Cleveland’s Biggest Weakness is Exposed.

Cleveland’s Biggest Weakness is Exposed.

Any sport, at any level, will occasionally see you simply get defeated.
One of those days was Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Kevin Stefanski.

Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns was out with an injury, so rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson got the start.
Thompson-Robinson started the game off strong, completing his first three passes while projecting the same level of poise and assurance he did in the preseason.

However, as Mike Tyson is quoted as saying, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

Kevin Stefanski’s flaws are on full display in the Browns’ defeat.

Thompson-Robinson attempted to pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper on his second drive, but the pass was deflected and intercepted.
It was brought back by Baltimore to Cleveland’s 10-yard line.
Lamar Jackson, the quarterback for the Ravens, scored on the very next play, and Baltimore never looked back en route to a 28-3 victory over the Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Despite appearing so dynamic in the preseason, Thompson-Robinson finished the day with a dismal 25.3 quarterback rating, completing just 19 of his 36 attempts for 121 yards while also throwing three interceptions.
Following his initial interception, Thompson-Robinson’s confidence was evidently shaken.
For the majority of the rest of the day, his passes were off target—oftentimes so comically so.
He also had trouble locating any outside receivers. Cooper, who dominated last week, only successfully caught one of six targets.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, a wide receiver, is one of four.
Cedric Tillman, a rookie, is one of three.
Four of eight: Elijah Moore.

Due in large part to how impressive Dorian Thompson-Robinson appeared, the Cleveland Browns traded quarterback Josh Dobbs to Arizona after the preseason. So how does that apply to a quarterback who is so unprepared for his first NFL start, a quarterback who is wildly off-target to everyone but his tight end, and a quarterback who is agile and athletic but who for the majority of the game appeared genuinely terrified to run out of the backfield?

Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been tasked with a significant task by Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski. The rookie, a fifth-round selection, was asked to captain an already shaky offense in a rivalry game against the No. 2 defense in his very first start.
But in keeping with Mike Tyson, the playcalling remained unchanged, and Thompson-Robinson grew more and more lost as the game went on.

A fundamental flaw exists in Kevin Stefanski’s offensive leadership.

The playcalling problems of Kevin Stefanski are well known to Cleveland supporters.
The social media site X (formerly Twitter) erupted with demands for Stefanki’s dismissal as early as the fourth quarter. This came after yet another attempt to use the quick Moore on a Jet sweep.

Seven times this season, nearly always on the same play, Stefanski has called Moore’s number out of the backfield. The outcomes are not favorable. Moore had six carries for 23 yards going into the contest.
Seven carries have now been made for… three yards.
In the backfield, Baltimore swarmed after spotting the play coming from the opposite side of Lake Erie. Moore attempted to create something out of nothing but ended up with less after being tackled for a loss of 20 yards.

When a play doesn’t work, try it again.
This frustrating pattern has characterized Kevin Stefanki’s playcalling for Cleveland throughout his entire career.
Under Stefanski, the Cleveland Browns rarely have the ability to come from behind or lose games that were close late in the fourth quarter because they make poor second-half adjustments.

Additionally, before the offense settles into its rhythm, Stefanski frequently calls gadget plays, such as the Jet Sweep, early in the game. Kevin Stefanski kept his foot on the gas with the passes after Thompson-Robinson’s early interception rather than attempting to establish a reliable run and play-action game.
The Browns have also experienced difficulties with pass blocking.
Right tackle Jack Conklin was lost in the first game, center Ethan Pocic was lost in the first half on Sunday, and blindside blocker Jed Wills is off to a terrible start.

However, Thompson-Robinson’s deep drops remained the solution throughout the entire game. No potential run game.
Empty sets to emphasize this.

What Is Kevin Stefanski’s Problem?

Aside from the game on Sunday, one of the major NFL storylines this year has been the Cleveland Browns defense’s resurgence.
Jim Schwartz, the new defensive coordinator, has utilized many of the same players from 2022 to demonstrate how preparation and strategy can make a significant difference.

The system developed by Kevin Stefanski is still a work in progress, which is curious.
In contrast to Schwartz’s four games, he has been a member of the team for four years.

Among his players, Stefanski enjoys good favor.
He inspires people well.
Despite some playcalling, he does a good job of picking up the lessons. Notably, he made organizational changes during training camp this season in response to a disappointing performance in 2022.

He still makes his own offensive play calls as head coach, though.
He takes a while to modify his approach there.
Deshaun Watson, the franchise quarterback, had his best performance in last week’s victory over the Tennessee Titans. This is significant because Watson was finally permitted to play much more consistently from the shotgun and pistol.
Stefanski took some time to put this into action, despite Watson’s long-running advocacy.

It’s a rare head coach who is successful in calling his own plays in the NFL because the league has grown more complex.
Is this stubbornness, or is it indicative of a head coach who is also knee-deep in play-calling?
Usually, the head coach resumes his or her role as a coordinator after this event.

The Dearth of Jim Schwartz’s Offensive Equivalent.

Jim Schwartz has demonstrated how quickly a new tone and system can be adopted.
The Cleveland Browns need to take a similar approach to their offensive planning and playcalling in a season where victory is crucial.
Stefanski’s plays are frequently creative and well-designed, so the playbook is fine.
What needs improvement is the manner and timing of the calls.

In a nutshell, the team needs Kevin Stefanski as its head coach.
He allows Schwartz to make his defense calls. He leaves the calling of his special teams to Bubba Ventrone, the special teams coordinator. Stefanski must permit another player to make the same offensive move.
The Cleveland Browns have a few options internally and can use a variety of perspectives.

Alex Van Pelt is the offensive coordinator.

Coordinator of the offense Alex Van Pelt comes first. Van Pelt has been on the team for the entirety of Kevin Stefanski’s reign.
In addition, he is renowned for serving as the offensive play-caller and head coach for the Cleveland Browns’ significant playoff victory in Pittsburgh in 2020.

In college, Kevin Stefanski was a defensive back, but he was never an NFL player.
Van Pelt, in contrast, spent nine seasons as a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
While in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers liked Van Pelt, who has earned a reputation as a quarterback coach.

Van Pelt, like Stefanski, holds multiple positions with the Cleveland Browns, serving as both the quarterbacks coach and the general manager.
The top two offensive players are being pushed in a strange number of directions in this situation.

Bill Musgrave, senior offensive assistant.

Mary Kay Cabot, a Browns beat writer, claims that Bill Musgrave’s job on the team after Van Pelt became the quarterbacks coach in 2023 is to “take things off of Van Pelt’s plate.”.

Former NFL quarterback and well-liked quarterbacks coach Musgrave is himself a quarterback.
Over the past 25 years, he has served in this capacity for the Raiders, Jaguars, Commanders, Falcons, Eagles, and Broncos.
Along with the NFL and NCAA, he has held multiple offensive coordinator positions.

This coaching setup is strange.
a head coach who makes all of his own play calls.
an assistant position coach and offensive coordinator. a senior assistant who essentially serves as a catch-all.

The Browns of Kevin Stefanski are in need of a coach with a strong command.

The team’s head coach is Kevin Stefanski. He ought to have opinions and expertise regarding each of the game’s three levels.
He’s also the one who puts out the fires.
He oversees the players.
inspires them.
who is aware of who needs what and where to get it.

The team’s offensive coordinator is Alex Van Pelt.
He ought to be calling the offensive plays, with Jim Schwartz calling the defensive plays. Van Pelt ought to be involved with all offensive positions, not just quarterbacks.
Since losing RB Nick Chubb, the team has obviously had rushing issues. The pass blocking problem is still present.

Bill Musgrave ought to be collaborating with Deshaun Watson and Dorian Thompson-Robinson every day. Musgrave should represent Watson’s interests in the offensive meetings because he has experience as a coordinator, ensuring that Van Pelt’s play designs are to Watson’s liking.

Muddled results are the result of a muddled chain of command.
It’s fair to say that the Cleveland Browns’ offensive performances in 2023 have been inconsistent so far.
That can’t go on after the team returns from its bye week in a win-now season.

The Cleveland Browns’ next game is against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, October 15 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Kevin Stefanski will be in charge of the team.


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