Report: ‘Increasing belief’ Browns will fire Freddie Kitchens before end of season
Freddie Kitchens has looked like a horrendous head coaching hire for the Browns, but it is rare that an NFL coach would be fired during his first year on the job. If things don’t improve down the stretch in Cleveland, Kitchens may not make it through 16 games.
The Browns have quickly established themselves as a model of wasted potential, and Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report was told by multiple NFL team officials that there is an “increasing belief” Kitchens could be fired before the end of the season. If the Browns decide against an in-season firing, the consensus is that Kitchens will be dismissed after Week 17.
It’s tough to judge a coach after just one year on the job, but Kitchens is clearly in over his head. Oftentimes new coaches struggle because they are dealing with depleted rosters and teams that are in rebuild mode, but the Browns are loaded with talent and simply can’t figure out how to utilize it.
Baker Mayfield thrived under Kitchens last season when Kitchens was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, but there’s a big difference between that job and being a head coach. It’s also noteworthy that he has been calling plays this season, and it doesn’t sound like he plans to give that responsibility up despite the 2-6 record and an offense that ranks 25th in the NFL with 19.0 points per game.
If the Browns decide to wait until the offseason to show Kitchens the door, it would not be the first time they fired a head coach after just one year. Rob Chudzinski was dismissed following his lone 4-12 season in 2013, and he had a lot less to work with than Kitchens. At this point, it would be a shock if Kitchens is asked to return in 2020.