A new approach and a history helping some of the league’s best quarterbacks were a couple of the reasons coach Kevin Stefanski cited for hiring Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator.
The Browns officially announced the previously reported changes to their coaching staff Monday in a news release. Tommy Rees is the tight ends coach/pass game specialist, Jacques Cesaire will coach the defensive line and Duce Staley the running backs.
Dorsey was the headliner.
“Ken has worked with and elevated some of the top quarterbacks in this league and will bring a fresh approach to our offense,” Stefanski said in the news release. “He knows what it takes to be successful at that position as he was one of the most successful college quarterbacks of all time and that has helped him become a tremendous coach.
“He has a history with this team and knows what the Browns mean to this city. We are very excited to bring in Ken as offensive coordinator.”
Dorsey played for the Browns from 2006-08, going 0-3 as a starter, and has played and coached in the NFL for a combined 16 years. He helped Cam Newton become NFL MVP in 2015 in Carolina, as the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl.
Dorsey spent most of the last five years with the Bills as quarterbacks coach (2019-20), passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach (2021) and coordinator (2022-23). During his first season as coordinator, the Bills finished second in the NFL in total offense (397.6 yards per game) and points per game (28.4).
Quarterback Josh Allen became the first player in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns in a season in 2020. Dorsey was fired in November.
Dorsey played in the NFL for six seasons after going 38-2 as a starter at the University of Miami, leading the Hurricanes to the 2001 national championship.
He replaced Alex Van Pelt, who had been coordinator for four years. Stefanski took away the title after the season, and Van Pelt declined a different role, according to a league source. Van Pelt was hired Thursday by the Patriots to be coordinator.
The announcements were expected to complete the offseason coaching staff movement, but respected offensive line coach Bill Callahan left Thursday night to take the same role with the Titans, who hired his son Brian as head coach. The Browns allowed Callahan to leave and have a vacancy at line coach.
They went 11-6 during the regular season then lost to Houston 45-14 in the wild card round of the playoffs.
Rees spent last season as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, helping the Crimson Tide win the SEC Championship Game and advance to the College Football Playoff. He spent six seasons at Notre Dame (2017-22) as quarterbacks coach and then coordinator. He played quarterback at Notre Dame and finished second in school history in touchdowns passes (61) and third in passing yards (7,351).
“Tommy has established himself as one of the top assistant coaches in college football and I have no doubt that will transition to the NFL,” Stefanski said. “He has an incredible football acumen and I look forward to bringing his insight and unique perspective from top college programs to our offense.”
Rees replaces tight ends coach T.C. McCartney, who wasn’t retained after his contract expired.
Cesaire (pronounced SEE-zair) played defensive end in the NFL for nine years. He was defensive line coach the last two years with the Texans.
“Jacques brings energy and a proven track record as both a player and coach in this league,” Stefanski said. “He has made his impact felt in every place he has been, and we know he will come in and work to increase an already high standard for our defensive line.”
Ben Bloom coached the defensive line in 2023 and is expected to remain on staff in a different role.
Staley played running back in the NFL for 10 years and has been a coach for 15.
“Duce was a tough, hard-nosed running back in this league and brings the mind-set and energy to his coaching style that is needed in the running backs room,” Stefanski said. “He knows how to get the most out of his players and has worked with some of the best running backs in the NFL. We are excited to have him leading our running backs.”
Staley takes over for Stump Mitchell, who was fired after five years with the team.