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Browns fire Mike Priefer

The Browns fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods right after the end of the season, but they took some more time before deciding to make a change at the top of their special teams coaching staff.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports that the Browns fired special teams coordinator Mike Priefer on Tuesday. The move comes about a month after there were reports that Priefer’s job in Cleveland was safe.

It’s not clear what might have changed over the last few weeks, but the Browns are now in the market for a new coordinator.

Priefer joined the Browns as a member of Freddie Kitchens’ staff in 2019 and he remained onboard through the transition to Kevin Stefanski the next year. He served as the acting head coach in a 2020 playoff win and a 2021 regular season game because Stefanski was absent after testing positive for COVID.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m. ET: The Browns officially announced Priefer’s departure.

“I appreciate everything Prief has done for this team in his three seasons as my special teams coordinator, but I have decided to move in another direction in the best interest of our organization,” Stefanski said in a statement. “I know this city will forever be grateful for the job he did as acting head coach in our AFC Wild Card win and for all his contributions while leading the Browns special team’s units for the last four seasons. We wish Prief the best with his next opportunity.”