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Stefanski claims Coach of the Year over Ryans via tiebreaker

Michael Owens / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cleveland Browns sideline boss Kevin Stefanski claimed the 2023 Coach of the Year award at the NFL Honors on Thursday.

It's the second time Stefanski takes home the honor in the last four seasons, as he was also named the NFL's best coach in 2020, his first year with the Browns. Bill Belichick and Ron Rivera are the only other active head coaches to win the COY award multiple times. Brian Daboll of the New York Giants was last year's winner.

Stefanski, 41, led the Browns to the playoffs with an 11-6 record despite Cleveland being decimated by injuries in 2023. The team became the first in the Super Bowl era to be in the postseason without its Week 1 starting quarterback, running back, left tackle, and right tackle, according to CBS Sports' Jordan Dajani. At the end of the season, the Browns had 27% of their salary cap on injured reserve, a league high among playoff teams, notes Dajani.

Injuries forced the Browns to start four different QBs throughout the season: Deshaun Watson (six starts), Dorian Thompson-Robinson (three), P.J. Walker (two), and Joe Flacco (five). Cleveland also had Jeff Driskel under center in Week 18 while resting its main players.

Stefanski helped Flacco post one of last year's greatest comeback stories after the franchise signed the former Super Bowl MVP in November. The 39-year-old Flacco, who began the season unsigned, provided the Browns' offense with a spark in the final stretch of the campaign by averaging 323 passing yards per game. Cleveland eventually lost to the Houston Texans in the wild-card round.

DeMeco Ryans of the Texans, Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers were the other finalists for Coach of the Year.

Stefanski and Ryans were tied with 165 points in the race, but the Browns' sideline boss had an extra first-place vote to win via tiebreaker.

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