CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - This won’t be the first time Mike Priefer has put on the headset and served as acting head coach. Five seasons ago he did it with the Vikings, and almost upset the Cowboys. Oh, about that headset ...
“I don’t like wearing ‘em,” Priefer said during a zoom meeting on Thursday. “I think the players were making fun of me, how I was taking them off, putting them on, adjusting them, trying to figure out the most comfortable way to wear em.”
Well, at least this time he had a little notice.
“The first time it happened (in 2016), coach (Mike) Zimmer had emergency eye surgery the day before the game,” Priefer said. “So I didn’t know until after Mass on that Wednesday night ... it was a Thursday night game ... Rick Spielman, our general manager in Minnesota, grabbed me right after that meeting and said ‘Oh, by the way, you’re gonna be the head coach tomorrow night. Do you want to do it?’. I said ‘absolutely’.”
Priefer was the logical choice this time as well, not only because he’s worked with Kevin Stefanski for years, but because he can manage the game, while Alex Van Pelt concentrates on calling the plays.
“Hopefully it’ll be very similar,” Van Pelt said. “We’ve had a lot of success offensively. My hope is that at the end of the game, there’s not too many times he’s yelling at his TV, saying ‘what the heck are you doing?’”
Van Pelt and Baker Mayfield will run the offense.
Priefer will run the show.
“I’m going to try to be an extension of Kevin,” Priefer said. “It’s not about me, it’s not about any one person, it’s about the Cleveland Browns.”