When the Browns announced the sacking of Hue Jackson not many were overly surprised. He boasted one of the worse records of all time as a long term HC and an apparent feud with his new OC Haley was sweeping the media. However many were surprised with the Browns decision to sack both Jackson and Haley. With Haley gone the Browns were in need of a new play-caller, and in stepped Freddie Kitchens. I’ll put my hand up and say when I first heard this I thought to myself “Who?”. It’s not a name you’d easily forget but one I seemingly haven’t heard or paid much attention to.
I immediately took the internet and pursued his Wikipedia. The joys of technology. Yet when I clicked into it I was left scratching my head. For someone at this level of the sport it is extremely bare. Take a look yourself.
For me it was surprising. The man has been in the league since 2006 as a coach, with stays at Dallas, Cardinals and Browns. Something else of note is at the time of writing this his nickname “The Chef” has been dropped from his Wiki and Google Search results. Shame. I’m sticking with it.
After his college career he first began coaching in D-II, coaching TEs and RBs, before going on to coach the same positions for top tier Colleges, as shown above. His first break in the NFL came in 2006 for the Dallas Cowboys, with the Big Tuna himself, Bill Parcells. He would take the reigns as TE coach working with Jason Witten in Parcells final year at Dallas before moving on to Arizona, with another big name in the business Bruce Arians. After 5 years of coaching at TE he was switched to QB coach where he would work closely with Carson Palmer. For his final year he made the switch to RB coach as the Cards brought in a new QB coach. Similarly to before, Arians would then retire and Kitchens would be looking for a new job.
He was brought into the Cleveland setup this pre-season as the new TE coach, during the coaching change ups. What’s interesting is perhaps his connection with Todd Haley helped get him this position. Haley would have worked closely with Kitchens during the 2006 Cowboys season, when Haley coached WRs. Now this is speculation on my part but it may be a possibility that Haley himself recommended him for the post. How brilliant if true.
Despite the difficulty in finding in depth information about Kitchens he has worked with the likes of Parcells, Arians, Palmer, Witten and co. The resume is impressive. What will be more impressive is the puns with him at the helm, and Baker under center. It’s going to be important that he and Baker are on the same page, but it will be very entertaining and interesting to see how it unfolds. One things for sure, I’m looking forward to what they have Baking in the Kitchen. Wait. Does that work? Made in the Kitchen brought by the Baker? Give me a break, we have plenty of time to think of them.