Coaching Changes: Rivera, Rhule, and Stefanski

Head Coaching Changes: Rivera, Rhule and Stefanski

Washington Football Team (Ron Rivera)

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We wish Ron Rivera the best in his newest and most critical battle against cancer of the lymph nodes. He lost his brother to pancreatic cancer, and has been greatly involved in raising awareness after his brother's battle. Cancer's a bitch, but Rivera is ready to win this fight.

Among the turmoil, Ron Rivera has been a bright spot for the Washington Football Team. He’s come into the organization and turned things around. To put it lightly, Rivera isn’t taking any crap. Leading the charge in retiring their racist team name, and quickly cutting ties with Derrius Guice after allegations were made.

Rivera is a defensive-minded coach, and if you’re playing fantasy football, you likely care about the offense. His Offensive Coordinator, Scott Turner (son of Norv Turner), is new to the role and is ready to establish himself as a figure separated from his father’s shadow. If Norv was the coach in Washington, we could expect a bell-cow role for their Running Backs, but Scott’s history as a QB coach makes this less of a guarantee.

Rivera and Turner are looking to turn a bottom 5 offense around, but there isn’t much history to build on here. If it’s not Terry McLaurin, you’re taking a risk drafting a player from this team. Someone is going to pay off, but the coaching tendencies don’t point to one particular player.

Carolina Panthers (Matt Rhule)

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Matt Rhule, Former Baylor Bears Head Coach, seemed to be the hottest name at the start of the offseason. After turning around a Baylor organization in three years, he signed a 10-year contract with the Panthers. Along with Rhule, Joe Brady of LSU has made the move to the NFL as his Offensive Coordinator. Rhule has experience on both sides of the ball, while Brady’s primary focus has been the offense. The two have a combined 3 years of experience at the NFL level as lower-level coaches.

You’ve likely heard about LSU’s historic offensive season under play-caller, Joe Brady. Every piece of that offense was firing on all cylinders, especially Quarterback, Joe Burrow. Matt Rhule’s team was actually similar to LSU’s. While the numbers were scaled back significantly, and his Quarterback couldn’t collect himself, the Baylor offense was balanced.

Going into 2020, the Panthers offense should look similar to 2019’s offense. They didn’t draft any offensive players, but they did sign Robby Anderson, who has a history with Matt Rhule at Temple. As a whole, I’d expect less passing attempts from the Panthers, who were 2nd in pass attempts last season, but they may be more efficient under the new coaches.

Cleveland Browns (Kevin Stefanski)

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After the Freddie Kitchens debacle, the Cleveland Browns moved to Kevin Stefanski, former Offensive Coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. Stefanski’s habits in Minnesota were clear. Run the ball, and use the Tight Ends often. As he moves to Cleveland, his talents are eerily similar to those in Minnesota.

Instead of Diggs and Thielen, Stefanski gets OBJ and Landry. Replacing Cook and Mattison are Chubb and Hunt. At Tight End, Hooper and Njoku take the roles of Rudolph and Smith Jr. Even Baker Mayfield fits the mold of Kirk Cousins before he became a Viking. Everything is in place for Stefanski to take his Minnesota offense to Cleveland.

Of all these coaches, Stefanski may be the most predictable. The offense will run through Chubb and Hunt, but all of his other talents should be able to hold their own. All of this depends on the offensive line giving Baker Mayfield more time. Stefanski managed to protect Kirk in Minnesota, and make him a more conservative passer. I expect him to do the same with Baker, and yes…I LIKE THAT.