After his first year as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, Freddie Kitchens has been hired as the new head coach. After the midseason firing of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, the Browns made a surprising move. They promoted first-year quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens to offensive coordinator. Kitchens had been a quarterbacks coach and a tight ends coach for different NFL teams but had never been an offensive coordinator or assistant head coach.
Kitchens is a former Alabama quarterback who played from 1993 to 1997 and passed for 30 touchdowns in his three years as a starter. After graduating from Alabama, Kitchens got into coaching and got his first NFL job in 2006 with the Dallas Cowboys as the tight ends coach. Here he would work with Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten before moving on to the Arizona Cardinals as the tight ends coach for the 2007 season.
The Cleveland Browns have not been considered a football powerhouse recently. The franchise has a history of bad drafting, hiring the wrong type of coaches and bad quarterback play. In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Browns took Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick to become the quarterback of the future. The year started bleakly for the Browns with Mayfield being inserted into the starting lineup prematurely. Despite the talent on the team, the Browns struggled and the season appeared to be heading in the wrong direction.
When Kitchens took over the helms as offensive coordinator the Browns the team put up a 5-3-1 record with notable wins over the Falcons, Bengals, and Panthers. He helped mold Baker Mayfield into one of the top rookie quarterbacks in the NFL and into a Pro Bowler along with Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry.