Kevin Stefanski has won the NFL Coach of the Year award for the second time, as the Cleveland Browns head coach became just the 12th to capture the honor multiple times. Stefanski, 41, is the second-youngest head coach to win the award twice (Don Shula was 37 when he won the award for the second time with the Baltimore Colts in 1968). Stefanski claimed the award Thursday at the 13th annual NFL Honors in Las Vegas.
The Browns went 11-6 this season under Stefanski, starting five different quarterbacks, with four of them making multiple starts. They are the first team since the 1984 Chicago Bears to reach the playoffs after starting five different quarterbacks in season.
Stefanski is the second head coach in Browns history with multiple 11+ win seasons (Paul Brown is the other) and is one of only two Browns head coaches to win Coach of the Year (Forrest Gregg was the other in 1976).
The Browns were the first playoff team since 1970 to enter the postseason without their Week 1 starting quarterback, running back, left tackle, and right tackle. Cleveland went 5-0 in games decided by three points or fewer. The only team with a better record in NFL history was the 2003 Carolina Panthers, who went 7-0 in such games and reached the Super Bowl.
Cleveland led the NFL in five defensive categories this season, one of the main reasons they made the playoffs with five different starting quarterbacks. The Browns allowed 270.2 yards per game on the year (fewest since the 2014 Seattle Seahawks) and the 49% three-and-out rate was the best since the 2005 Tennessee Titans. Cleveland also led the league in yards per possession (20.7) and plays per possession (4.5), along with first downs allowed per game (14.5).
Stefanski previously won the award in 2020. He has taken the Browns to the playoffs two of their three trips since they returned to the NFL in 1999.