Freddie Kitchens spent one miserable season as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns last year, and he now has an opportunity to play a huge role when his new team faces his former team on Sunday.
The New York Giants announced on Thursday that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has tested positive for COVID-19. Kitchens, who is the team’s tight ends coach, will now call plays against the Browns on Sunday night, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Kitchens enjoyed success as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator. His work in developing Baker Mayfield was the main reason he was promoted to head coach, but the gig was a disaster for him. The Browns went 6-10 last season and Kitchens was fired.
As if the Kitchens narrative wasn’t rich enough, former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy could also get the start against his former team if Daniel Jones is once again unable to play.
The Browns are coming off a heartbreaking 47-42 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. It will be interesting to see how they respond, but facing Kitchens may give Mayfield some added motivation.
Freddie Kitchens has a new job, but it’s a pretty big step down from his old one.
According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Kitchens is expected to join the New York Giants as the team’s new tight ends coach.
Kitchens has been a tight ends coach before, having served in the role with the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 and with the Arizona Cardinals from 2007 to 2012.
This was an expected move, but it shows how Kitchens is valued in NFL coaching circles. He’s an accomplished position coach who was completely in over his head in Cleveland last season as the head of the staff, going 6-10 amid high expectations. It’s unlikely he gets another chance at that, and he may have to be satisfied as a position coach in the NFL unless someone gives him another chance as a coordinator down the line.
Joe Judge is filling out his coaching staff with the New York Giants, and he is adding some familiar names, including Freddie Kitchens.
AL.com’s Matt Zenitz reported on Tuesday that Kitchens is expected to be part of Judge’s staff on the Giants.
Kitchens was fired after going 6-10 in his lone season as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The step up to head coach was a massive leap for Kitchens, who had only been a position coach in the NFL until 2017 and was only promoted to offensive coordinator after Todd Haley and Hue Jackson were fired in 2018. He was overmatched as head coach but may be back to a more comfortable assistant-type role now (Jason Garrett will be their offensive coordinator).
In addition to Kitchens, the Giants are hiring Jody Wright.
Bret Bielema is another coach who will be on Judge’s staff, as that news was also reported on Tuesday.
Garrett will be the Giants’ offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham their defensive coordinator. Other roles on the staff are unclear.
You might not have heard too much about the New York Giants’ new head coach, Joe Judge, who was hired on Tuesday, but one thing we can already tell you about him is that he’s a good storyteller.
ABC6 in Providence’s Ian Steele interviewed Judge at last year’s Super Bowl for a piece on the strangest task coaches were ever asked to do. Judge, who was the New England Patriots’ special teams coordinator at the time, shared a funny story about the time he helped build a swing set for Freddie Kitchens’ daughters during a bye week. The story took place in 2005 at Mississippi State when Kitchens was the Bulldogs’ running backs coach and Judge was a graduate assistant.
At least Kitchens hooked them up with some compensation for having them spend their bye week that way. And as if putting the swing set together wasn’t hard enough already, they later had to move it? Yeesh. At least you know Judge is willing to go to great lengths to be a team player.
The 38-year-old heads to the Giants after coaching with the Patriots from 2012-2019 and Alabama before that. Can he coach? We will find out. At least he seems likable so far, and it wouldn’t take much to have a better head coaching career than Kitchens.
Freddie Kitchens will be one-and-done as Cleveland’s head coach.
Kitchens was fired by the Browns on Sunday, the team announced and ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen first reported.
The news is slightly surprising considering as of a few weeks ago, a report said the Browns were planning to keep Kitchens. However, the Browns lost three in a row to end the season and finish 6-10, which changed the minds of the front office. As of Week 17, a report said the front office had begun making calls about a potential replacement for the first-year head coach.
The Browns may have been the biggest disappointment of the NFL season. They entered with playoff expectations, and even talk about being possible Super Bowl contenders. However, they never came close to backing up that kind of talk. They got smashed in their first game, lost four in a row during a difficult part of their schedule, and then finished on a 3-game losing streak, including a defeat to the lowly 2-14 Bengals.
Guys like Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry failed to endorse Kitchens, which suggested they did not believe in him. Kitchens seemed overmatched throughout the season. Whether it was poor game-planning, in-game decisions, or managing personalities, he was a failure across the board as a head coach. He had a disconnect with his offensive coordinator and even stoked the rivalry with the Steelers through a poor decision.
The Browns need to bring in someone experienced to help maximize their talent.
Freddie Kitchens offered a quote after Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that should outrage all Cleveland Browns fans.
Kitchens said after the game that he didn’t think anyone viewed him as a “finished product” as a head coach. The quote came in the context of his job security.
The Browns finished the season 6-10, and this was after they were viewed as playoff contenders entering the year. For Kitchens to justify that by throwing up his hands and saying “what do you want from me, I’m still new at this”, is pathetic. He has coached poorly at every turn. The Browns disappointed in every single regard. There was regression across the board; Odell Beckham Jr. was completely underutilized; and the Browns fell short in every way possible. Kitchens was not just a poor coach in terms of game plans and in-game coaching strategy, but he also did a poor job managing his players. He failed in every way. And then he says “hey, I’m still learning here.” The Browns aren’t in experimental mode; they’re trying to win. They need an established coach in there who knows what he’s doing, not someone who is overmatched.
Cleveland has had a bad habit of ditching coaches too early, but they can’t get rid of Kitchens soon enough, especially with guys like Ron Rivera and Mike McCarthy out there. Even Kitchens’ players aren’t exactly endorsing him. What are they waiting for?
The Cleveland Browns ended a disappointing season in fitting fashion with a loss to the worst team in the NFL on Sunday, and their star players seem indifferent about whether or not head coach Freddie Kitchens should keep his job.
Following Cleveland’s 33-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Jarvis Landry had a very simple response when asked if Kitchens should return as head coach of the Browns in 2020.
Baker Mayfield was asked the same question after last week’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and his thoughts on the topic were almost exactly the same. While it is obvious that the decision to retain or fire Kitchens does not rest with the players, they have been given numerous opportunities to support their coach and opted against it.
The Browns have reportedly been reaching out to potential replacements for Kitchens, and Sunday’s performance did him no favors.
The Cleveland Browns have yet to publicly commit to bringing back head coach Freddie Kitchens in 2020, and apparently they are privately exploring the possibility of finding a replacement for him.
The Browns have been doing their “due diligence” by making calls to potential head coaching candidates, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.
A report from two weeks ago claimed the Browns believe in Kitchens and want him to remain their head coach “barring a horrific collapse,” so it will be interesting to see what their definition of a “horrific collapse” is. Cleveland has lost its last two games, and there have been moments where it appeared like Kitchens was getting into it with his players on the sideline.
The Browns have been arguably the most disappointing team in the NFL this season, and Kitchens has been in over his head the entire year. He may be better suited for an offensive coordinator position, which is what he held in Cleveland last year prior to being promoted.
One of the biggest reasons the Browns hired Kitchens as their head coach was that he appeared to play a big role in developing Baker Mayfield over the second half of the 2018 season. However, even Mayfield recently hinted that he would not be crushed if Kitchens ended up being one-and-done in Cleveland.
If Kitchens does return in 2020, his leash will be incredibly short.
Baker Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens appeared to have a great relationship over the second half of the season in 2018, and that is one of the main reasons the Cleveland Browns promoted Kitchens to head coach. But as a disappointing season for the team winds down, Mayfield is not exactly campaigning for the team to keep Kitchens around.
Following Sunday’s 31-15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Mayfield said there is “no one single thing to blame” for Cleveland falling well short of expectations. He was then given an opportunity to vouch for Kitchens when asked if changes to the coaching staff would be a setback with what the Browns are trying to accomplish.
“That’s not my decision to make, so whatever happens, happens moving forward,” Mayfield said, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. “I know how I am going to handle it, getting whatever receiving corps and tight ends we have together in the offseason and making sure we are on the same page so we hit the ground running in the spring to where there is no room to be made up come training camp.”
Mayfield said he is looking forward to seeing what the Browns put together in the offseason, but at no point did he openly say he wants Kitchens to remain the team’s head coach. He certainly had an opportunity to do that.
While he is right that a coaching change would not be his decision, Mayfield’s success with Kitchens as offensive coordinator last season was a big factor in why Kitchens got the head coaching job. If Browns executives sit down with Mayfield and the quarterback tells them he feels another coach could work better, that may tip the scale for Kitchens one way or the other.
If the exchange Kitchens had with Jarvis Landry on the sideline Sunday is any indication, players are frustrated with the coach. Kitchens and Odell Beckham Jr. exchanged words in similar fashion on Sunday, though they claim they were not arguing. Whatever the case, Kitchens has appeared to be in over his head all season. It would be a surprise if many Browns players would be sad to see him go.
Another week, another downplayed confrontation on the Cleveland Browns’ sideline.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham and coach Freddie Kitchens both downplayed Sunday’s showdown on the sideline. Since it happened right after a failed two-point conversion, there was speculation that it had to do with Beckham not getting the ball there, but both attributed it to the wide receiver venting frustration over other on-field matters.
“We were just talking,” Beckham said, via Ben Axelrod of WKYC. “The refs making calls. Basically, they were warning me that if I had one more personal foul, then I would be out of the game, which I thought was pretty stupid. I got a personal foul for a celebration I’ve done all year. It’s not like a player was in front of me or anybody was. It was very unintentional. It is what it is.”
Kitchens offered a similar, but slightly different explanation.
“I think it was something dealing with one of their guys. It wasn’t the [2-point conversion] call,” Kitchens said. “I don’t think it was a big deal. There was some frustration on how they were treating him.”
The video doesn’t really dispute anything Kitchens and Beckham are saying, so it may well be that they’re telling the truth. It’s bound to create speculation, however, especially since this is the second week in a row something like it has happened.