Kevin Stefanski may wait until before season to name himself or Alex Van Pelt play caller

Browns head coach sees no need to rush to make decision

Daryl Ruiter
February 25, 2020 - 6:01 pm
Kevin Stefanski Cleveland Browns

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (92.3 The Fan) – Kevin Stefanski still won’t say who is calling plays this season – him or offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt – because he’s yet to decide.

That decision isn’t coming anytime soon either.

“It’s just something that I don’t think we need to make a decision on right this moment here in February,” Stefanski said Wednesday at the NFL Combine. “But I think in fairness to AVP, I think I need to give him some opportunities to call it in practice, call it in the preseason so that I can get comfortable with him calling it, or I can get comfortable with me calling it, but that’s definitely a fluid situation and Alex understands that.”

Stefanski doesn’t see the need to rush into that decision. In fact, he believes he can make it in late August or even early September if need be.

“I think you can [wait],” Stefanski said, later adding, “I can promise you I will do whatever’s in the best interest of the Browns.”

Van Pelt brings to Cleveland 25 years of experience in the NFL, the last two in Cincinnati as quarterbacks coach, the same job he had in Green Bay where Aaron Rodgers voiced his displeasure when the Packers let Van Pelt go in 2017.

“I like a bunch about Alex,” Stefanski said. “He's been in a bunch of different systems and that's similar to my experience. I think that's helpful in formulating your own plan of attack. I think highly of his coaching. I think there's something to be said for being a former player and look at how many backup QBs become successful coaches. That speaks to having to prepare while knowing you may not get any real reps.

“Alex is a really, really good football coach. All those [play calling] discussions and decisions can wait until further in the offseason.”

Stefanski and Van Pelt don’t share much of a history together and they are still in the getting to know you stage of their relationship which is likely factoring in the decision.

“Calling plays is exciting, it’s not fun,” Stefanski said. “When you’re done calling plays you sink into the couch. But what’s fun is winning. So that’s what I’m about and whatever gives the browns the best chance to have winning, that’s what we’ll do.”

Regardless if Van Pelt calls plays or not, he plans to be the primary voice in the quarterback room and sees his ability to work with them as one of his primary strengths but that’s not to say Stefanski won’t pop in from time to time to offer his own two cents.

“As a head coach I need to be involved with every position,” Stefanski said. “I'm not gonna be the HC who spends time in just one position room. I don't believe in that. I'm the head coach of the entire team, but with that said I understand the importance of the quarterback room. I look forward to continuing to develop a relationship with Baker and helping him in any way I can.”