Browns Fire Two Offensive Assistant Coaches

The Browns have split ways with running backs coach Stump Mitchell and tight ends coach T.C. McCartney. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt remains under contract.

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has reportedly made some changes to his offensive coaching staff to begin the 2024 offseason.

Stefanski, who led the Browns to the playoffs in 2023 for the second time since he became head coach in 2020, has fired running backs coach Stump Mitchell while tight ends coach T.C. McCartney will not be retained, according to a report from Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

Anderson initially reported that offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt was fired as well, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported that Van Pelt was still under contract.

Van Pelt, however, informed members of the team Tuesday he was relieved of his duties, according to another report from Anderson.

Anderson noted that “some of the players are upset from the news” of the coaching departures.

The changes happened Tuesday, per Anderson, after the Browns became the first team since 2015 to win games with four different starting quarterbacks. They finished 16th in the NFL in yards per game (335.9) and 10th in points per game (23.3) despite losing Deshaun Watson, Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb and their top three offensive tackles to season-ending injuries throughout the year.

Mitchell had been the running game coordinator/running backs coach since 2019, the year before Stefanski became head coach. The Browns finished last season 12th in the league with 118.6 rushing yards per game despite losing Chubb with a season-ending injury in Week 2. That opened the door for Jerome Ford to take over the starting role and lead the Browns with 813 rushing yards, although his 4.0 yards per carry ranked 29th in the league among rushers with at least 100 carries.

McCartney oversaw a career-best season from tight end David Njoku in 2023 after he finished second on the Browns with 882 receiving yards and six touchdowns — both career-highs in his seven-year career. McCartney had also previously been an offensive assistant in 2020-21 and was also with the team as an offensive assistant in 2014.

The Browns finished the regular season second with an 11-6 record and grabbed four wins in their final four meaningful games to clinch the playoffs behind the stellar play of then-38-year-old QB Joe Flacco. The remarkable playoff run put Stefanski at the top of the list of candidates to win NFL Coach of the Year.

Their hot streak came to an abrupt end Saturday in the Wild Card Round with a 45-14 beatdown from the Texans.

Flacco threw back-to-back-pick sixes in the second half of the game, which essentially shut down any shot of the Browns climbing back from a 10-point deficit at halftime.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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