AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Steelers

     

Browns

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said he is grateful that Cleveland overlooked him in their 2019 search for a head coach, opting for Freddie Kitchens while Stefanski accepted the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job to work under HC Mike Zimmer and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak. 

“Not many people are lucky enough to have a setup like that,” Stefanski said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It was such a valuable year for me to grow. I’m thrilled that I was able to have that opportunity under coach Zim, with Coach Kub. It really made me better.”

Kubiak mentioned that he identified Stefanski as a young coach on the rise years before he was hired by the Browns. 

“I was a fan of his for a few years,” Kubiak said. “Even when I stepped away from being a head coach, I used to keep notebooks on young coaches and what they were doing. And I knew a lot about him as a coach and a teacher, so I had a lot of good vibes about what he was going to become.”

Stefanski believes joining the Vikings for the 2019 season was instrumental toward his growth as a play-caller. 

I felt it was the best way to maximize his impact both on me and on the offense,” Stefanski said. “And then on top of that, just his experience as an offensive mind, specifically as it relates to the play-action game was something that I wanted to learn from him, and mine him for everything he was worth.”

Ravens

Ravens RT Orlando Brown Jr. tweeted out some excerpts from a prior article explaining his desire to honor his late father by playing left tackle in the NFL. 

“Growing up in my household, if you were going to play O-line, my dad didn’t want you being on the right side,” Brown said, via Daniel Oyefusi of The Baltimore Sun. “It was one of those deals where he felt as though the right tackle — and especially at the time when he played — he felt the right tackle was not considered the best tackle on the offensive line and in the offensive line room. And his mentality and approach was, ‘I want you to be better than me.’ So from Day 1, when I started playing offensive line, it was always him working me on the left side.”

Brown seems to have the support of his teammates, including former college teammate TE Mark Andrews, despite the fact that the team already has a left tackle under contract in Ronnie Stanley.

“Orlando is a natural-born left tackle, that’s where his home base is,” said Andrews. “So, when you think about even when he got to the league, he had to make that transition to playing right [tackle]. And I know for him, it was a little different — being able to make that transition. So, just being able to see him play left, it’s like he never missed a snap. He’s been playing some great ball and really doing a great job on that left side. It’s been fun to see.”

  • The Ravens announced that they’ve hired several new assistants, including new passing game specialist Keith Williams, assistant LBs coach Jay Peterson, assistant DL coach Jason Brooks, and WRs coach Tee Martin.

Steelers

  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that Ben Roethlisberger is expected to meet with the Steelers next week to discuss both his future and contract.
  • Dan Duggan reports that the Steelers are hiring former Falcons OL coach Chris Morgan as an assistant offensive line coach.  
  • Morgan also recently interviewed for the Giants’ offensive line coach position but accepted Pittsburgh’s offer instead. 
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