Callie Brownson, Kevin Stefanski's chief of staff, has helped open doors for women coaches in the NFL. (Getty Images)
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Editor's note: Tony Grossi is a Cleveland Browns analyst for TheLandOnDemand.com and 850 ESPN Cleveland.
Takeaways from the last week of Browns OTAs before mandatory minicamp …
In a short time, Callie Brownson has become one of the trailblazers to open doors for women coaching in the NFL. As Kevin Stefanski’s chief of staff, Brownson has accrued increased responsibility in the same entry-level role that spawned Stefanski’s coaching career with the Minnesota Vikings. She substituted in three games last year for Browns position coaches.
Now Brownson is facing disciplinary action by the Browns and NFL after a recent drunken driving charge.
According to reports, Brownson was pulled over on Pearl Road in Brunswick at 12:57 a.m. on May 27 after police clocked her driving 55 mph in a 35 mph speed zone. She was charged with operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), and speeding.
Court records said Brownson’s blood alcohol level was .2150. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.
According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, Brownson entered a no-contest plea on the OVI charge in Brunswick Mayor's Court on Tuesday.
The Browns released the following statement:
“We aware of the incident and are extremely disappointed that a member of our organization put themselves in this situation. We take this matter very seriously and will take the appropriate disciplinary actions.”
Brownson, 31, was named chief of staff by Stefanski after spending 2019 as a coaching intern with the Buffalo Bills. In 2020, Brownson became the first woman to coach a position group in a regular-season NFL game when she subbed for tight ends coach Drew Petzing in Game 11. Brownson also subbed for receivers coach Chad O’Shea in Game 12 and then again for Petzing in the wild-card game against Pittsburgh.
Preseason slate official
The Browns’ revamped three-game preseason schedule was finalized.
* Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 14, at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
This should be the very first appearance of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021, and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, plus the return after a seven-year NFL absence of quarterback-turned-tight end Tim Tebow.
* Game 2, Sunday, Aug. 22, home v. New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Former Browns coach Freddie Kitchens returns to FirstEnergy Stadium as Giants tight ends coach and Odell Beckham Jr.’s former team comes to town. There is a possibility the Browns will host the Giants for joint practices in the days leading up to the game.
* Game 3, Sunday, Aug. 29, at Atlanta, 8 p.m. NBC-TV.
The Julio Jones-less Falcons under new coach Arthur Smith visit in a nationally televised prime-time exhibition finale.
OTA roll call
Most Browns offensive regulars are continuing their boycott of voluntary OTA sessions and working out with quarterback Baker Mayfield in Austin, TX, this week.
Stefanski did have some new players on hand at OTA practices in Berea this week.
Among those identified in photos posted on the Browns official Website were:
Offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, quarterback Case Keenum, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, safety John Johnson, cornerback Troy Hill and linebacker Sione Takitaki.
Last week, 55 Browns out of the total roster of 90 attended the OTA session open to media. Another roll call will be made at Wednesday’s session open to media.
A boycott of voluntary OTA practices was called by Browns center JC Tretter, president of the NFL players union, to protest what Tretter called unnecessary work in the offseason.
Wills, the left tackle entering his second NFL season, is the only starting offensive linemen to attend a Browns OTA practice.