Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal
Phil Masturzo

The Cleveland Browns are switching things up on the offensive side of the ball for 2024. CBS Sports NFL HQ Insider Josina Anderson reports the Browns have fired offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and running backs coach Stump Mitchell, and will not renew the contract of tight ends coach T.C. McCartney. Anderson also reports that some Browns players were upset with these decisions. 

"On to the next one. Proud of my time there," Van Pelt said Tuesday morning, via ESPN.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told his assistants that he wanted to change course, per Anderson. Van Pelt informed some members of the team that he was being fired Tuesday. Cleveland finished with the No. 16 offense in the regular season (335.9 total yards per game), and tied for the No. 10 scoring offense with 23.3 points scored per game. 

Van Pelt spent four seasons as Cleveland's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and made the playoffs in two of those seasons. Mitchell had been with the Browns since 2019, while McCartney was in his second year with the franchise. Both coached Pro Bowlers in Nick Chubb and David Njoku over the last two seasons.

The Browns offense was notably hit with a massive amount of injuries, yet found a way to go 11-6 and make the playoffs. In the 45-14 beatdown suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans last week, Cleveland became the first team since the 1970 merger to play a postseason game without their Week 1 starting quarterback, running back, left tackle and right tackle. A whopping 27% of the Browns' salary cap ended the year on injured reserve, which ranked most among playoff teams.

Cleveland's fourth starting quarterback of the year, Joe Flacco, did go 4-1 and led the NFL in passing yards (1,616) from Weeks 13-17. However, his magic ran out in Super Wild Card Weekend, as Flacco threw for 307 yards, one touchdown and two pick sixes vs. the Texans while the Browns scored zero points in the second half of a 31-point season-ending loss.

It is worth mentioning that the Browns' largest offensive investment in quarterback Deshaun Watson has not panned out just yet. The $230 million man played in just six games for the second straight season with Cleveland due to a shoulder injury, and while his record as a starter improved from 3-3 to 5-1 in 2023, Watson threw just seven touchdowns and four interceptions, and still has yet to cross 300 passing yards in a game where he's wearing a Browns uniform.