The Cleveland Browns have moved up their interview with Vikings interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski from Monday to Thursday according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The team was reportedly scheduled to interview former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday and while that still might be on the schedule, they did move up Stefanski’s interview four days ahead of schedule.
The 36-year-old assistant coach has had a similar rise in the NFL coaching ranks to Browns interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens who is also scheduled to interview for the head coaching position.
Stefanski has been with the Vikings since 2006 when he started as an assistant to then head coach Brad Childress.
He then was the assistant quarterbacks coach under Childress and Leslie Frazier before being named the tight ends coach in 2014 in Mike Zimmer’s staff.
In 2017, Stefanski became the team’s quarterbacks coach when Scott Turner was fired from the position.
Under his direction, Case Keenum had his best season as a professional completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while leading the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
He was once again the quarterback coach at the start of the 2018 season but this time he got to work with Kirk Cousins who signed a three-year, $84 million dollar contract with Minnesota with hopes to get the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
Following the team’s Week 14 loss to Seattle, Mike Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and elevated Stefanski to the position while maintaining his position as quarterbacks coach.
In the final three games, Minnesota’s offense averaged 26 points and 307.3 offensive yards per game under Stefanski.
Under DeFilippo, the Vikings averaged 21.7 points and 354.4 offensive yards per game although DeFilippo.
Stefanski utilized the running game more in his short stint with two games of at least 100 yards rushing compared to DeFilippo who had three in 13 games despite having Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook at their disposal.
Once again, much like Jim Caldwell who the team interviewed on Wednesday, I’m not so sure Stefanski is a legit head coaching candidate but could be someone who is in line for an offensive coordinator position by another coaching candidate and this could be just the Browns hierarchy getting to know him.
He’s not under contract for the 2019 season and is free to interview or be hired by any NFL team and he’s not being linked to any other head coaching opening at the moment.