The Cleveland Browns have a new head coach.
The team is tapping offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. Our sports commentator Terry Pluto calls it a remarkable rise, adding that a year ago, most fans probably couldn’t have told you who Kitchens was.
"So he went from just one of many sort of nondescript assistant coaches running around the NFL, there’s about 400 of them, to offensive coordinator at midseason when they fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, to clicking with Baker Mayfield, to at the end of the season being one of seven candidates who interviewed for the head coaching job, to bang getting the head coaching job. It’s one of the fastest rises I’ve ever seen."
That good relationship with the franchise's star quarterback helped the Browns post a 5-3 record in the second half of the season. And, Pluto says, gave the new general manager time to observe.
"He’s also a guy that John Dorsey, the general manager, has seen for a whole year, worked with, and appreciated how he handled all the different, as they called it, internal discord when they fired Hue Jackson and came out of it and brought stability."
Kitchens also fits the profile of the type of head coaches NFL teams are looking for right now.
"I think they wanted a guy they felt was more of a long-term answer here. Right now the NFL is into these young coaches who are brilliant on the offensive end. That’s kind of the idea. Sean McVay with the Rams is one of those, Doug Pederson with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Freddie Kitchens they think kind of fits that category."
That’s Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer and WKSU commentator Terry Pluto. Kitchens replaces interim coach Gregg Williams who finished out the season after Hue Jackson was fired.