Freddie Kitchens

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Source: Browns to name Freddie Kitchens head coach

Kitchens becomes 9th full-time head coach in expansion era

January 9, 2019
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Daryl Ruiter-Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns will name Freddie Kitchens head coach Wednesday a league source confirmed to 92.3 The Fan.

ESPN's Chris Mortenson was first to report the hire.

The 44-year old Kitchens becomes the ninth full-time head coach in the expansion era, ad the fourth hires since the Haslams purchased the team in 2012.

The Browns declined multiple requests from teams to interview Kitchens, who is under contract for 2019, for offensive coordinator openings so they can either hire him as the new head coach or allow the new coach the opportunity to retain him.

Kitchens replaced Todd Haley as offensive coordinator on Oct. 29 after Haley and head coach Hue Jackson were fired leading to a dramatic turnaround in the second half of the season that saw the team finish 5-3 over the final 8 games.

Under Haley, Mayfield was 1-4 as a starter while completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 1,471 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He was sacked 20 times. Over the final 8 games under Kitchens Mayfield went 5-3 and completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 2,254 yards with 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while being sacked just 5 times.

Cleveland averaged more yards and 3 more points per game with Kitchens calling plays, but critics argue that it was because the Browns faced some of the worst defenses in the league and they did not beat a single team with a winning record down the stretch.

Kitchens has worked with some distinguished names over the years starting as a grad assistant under Nick Saban at LSU in 2000, a tight ends coach for the Cowboys under Bill Parcells in 2006, and he spent 11 years in Arizona where he worked for Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians.

Cleveland interviewed 7 candidates for the job before hiring Kitchens.

Interim head coach Gregg Williams was the first to interview on Jan. 1 followed by former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell on Jan. 2, Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski Jan. 3, Saints assistant head coach and tight ends coach Dan Campbell on Jan. 4, Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores on Jan. 5 and Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on Sunday.