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Kevin Stefanski, Andrew Berry vow to deliver alignment Browns seek

Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Football

Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry became acquaintances about 10 years ago when former Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier introduced the future leaders of the Browns to each other outside the Battle House hotel in Mobile, Alabama, during Senior Bowl week.

Then they became close last year after Berry backed Stefanski's first bid to become the head coach of the Browns, who hired Freddie Kitchens instead.

Now Stefanski and Berry are partners atop Cleveland's NFL franchise.

The Browns hired Stefanski as their coach on Jan. 12 after Kitchens flopped in his lone season at the helm. Then they brought Berry back by hiring him as their GM on Jan. 27 after he spent a year working for the Philadelphia Eagles on the heels of a three-year stint in the Browns' front office.

The importance of how Stefanski and Berry work together cannot be overstated as it relates to the new regime's chances for success.

"One of the major attractions to returning to Cleveland for me is the opportunity to partner with Kevin Stefanski," Berry said Wednesday during his introductory news conference. "Kevin and I got to know each other during last year's coaching search and maintained a genuine friendship from that point in time.

 

"Outside of Kevin's wife, Michelle, there is no bigger believer and supporter of Kevin than me. Kevin and I have a shared vision regarding football philosophy, culture and servant leadership that we think will lead toward success, and that forms the core basis for my excitement for what I know will be a deeper partnership over the next several years."

Berry has final say on the 53-man roster, and Stefanski will be involved in personnel decisions.

It's easy to see what else they have in common.

Stefanski, 37, and Berry, 32, are young and have young children. Stefanski and Michelle have three kids, Juliet, Gabe and Will. Berry and his wife, Brittan, have two sons, Zion and Kairo.

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