Kevin Stefanski talks move to Cleveland, expectations for Baker Mayfield on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt

Kevin Stefanski was leading his team in a different kind of game over the weekend.

For his family's 11-hour drive from Minnesota to Ohio, Stefanski was the head coach of the license plate game with his three children. The execution was crisp -- for at least a few minutes.

"It's hard right now because there's not a lot of kids on the road," Stefanski said late Monday on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. "They were into it for at least a few minutes. We pulled out all the stops. We were playing BINGO, you name it."

The COVID-19 pandemic threw Stefanski's moving plans into a holding pattern. He and his family planned to be living in the Northeast Ohio area shortly after he was named the Browns' new head coach in January. When states around the country shut down businesses -- including the team's facility in Berea -- and limited trips for essential needs, Stefanski and his family opted to stay in their house in Minnesota.

That changed this weekend, and Stefanski was thrilled to make the journey and put himself one step closer to his first season as Cleveland's head coach.

"The kids were pretty good, thank God for the iPads," Stefanski said. "Now I'm happy to be in Cleveland."

Even in Minnesota, Stefanski has been at the reins of a Browns virtual offseason program that is close to entering its second month. The team planned for all sorts of contingencies during the early stages of the pandemic, and now it's executing the plan that included complete virtual implementation of the new offensive and defensive playbooks as well as an all-virtual introductory weekend for the team's seven draft picks and 15 undrafted free agents.

"Players, young people are a resilient bunch and I think they learn under these unique circumstances," Stefanski said. "I think they're better equipped to do this than maybe any other generation. They're so intune to the technological aspect of this whole thing. Our coaches are really attacking this and I think there's a lot of learning that's going on right now. The feedback I've gotten from the guys is very positive."

Baker Mayfield has been among those delivering the positive feedback about the program. In his interview last week on "Browns Live: Schedule Release Show," Mayfield praised Stefanski for the execution of the offseason plan and stressed the players had bought into the vision.

Stefanski said he simply wants the "best version" of Mayfield and the rest of the team whenever they're able to hit the field.

"I don't want them to be something they're not," Stefanski said. "Quarterback is a lightning rod. That's the nature of the beast. He knows that. 

"We've outlined some things we're going to help him with schematically and maybe technique-wise, but it's never a one-man show. Baker knows that and our team knows that. I think these guys are putting in the work to make sure we're ready to hit the ground running when we get together."

Advertising