Browns talk to Stefanski

Kevin Stefanski was the Cleveland Browns’ second choice last year. He could be the first this time.

The Vikings offensive coordinator interviewed with the Browns for their coaching job on Thursday, the 37-year-old taking a break from preparing for this weekend’s playoff game against San Francisco to make another impression on Cleveland’s search committee.

Stefanski was in the running to be the Browns coach a year ago and met with the team twice. He was reportedly favored by chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, but owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam opted for Freddie Kitchens, who was fired following a drama-filled 6-10 season.

Stefanski has polished up his resume a bit in his one season running Minnesota’s offense, and there’s a chance he could emerge as Cleveland’s pick.

He is the seventh candidate to meet with the Browns, who talked with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Wednesday. The Browns are scheduled to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels today.

Stefanski has never been a head coach, but it seems to be only a matter of time before he’s hired — either by the Browns or someone else.

He broke into coaching at age 24 with Minnesota as an assistant in 2006. Stefanski has survived numerous regime changes with the Vikings and coached the team’s running backs, tight ends and quarterbacks before becoming the offensive coordinator this season.

Stefanski’s father, Ed, is a longtime NBA executive who currently works as an adviser with the Detroit Pistons.


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