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Drew Petzing named Cleveland Browns’ new tight ends coach

Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has hired Drew Petzing to be the new tight ends coach after spending six years together with the Minnesota Vikings.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski continues to surround himself with a mix of veteran and up-and-coming coaches while building his inaugural staff, and he added another of the latter on Monday.

The Browns announced Monday afternoon that Drew Petzing has been hired as the tight ends coach, bringing him back to Cleveland, where he started his National Football League career as a football operations intern during the 2013 season.

“I think he’s one of the smartest coaches I’ve been around,” Stefanski said in the release announcing the hire. “I say that because he coached defense in college, he’s moved to the offensive side of the ball, been in the running backs room, the wide receivers room, the quarterbacks room.

“I think that type of breadth of experience is really important as you’re developing as a young coach. I think anybody who has been around him sees somebody that has a great knowledge of the game.”

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Petzing rejoins the Browns after a seven-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings, where he worked alongside Stefanski for several seasons.

After his one year in Cleveland, Petzing joined Minnesota’s coaching staff, first as an assistant wide receivers/quarterbacks coach (2014-2018). During the 2019 season, Petzing was Minnesota’s wide receivers coach.

“(Stefanski) had been in a lot of those similar roles,” Petzing said in the release. “He was great in terms of taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes, showing me what was good, what was bad, but also, giving me the freedom to do things my way.

“He wasn’t overly demanding in terms of ‘You’ve got to do it the way that I did it.’ It was, ‘Hey, here’s what needs to get done. I trust you to do your job and take it the way you see fit,’ which was kind of unique I think.”

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A Massachusetts native and graduate of Middlebury College, Petzing started his coaching career as a volunteer student assistant at his alma mater before joining Harvard University’s staff as a volunteer assistant in 2009.

Then, Petzing served as a graduate assistant at Boston College from 2010-2011. Before joining the Browns’ staff, Petzing was Yale University’s outside linebackers coach during the 2012 season.

Petzing very much is looking forward to rejoining the Browns’ staff and doing what he can to lead the tight ends to a more productive season in 2020.

The Browns’ tight ends, David Njoku, Demetrius Harris, Ricky Seals-Jones, Stephen Carlson and Pharaoh Brown, combined to catch 41 passes for 497 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2019 season.

“Being here in 2013, seeing how the organization works, seeing how passionate the fanbase is, that type of stuff makes it easy to make a decision like this,” Petzing said. “On top of that, having a great relationship with Kevin, really believing in him and his process and what he’s about, I think those two things, among other things, were really deciding factors for me.”

Stefanski added, “I know what it’s like to move to different positions. I know how important that is and how valuable that is. Sometimes, we get stuck in a rut and we say, ‘I’m only going to coach this position.’ I think the versatility he’s shown wearing a couple different hats will only help him as he becomes a better coach.”

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