Freddie Kitchens wants to be a head coach, in Cleveland or elsewhere

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Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has looked like a completely different player since coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired, and interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens has received a lot of the credit for that. In fact, it has been reported that no matter who gets the head-coaching job on a permanent basis next year, Kitchens will remain the offensive coordinator.

But if Kitchens is so important to the future of the franchise, why shouldn’t he get the head-coaching job? Asked on Thursday if he wants to be a head coach, Kitchens said he does.

Definitely,’’ he said. “No doubt.”

Kitchens, who has never been a head coach and had never been a coordinator until taking over for the fired Haley, bristled at suggestions that he’s not experienced enough.

“I heard the other day somebody say something about I wasn’t ready to be a head coach,’’ Kitchens said. “I mean, who the hell’s ready to be a head coach?’’

Kitchens said he isn’t lobbying for the head-coaching job, but given the way he has turned Mayfield around, and given the importance of Mayfield’s continued development to the future of the franchise, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and G.M. John Dorsey absolutely need to consider hiring Kitchens as head coach. If the Browns don’t, some other team might.

28 responses to “Freddie Kitchens wants to be a head coach, in Cleveland or elsewhere

  1. he is a slow talking good ole boy from Bama with that twang in his voice. knows his football. he will be a hot coach when the season ends. timing is everything and its his time.

  2. If they win out, bring back Williams and Kitchens. They earned it. Special teams coordinator needs to go.

  3. Just leave Williams at HC and Kitchens at OC for 2019. If you want to move on from Williams after 2019, you know you already have your guy in house.

  4. It takes a totally different set of skills to be a good head coach than those associated with being a good coordinator. Sometimes someone has skills for both, often they do not. Adult team decision makers do not make strong coordinators head coaches just because they are a strong coordinators.

  5. Maybe bring in Arians for a year or 2 and and Kitchens as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator? That way he could learn the ropes and take over when Arians retires again. Similar to New England keeping McDaniels in the wing. Or keep things as they are. I would think a new head coach would want to hire his own staff.

  6. jake6879 says:

    December 21, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Just leave Williams at HC and Kitchens at OC for 2019. If you want to move on from Williams after 2019, you know you already have your guy in house.

    What HC would want to be in that scenario?

  7. I mean you can’t say he isn’t somewhat qualified to be a HC. Guy has been coaching for almost 20 years, 12 of which he has done while in the pros. Think he has a bright future but he really should stick to being an OC for at least 2 more years before any serious attempt at being a HC. See if he can maintain his level of success that he’s had thus far.

  8. I am telling you Haslet is going to figure out a way to ruin this positive situation Cleveland has… I am no fan of the Browns but I find them fun and interesting. I can’t believe I said that but its true. I highly doubt the Kitchens is in line for some HC job somewhere given a hand full of games as OC.That defense has kept them in alot of games and Williams deserves credit for that…
    But knowing Haslet he will do the unthinkable and blow the whole thing up for no reason at all, buy out Jon Grudens 100 million dollar contract to bring him to the Browns, trade Garret, Mayfield, Chubb and others for draft picks and move the team to RENO.

  9. I’m sure if someone gives him the chance he will jump on it. That being said, if he isn’t HC material, it could set him back. John Defillipo was supposed to be the next big HC candidate after being the Eagle’s QB coach, but was shown to be a huge downgrade at OC for the Vikings. He actually didn’t implement anything his previous HC or OC did, he simply did his own thing, and the first game without him the Vikings have their most balanced game of the year, over 200 passing and rushing yards in a blowout. To Kitchen’s credit, at least he is the one calling the plays, but it is a real small sample size against some really bad defenses.

  10. Keep him as an O.C. but pay him like a head coach. This team has championship chemistry for the first time since they returned here to Cleveland. It would be a shame to lose pieces parts now.

  11. Most owners/GM’s would probably like seeing at least another good year as OC from Kitchens before strongly considering him as a HC? Cleveland should want the continuity of Williams and Kitchens next season, too. After that, things would likely sort themselves out.

  12. If Haslam has any brains (jury is still out), he’ll sign Kitchens to the richest OC contract in the league this offseason. With the way Mayfield has developed under his coaching, Kitchens has proven himself to be extremely valuable. The QB coach-QB dynamic is very important and is extremely fragile. Look at Matt Ryan before, during, and after Kyle Shanahan. With KS, he was a superstar. After, he’s just a slightly above average QB. Another great example is Harbaugh and Kaepernick. Kaep was a star with him and was trash after he left. Mayfield has a strong personality and won’t work well with old, rigid coaches. Mayfield and Kitchens really get along and whatever Kitchens is doing is working. Lock him up or watch him walk away and Mayfield regress.

  13. “But if Kitchens is so important to the future of the franchise, why shouldn’t he get the head-coaching job?”

    Substitute “Kitchens” for “Koetter” and you have the exact same headline we had here a few years ago. The Bucs were afraid of losing Koetter so promoted him to HC. That didn’t work out so well around here. There’s much more to being a good HC than being a good coordinator. Not saying this guy doesn’t have that because I know nothing about him however don’t promote him only because your QB is playing better with him as the OC. That was the exact reasoning that landed Koetter his HC job here. You need a guy that will set the right culture.

  14. If I am the Browns, I have no interest in Williams as the permanent head coach if Kitchens is not part of the package as OC.

    I have zero faith in Williams’ ability to bring in an OC that can take Mayfield to the next level is Kitchens leaves.

    Williams is from the old boys network. His idea of a great OC would probably be someone like Jim Mora Jr. or Greg Roman.

  15. He seems a little sensitive about legitimate concerns about his experience. He’s been coaching for a long time but his entire career has been as an assistant, and not even as a coordinator, which is a big leap in responsibility and leadership. Even coordinators have a tough time as head coaches as coordinators from Belichick and Pete Carroll have flopped.

    Experimenting as a head coach from an assistant in the NFL is not a good idea. Perhaps he should try his hand at being the head guy at a lower level first such as college or even the new minor league football teams opening next year.

  16. If Kitchens could put up with Aaron Rodgers gargantuan ego he’d be a good long-term hire for the Packers. Ride out the end of the Erin era while developing their QB of the future (whomever that might be) like he’s done with Mayfield. He already knows the gig as far as coaching outdoors in the cold and snow.

  17. Dorsey is smart enough to get rid of liabilities whether it be coaches or players and retain talent whether it be coaches or players. Sit Williams and Kitchens down at tell them to stay right where they’re at and lets go win the whole thing next season.

  18. As usual, teams jumping the gun on praising of FA and assistant coaches. Pump the brakes. Keep it up Bernie. There are millions of us (Seniors) that have your back. Work to expand Social Security. Thanks for all you do.

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