It became rather apparent early in his first and only season as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach that Freddie Kitchens was in over his head.
Here’s a guy that had only one season of coordinator experience in 14 years as an assistant in the NFL. It obviously impacted the performance of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who regressed big time as a sophomore under Kitchens.
In speaking about that dynamic, Pro Bowl Browns receiver Jarvis Landry seemed to put Kitchens on blast over his handling of Mayfield this past season.
A lack of communication between a team’s franchise quarterback and head coach is not a great thing. Kitchens apparently did not translate well after moving from offensive coordinator to head coach.
Mayfield’s regression from an historical rookie season added another layer to this.
2018: 63.8 completion, 3,725 yards, 27 TD, 14 INT (93.7 rating)
2019: 59.4 completion, 3,827 yards, 22 TD, 21 INT (78.8 rating)
It seems rather obvious that Cleveland’s decision to move on from Kitchens was in part due to a non-existent relationship with Mayfield. Landry is indicating as much.
Cleveland will now be looking for former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski to get the most out of Mayfield as the team’s head coach.
Meanwhile, Kitchens took a major demotion to become the New York Giants’ new tight ends coach. That seems to suggest he was in way over his head as an NFL head coach.