Cleveland Browns’ Callie Brownson makes NFL history filling in as position coach against Jaguars

George M. Thomas, Akron Beacon Journal
Published 7:18 p.m. ET Nov. 29, 2020


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CLEVELAND — When she stepped on the field at TIAA Bank Field Sunday to coach the Browns tight ends against the Jaguars, Callie Brownson made history as the first interim woman position coach in an NFL game, according to the league’s senior director of diversity and inclusion Sam Rapoport.

Brownson, who is coach Kevin Stefanski’s chief of staff, assumed duties for tight ends coach Drew Petzing, who was absent due to the birth of his first child.

Brownson has played a key role in assisting the team through decisions made due to COVID-19 troubles. In interviews this past week, Stefanski referred to her as a star because of that input. He was more effusive after the Browns’ 27-25 victory.

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“Callie’s a great utility player for us and she can fill in anywhere,” Stefanski said. “She’s involved in the offense and defense and special teams and, you know, what she does behind the scenes. Just with what 2020 has brought to me and this organization is that we need people to be team players, and Callie will do anything.

“She’s folding towels because we’re down a few people in that room, so anything it takes. I’m proud of her and proud of her journey and it’s going to continue here.”

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry agreed.

“She has always been on point since the day that she has walked in this building. She is a true testament for all the women that are making a name for themselves in this league. She stepped up to the challenge today and this whole entire week,” he said. “Coaching the tight ends, meeting with them, being able to get the personnel together today, she was just ahead of schedule and on point as ever.

“She is Callie. She is one of the people that make this building go. We are blessed to have her. The more you can do, right?”

Brownson came to the Browns after completing an internship with the Buffalo Bills in 2019, which turned into a full-time position. She played eight seasons for the D.C. Divas of the Women’s Football Alliance and was a two-time gold medalist with Team USA Women’s Football.


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