Kevin Stefanski is proving his worth as coach of the Cleveland Browns by doing something no coach of the team has been able to accomplish since the franchise rebooted in 1999.
The Cleveland Browns took a 29-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football, and with it, are temporary sole owners of first place in the AFC North. For Kevin Stefanski, though, the win was particularly sweet, and it proves just how important he is as coach of this team and why Browns fans should be excited.
Obviously, the Steelers have dominated the AFC North in the 2000s. Meanwhile, the Browns have, well, “Browned” for the last two decades since they came back to the NFL.
Since 1999 when the Browns franchise was revitalized after a four-year hiatus, the Steelers have won their division 10 times. The Browns? Not even once. Coming into Thursday night, the Browns were 8-36-1 against the Steelers since 1999.
Kevin Stefanski’s win on Thursday Night Football was historic for Browns
Kevin Stefanski is showing things might be finally changing with the power dynamics in the AFC North.
Field Yates pointed out that Stefanski is the first Browns coach since 1999 to win three times against the Steelers.
Kevin Stefanski is the first Browns coach to beat the Steelers 3 times since the franchise was brought back in 1999.
He has Jacoby Brissett playing as well as he has at any point in his NFL career.
The work Stefanski has done with this offense so far has been exceptional.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 23, 2022
On one hand, it’s pretty remarkable that the Browns have both lost so much to the Browns and that they have had so much coaching turnover that this hasn’t happened in over two decades. We’re not even talking three straight wins, just three wins over the Steelers in total.
Stefanski is the 12th coach of the team since 1999, and so far he is 19-14. Of those 12, his winning percentage (.576) is second only to Gregg Williams (.625) who only coached eight games as an interim head coach in that time frame. All time, Stefanksi sits with the fifth-best winning percentage in franchise history.
Top five Browns coaches in terms of winning percentage
Paul Brown 158-48-8 (.767); 1946-1962Blanton Collier 76-34-2 (.691); 1963-1970Gregg Williams 5-3 (.625); 2018Marty Schottenheimer 44-27 (.620); 1984-1988Kevin Stefanski 19-14 (.576); 2020-presentNick Skorich 30-24-2 (.556); 1971-1974
Things are looking up in Cleveland… for once.