The Browns requested permission to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski again for its head-coaching vacancy, according to multiple reports from Cleveland. The Browns fired a sixth head coach this decade when dismissing Freddie Kitchens on Sunday.
Stefanski, leading the Vikings’ eighth-ranked scoring offense in his first season as coordinator, was a finalist after twice interviewing for the Browns job last year. Receiver Adam Thielen, who has spent all seven Vikings seasons with Stefanski on staff, said Stefanski should get his chance at some point.
“He’s got such a great demeanor about him,” Thielen said Monday. “He doesn’t get too high and he doesn’t get too low, and I think that’s a great demeanor to have as a head coach. I think he controls a room extremely well. I think he brings a positive energy at all times.”
Stefanski can’t interview until after the Vikings’ wild-card game against the Saints on Sunday. Should the Vikings win and play San Francisco in the divisional round, head-coaching interviews are allowed but must take place in the candidate’s city.
In addition to the Browns, keep an eye on the Panthers as an option for Kevin Stefanski as a head coach; I’m told Carolina could have some interest in the Vikings offensive coordinator.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) December 30, 2019
Stefanski is the Vikings’ longest-tenured coach, joining in 2006 as an assistant to head coach Brad Childress. He’s coached quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs before being promoted to coordinator in December 2018.
“He’s very organized and very prepared and would do a great job in that role,” Thielen said. “Obviously, we have a lot of respect for him in this building and don’t want to lose him, but that’s just how this business works and we’ll see how it goes. I think he has all the things you need to be a good coach in this league. I’m sure he’ll get his opportunity at some point.”