The Cleveland Browns have hired Freddie Kitchens as their new head coach.
An Easy Bake Decision
Kitchens was promoted after serving as the Browns offensive coordinator for the final 8 games of the 2018 season. In that span the Browns offense, according to the advanced stat metric DVAO, transformed from 29th in the league to second, only behind Kansas City.
Furthermore, Browns’ rookie QB Baker Mayfield went from just OK, struggling rookie QB to arguably posting the best rookie campaign for a QB in NFL history. If you don’t think so, take a gander at these statistics.
Add up all those TDs and Baker’s total of 27 set a new record for most touchdown passes thrown in a rookie season, surpassing Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck’s total of 26.
However, it wasn’t simply a numbers game for the Browns. Their decision to hire Kitchens had just as much to do with Bakers improvement on the field as with Baker’s and Kitchens off the field relationship, too.
The two never shied away from their on and off field bromance. Just take a look at the beginning and end of this clip from the Browns most recent walloping of the Cincinnati Bengals.
That idiot, as Baker jokingly called Kitchens, has served his time in the NFL, and his latest promotion is not without merit, even if he doesn’t come into the position with the —usually— preferred resume.
Kitchens’ Recipe for Success
“Who the hell’s ready to be a head coach?” These were the prophetic words Kitchens used to retort a reporters questions about his possible candidacy for the Browns head coaching gig back during the regular season.
Kitchens was right. Predicting the success of an NFL coach is difficult. Bill Belichick was fired for peat sake — by the Browns no less, but the point remains! Kitchens is not some upstart offensive guru who landed the job because he once breathe the same air as Sean McVay did, sorry not sorry Arizona Cardinals.
Kitchens has earned a shot to be am NFL head coach.
He got his NFL coaching initiation under the tutelage of Bill Parcels in Dallas as tight ends coach back in 2006. He then became the Arizona Cardinals tight end coach from 2007-2012. Afterwards, he was promoted to quarterbacks and running back coach under Bruce Arians. He was brought to the Browns by Todd Haley as their new running back and assistant head coach. He was then promoted to offensive coordinator, as previously mentioned, ignited one of the leagues most dangerous offenses the final half of last season.
Furthermore, Kitchens is a players coach. If you listen to this short documentary from NFL Films on Kitchens back during his Arizona tenure you’ll understand his special ability to connect with his players.
Let is Bake for at least a Year
The expectations were already high in Cleveland for 2019. Now with Kitchens returning, the Browns offense should have a good semblance of continuity heading into next season, only further shining the spotlight on Kitchens and his revolutionary offense to produce results immediately.
Will he be able to continue his offense ingenuity while worrying about challenges, timeouts, game management, and now, managing the defensive side of the ball as well.
Time will tell, but for once the Browns have hope and an optimistic future. Here is hoping Kitchens is the final cook needed to stir the Browns pot.