Kevin Stefanski’s seat might get a little too hot for his liking this season. After an up-and-down first few years at the helm of the Cleveland Browns, the coach now faces some high expectations. The trade for Deshaun Watson in the offseason signaled the team’s intentions to compete now. Is Stefanski’s job in danger if they don’t make the playoffs? Here’s owner Jimmy Haslam’s take, per Cleveland.com.
“I don’t want to say that, but I think that we (Browns) have expectations to go to the playoffs. But I’m not going to say if we don’t make the playoffs, X, Y, Z happens because that’ll be the headline tomorrow. Listen, the AFC is tough. You’ve all been around. Our division is tough.”
The Browns were not able to field Watson for a majority of the 2022 season due to his suspension from the league. In his absence, Jacoby Brissett performed admirably, leading Cleveland to a respectable record all things considered. When Watson saw the field, the QB looked rusty, which was understandable: he hasn’t played a game for nearly two years at that point.
The hope for the Browns is that Deshaun Watson returns to his previous form with a year of football under his belt again. Before his trade request, the ex-Texans QB was one of the best signal-callers in the league. The team is hoping that the awful outings last season are merely a blip in the radar.
As for Kevin Stefanski, the Browns coach is looking to lead the team back to the playoffs, albeit with a different QB under center. Stefanski and Baker Mayfield helped Cleveland win their first playoff game in two decades. However… since then, the team has upgraded at that position with a Pro Bowler in Watson. What can Stefanski do with a full year of Watson?
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