What a year it has been for new Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to head coach within the span of six months. This unexpected rise in stature came in large part to the firing of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the season.
Kitchens has now been coaching at the collegiate and professional level for 20 years. Let’s take a look at his journey:
- Glenville State – Running backs coach and tight ends coach (1999)
- LSU – Graduate Assistant (2000)
- North Texas – Running backs coach (2001-2003)
- Mississippi State – Tight ends coach (2004) and running backs coach (2005)
- Dallas Cowboys – Tight ends coach (2006)
- Arizona Cardinals – Tight ends coach (2007-2012) and quarterbacks coach (2013-2016) and running backs coach (2017)
- Cleveland Browns Associate head coach and running backs coach and offensive coordinator (2018)
With his experience in numerous collegiate and professional organizations, Kitchens has had multiple high profile mentors. The list includes Nick Saban, Bill Parcells, Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians. All four have been viewed as offensive masterminds, so Kitchens should be well equipped for the job.
A Baker in the Kitchen
The Browns are hoping that Kitchens can continue to develop soon-to-be second year quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield had a very promising rookie season, throwing for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
The Oklahoma product showed his true potential after Jackson’s firing at the conclusion of week eight. He threw for 2,254 yards (282 yards per game) and 19 touchdowns, leading the Browns to a 5-3 record.
Kitchens is thrilled about the culture and direction of the organization.
“We’ve got the best support staff I’ve ever seen anywhere I’ve been. When you have a desire to win, and everybody’s willing to check their ego at the door to get it done, then you should be successful, and we’re going to be successful.”
Furthermore, Kitchens has a ton of weapons to work with on both sides of the ball. This includes running back Nick Chubb, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku, defensive end Myles Garrett, defensive back Denzel Ward and safety Jabrill Peppers.
After 16 years without a playoff berth, the Browns finally seem to be headed in the right direction.