier this week, Stefanski admitted to “gamesmanship” with the Ravens in being coy about Cleveland’s playcalling plans for Sunday’s game in Baltimore. But coach John Harbaugh downplayed any significance that would have in Baltimore’s preparation.
“We don’t know those two guys, per se, as playcallers too much,” he said Monday. “They both have experience, but it’s not a vast amount of playcalling experience. So we’re going to play against the system and the players, and whatever plays are called, hopefully we can defend them.”
Stefanski will have to make his Browns debut minus four defensive starters.
The Browns listed cornerback Greedy Williams as out with a shoulder injury. Cleveland was already without linebacker Mack Wilson (knee), nickelback Kevin Johnson (liver) and rookie safety Grant Delpit, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during camp.
Center JC Tretter (knee) is listed as questionable.