The only example we have this season where a head coach and multiple assistants on the staff missed a game was just a few weeks ago when Lions hosted the Buccaneers. Detroit ended up getting trounced in the game 47-7. Of course, we know that the Lions are a bad team, but they just looked unprepared in the game from the first whistle. It’s not to say that the Browns can be as bad as the Lions were in that game, but this will be a tough challenge.
In Kevin Stefanski’s first year as Cleveland’s head coach, he guided them to their first playoffs since the 2002 season, and now he won’t be on the sidelines with his team on Sunday after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Keep in mind that in addition to being the head coach, Stefanski also calls the plays on offense. It’s just unlikely that the Browns will have the same feeling and rhythm with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt calling the plays. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as Cleveland’s head coach for the day, and these changes might be a bit much for the Browns to overcome in the game. The nuance of being a head coach is so critical in the NFL because of the key decisions that have to be made throughout a football game.
It would be hard to look anywhere but Pittsburgh as the side in this Wild Card matchup.
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