CLEVELAND — Kevin Stefanski announced Friday he’ll call the Browns plays this season over offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, beginning with Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
Stefanski said his playcalling duties have always been collaborative, and it will be that way here.
He said he felt this was the best decision for the team at this time.
Stefanski called the plays the final three games of the 2018 season, when he took over the chore from fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
Last season, he called the plays for an offense installed by long-time NFL coach Gary Kubiak.
The Vikings finished eighth in points per game, and sixth overall in rushing. They finished 16th in total yards per game and 23rd in passing en route to the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost to the 49ers. Kirk Cousins finished fourth in the NFL with a 107.4 rating.
Van Pelt called plays for one NFL season, in 2009 with the Bills. They finished 28th with 16.1 points per game, and 30th overall on offense in a 6-10 season. Ryan Fitzpatrick went 4-4 and finished 26th in the with a 69.7 rating. Trent Edwards went 2-5 with a 73.8 mark.
Stefanski calling the plays will give Van Pelt the chance focus on Baker Mayfield, who fell to second-last in the NFL last season in rating (78.8), interceptions (21) and completion percentage (59.4).
During the week and on game day, Van Pelt has worked closely with Mayfield, perfecting his new footwork and helping him assimilate the new offense.
Stefanski has also been freed up from some of his duties with the addition of former Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers, who worked with and mentored Stefanski in his first five seasons in Minnesota. Rogers will help pull the new offensive staff together and sell Stefanski’s system and methods. He’ll not only help with some of the administrative responsibilities, he’ll also help mentor some of the other offensive assistants and serve as a liaison between them and Stefanski so the first-time head coach doesn’t get pulled in too many directions.
Rogers is also another pair of eyes on game day who would enable Stefanski to call plays while he helps manage the whole operation.