Beuerlein: Kevin Stefanski is “hands down” NFL Coach of the Year

Despite a tough loss to the Ravens on Monday Night Football, Kevin Stefanski could lead the Browns to their first 10-win season since 2007 and their first playoff appearance since 2002

Reiter Than You
December 15, 2020 - 1:37 pm
Kevin Stefanski Browns

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The Cleveland Browns came oh-so-close to beating the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, but then, well, Lamar Jackson happened.

The reigning MVP’s late-game heroics gave Baltimore a 47-42 win, snapping Cleveland’s four-game winning streak in the process. NFL analyst Steve Beuerlein, however, insists that all is not lost for Baker Mayfield and the Browns (9-4).

“There are seldom times where I really believe a loss can make a team better, but I believe that truly is the case with this one,” Beuerlein said on Reiter Than You. “That loss and the way that they lost that game, I think, for the Browns is going to end up really making them a better football team because of all the growth they’ve experienced this year under Kevin Stefanski. It truly is an amazing job that he’s done.”

Stefanski, a first-year head coach, could lead the Browns to their first 10-win season since 2007 and their first playoff appearance since 2002.

“Hands down he’s the NFL Coach of the Year already,” Beuerlein said. “What he’s done with that organization and that team, to put them in the position that they are to get them to nine wins at this point, the way that they’re playing, I have no doubt they’re going to win at least one or two more games and be in the playoffs.”

The Browns, currently the 5-seed in the AFC, trailed the Ravens 34-20 entering the fourth quarter Monday but fought back to take a 35-34 lead. And, after falling behind 42-35 with less than two minutes to go, the Browns drove 75 yards in four plays to tie the game. 

Jackson, however, had just enough time to get the Ravens in field goal range. Justin Tucker took it from there, drilling a 55-yarder to win the game. 

“I really believe that even though the absolute frustration and torture that they’ve experienced with their history with the Ravens and with the Steelers, obviously a win would have gone further to build their confidence,” Beuerlein said. “But to come back and play the way they did and come up short, I know the way Kevin Stefanski will use that experience. His team is going to come back hungrier and more confident that they are a really good football team than they were going into that game. I think it definitely will help them.

“Again, a win would have helped,” Beuerlein continued, “but I don’t think this is a normal loss. I don’t think this is a loss that’s going to send them spiraling in the wrong direction. It’s going to make them better for sure.”

The Browns play the New York Giants (5-8) on the road this Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET.