With news on Wednesday that offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens has been named the Cleveland Browns’ head coach, we’re now forced to look back at the team’s process leading up to the hiring.
A longtime assistant in NFL circles, Kitchens was more than deserving of this opportunity. The Browns’ running backs coach to start last season, he replaced Todd Haley as their offensive coordinator eight games into the campaign.
Cleveland ultimately posted a 5-3 record with him in that role — Kitchens overseeing vast improvement from rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in the process.
Interestingly enough, it now looks like Kitchens was not the Browns’ first choice. According to this report, Cleveland wanted to hire former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. It came with the stipulation that McCarthy retain Kitchens as the offensive coordinator. McCarthy declined.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) January 9, 2019
That’s a whole lot of interesting right there. It’s also not the greatest way for Kitchens to start his career as the Browns’ head coach. He wasn’t Cleveland’s first choice. Consider the optics here for a second.
As it is, Kitchens will now be tasked with mentoring Mayfield and a talented young Browns team. For his part, McCarthy remains a free agent with opportunities drying up at a rapid pace.