Freddie Kitchens showed how he orders his priorities when he chose to pay respects at the funeral of Darryl Drake on Saturday.
Kitchens, who is in his first year as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, attended Drake’s funeral even though the Browns had a preseason game later in the day against the Colts.
Drake, who was in his second season as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receivers coach, died on Sunday at the age of 62. His funeral was held in Tennessee.
Though the Browns had a game in Indianapolis, NFL Media’s Stacey Dales reported that Kitchens still went to the funeral.
Kitchens and Drake were on the Arizona Cardinals’ coaching staff together from 2013-2017.
Kitchens was one of many football figures reported to be in attendance for the funeral. Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was excused from practice to speak at the funeral. Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith reportedly attended, as did Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens is not going to stand by while his assistant coaches anonymously leak information to the media.
On Monday, Kitchens promised to root out any leaks from within the organization, saying the days of anonymous information are “over” — and anyone on his staff caught leaking it will be fired.
Kitchens is certainly putting his stamp on the organization. He has to, as expectations are high for the first time in quite a while.
The Browns have been a comical organization in the past, and part of that has come from internal leaks, which can make the organization look bad and like they don’t have things under control. That may be why Kitchens is so determined to root them out. He’s not the only one who is weary of leaks.
Gerald McCoy visited Cleveland last week and left town without a contract agreement, but Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens remains confident in the team’s chances of signing the star defensive tackle.
Kitchens was asked by reporters on Thursday if he is optimistic the Browns can sign McCoy, to which he simply replied, “I am.” He also said his meeting with McCoy last Thursday and Friday “went as good as it could.”
“I like the kid,” Kitchens said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I like the person, of course I like the player, but more importantly just getting know the kid and I really like him.”
There has been no shortage of interest in McCoy since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released him, and he visited with the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers after stopping in Cleveland. Kitchens said the Browns welcome him weighing all of his options.
“We want Gerald to go out and look at other places because when he makes the commitment here, we want him to be all in because everybody that’s going to be here is gonna be all in and that’s what we need to get to where we’re going,” Kitchens said.
It should be a good sign for the Browns that McCoy took his first visit with them, and reports have made it seem like they are the front-runners to sign him. Cleveland has certainly become a more appealing destination for free agents with all the big acquisitions they have made this offseason, and it would not be a surprise if McCoy wanted to be a part of what they are building.
Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens showed solidarity toward running back Kareem Hunt by attending his baptism over the weekend, and Kitchens figures it was to his confusion.
The Browns coach offered up a funny quote about what he assumes Hunt’s reaction would have been — one of befuddlement.
Clearly, it was meant as a surprise. It’s also another sign of the Browns’ commitment to Hunt. The team has given him a second chance after his suspension and release from Kansas City, and the team’s braintrust are clearly willing to publicly show that they’re with him — even unexpectedly so.
The Cleveland Browns have quickly gone from the laughing stock of the NFL to a team that many believe is ready to make a deep playoff run, and new head coach Freddie Kitchens took a moment over the weekend to remind everyone that talk is cheap.
Star defensive lineman Myles Garrett recently made headlines by criticizing Gregg Williams, who was Cleveland’s interim coach last year, for only allowing him to use two pass-rush moves and holding him back. When a reporter asked Kitchens about that on Saturday, he called Williams a “good football coach” and urged people to stop focusing on last season.
“Last year is last year. No two teams are the same. You’re not gonna pick up where you left off, and we’re not interested in revisiting last year,” Kitchens said, via a video from Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. “We were 7-8-1. We didn’t do s— last year. We didn’t win anything. We were third in the division. I don’t know where all this is coming from.”
Kitchens added that winning a championship is obviously the Browns’ goal, but he cautioned against looking too far down the road.
“Just because the Super Bowl is our goal, doesn’t mean that’s what we’re at,” he said. “We’re a team just like the other 31 teams, and we’re focused on training camp, minicamp, and getting better when those guys get back in the building.”
The Browns made some huge additions to their roster this offseason, most notably Odell Beckham Jr. They are also expecting a big sophomore leap from Baker Mayfield after he had a productive rookie season, and even Las Vegas oddsmakers seem to like their chances of having their best season in a very long time. All that said, you can understand why Kitchens doesn’t want the AFC favorite talk getting out of hand. Like every other team, the Browns have a long way to go. Having your ego inflated in April and May typically is not a recipe for long-term success.
The Cleveland Browns have decided to hire from within for their next head coach, as they are reportedly promoting former offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the Browns are expected to name Kitchens their new head coach on Wednesday.
Cleveland’s offense took off under Kitchens once Hue Jackson was fired, so it makes sense that the Browns are giving him a shot at the head coaching job. In eight games under Kitchens, Baker Mayfield threw 19 touchdown passes, 8 interceptions, and was sacked just five times, compared to 8/6/20 in the first eight games. His completion percentage also improved by more than 10 points under Kitchens.
While the Browns had been linked to bigger names in their head coaching search, going with Kitchens seems like a smart choice. Mayfield is obviously the future of their franchise, and he seemed to thrive under Kitchens. The Browns likely viewed that as the biggest factor in giving him the job.
The Cleveland Browns may have their next head coach nearly decided.
According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Freddie Kitchens has a “good chance” of being named the Browns’ next head coach. She says signs are pointing to that outcomes.
The Browns fired Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley after a 2-5-1 start. Gregg Williams was promoted to interim head coach, while Kitchens was bumped to offensive coordinator. Under the new leadership, the Browns went 5-3 to finish the season, while the offense and Baker Mayfield took off.
In eight games under Kitchens, Mayfield threw 19 touchdown passes, 8 interceptions, and was sacked just five times, compared to 8/6/20 in the first eight games. His completion percentage improved by over 10 points under Kitchens as well.
Since beginning their coaching search, the browns interviewed Williams, Jim Caldwell, Dan Campbell, Brian Flores, Matt Eberflus, Kevin Stefanski and Kitchens. As of Tuesday, they were said to be down to Stefanski and Kitchens as their finalists, and they had put their interest in Mike McCarthy “on hold.”
Kitchens’ playcalling was creative, and he seemed to get the most out of the offense. Keeping him around seems like a smart move by Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns are denying teams permission to interview offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens, which is a strong sign they want to retain, if not promote, him.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said that the Browns are turning down other teams because they want to give the next head coach a chance to hire him.
Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot says the Browns are interviewing Kitchens for their head coaching job and may be seriously giving consideration to hiring him for that position.
Kitchens was promoted to offensive coordinator when Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. The offense exploded in the final eight games, with rookie No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield showing what he could do. Kitchens, 44, is a former Alabama quarterback who has coached at the pro level since 2006.