Former Browns offensive line coach and 2018 star of Hard Knocks Bob Wylie has been making the media rounds of late, and he recently questioned the team’s decision to elevate Freddie Kitchens and to move on from Gregg Williams.
“That shocked me because Gregg Williams turned the team around,” Wylie told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “In the second half of the season, that’s his work that got it to where it is. My own personal feeling is Gregg was too strong a candidate for the seat. I don’t think [G.M. John] Dorsey wanted to go head-to-head with Gregg like he had to do with Andy Reid in Kansas City, so he kind of filtered Gregg out of the picture and he kept the search going.”
That’s an intriguing take from a guy who was on the inside. From the outside, and given Williams’ history, it could be said that Williams was simply too much of a loose cannon to be entrusted with his own team again, especially given the bounty scandal from 2012 — and plenty of evidence that Williams used bounties at other stops in his coaching career.
Wylie had a separate reason for questioning the decision to go with Kitchens, beyond arguing that Williams would have been a better choice.
“Baker [Mayfield] likes Freddie,” Wylie said. “There’s a good relationship there even though [former Browns quarterbacks coach] Kenny Zampese did all the coaching there. Baker likes Freddie, so that had to [factor] into the decision.”
A year ago at this time, Kitchens simply wouldn’t have made any watch lists for coaching gigs in 2019. Regardless, he’s now got the job in Cleveland, and we’ll soon find out what he does with it.