In an interview on March 8, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski good-naturedly agreed that it was fair to call him a dumb “piece of s*** head coach” after the Browns’ December 2022 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
‘When You Lose, Everything’s Fair Game,’ Said Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski
On the Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take,” hosts Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter kicked off their interview with Kevin Stefanski by wanting to ask him about something they tweeted during the week 16 game between the Browns and the Saints that the Browns lost 17-10.
“We sometimes like to just be honest with our guests, things that we’ve said, so I’m going to read a tweet to you from December 26, 2022,” said Katz. “It says, ‘Browns vs Saints was a battle between who can be the dumber piece of s*** head coach. Somehow [Saints head coach] Dennis Allen came to his senses before Stefanski.’ Thoughts?”
To that, Stefanski let out a good chuckle and said, “Fair. Fair. I mean, when you lose, everything’s fair game so, fair. I’d agree.”
But in all seriousness, the hosts pressed Stefanski about why he didn’t “run the damn ball” in that game with someone like Nick Chubb as your running back.
To that, Stefanski said he should have. It probably “would’ve helped in that game.”
“It was hard in that game to run the damn ball. They knew that it was very hard to pass, they were bringing safeties very close to that line of scrimmage, so you’re thinking, ‘Alright, the wind’s died down, we got the wind with us, let’s try this.’ Obviously, it didn’t work, so then you work backwards, ‘OK, what could we have done differently?’ Yes, running the damn ball in some situations would’ve helped in that game,” said the Browns head coach.
In that game, when the score was tied 10-10 with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a all that D Sorensen intercepted for 36 yards, putting the Saints at the Cleveland 15. They scored a touchdown shortly thereafter. The Browns did manage to get down into the red zone at the end of the fourth quarter, but they then had three incomplete passes in a row from Watson and then a sack that turned the ball over on downs with 19 seconds left.
Kevin Stefanski Says He Gets ‘A Lot of Free Advice’ From Browns Fans
Stefanski went on to say that he knows they’ve got a great running back in Nick Chubb — which doesn’t explain why they kept passing the ball in that game against the Saints — so he’s “always thinking about Nick Chubb” in goal-line situations.
“There’s certainly high leverage moments down near the goal line, third down, you’re always thinking about Nick Chubb,” said the Browns head coach.
Stefanski also said he definitely hears from fans in Cleveland and “run the damn ball” is definitely a “refrain of our fans.”
“[‘Run the damn ball’] is definitely something that I’ll hear, it’s a refrain of our fans oftentimes,” said Stefanski, but he added that his philosophy is more like “Score points.”
“I want to write that on the call sheet. ‘[Score points] any which way you can,” said Stefanski.
Later, when asked about people randomly come up to him and tell him how to run the team, Stefanski very diplomatically called it getting “a lot of free advice.”
“You know what it’s called? Free advice. I get a lot of free advice, which — some of it’s good,” said Stefanski with a chuckle.
He also said he gets a lot of unsolicited football advice from his dad, who has no background in football. His father is Ed Stefanski, who was a former professional basketball player and has worked as an executive for the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons.
“[My dad] thinks he could be an NFL scout. He tells me all the time about players and ‘watch out for this guy’ and I’m like, ‘What do you know about football?’” said Stefanski, laughing.