We are now in a new style of the NFL, where coordinators from other teams or within an organization can become head coaches. Most of the coordinators who are getting hired are offensive coordinators from other teams. There are a few exceptions to this new age of coaching, Vic Fangio getting hired as the Broncos head coach, the former Bears defensive coordinator, and Kliff Kingsbury getting hired as the Arizona Cardinals head coach, he was the head coach for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Cleveland Browns had narrowed down their search to two people, Kevin Stefanski, the interim offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and Freddie Kitchens the interim offensive coordinator for the Browns.
Ultimately, the Browns chose to stay within the organization and tabbed Freddie Kitchens as the new head coach for the team. So, since the Browns chose Kitchens to be the head coach, Kevin Stefanski became the offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings. Back to Kitchens, though. After the Kansas City game, Kitchens seemed to manipulate the offense in such a way that was both exciting and effective. One of the biggest reasons for this was trading Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars and allowing Nick Chubb, rookie running back from Georgia, to be the primary back. We saw the immediate impact he had in the surprising win against the Atlanta Falcons when Chubb pulled off a 92-yard run for a touchdown. Chubb was also a huge factor in the Saturday night game a mile high against the
You also saw the innovation that Kitchens presents in the last home game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals when Jarvis Landry threw a deep pass to Breshad Perriman. But his innovation doesn’t just stop there because Kitchens designed plays that really fit Baker Mayfield’s skillset as a quarterback and the results speak for themselves; this was a successful season for the Browns. Nobody, including myself, expected the Browns to sniff seven wins, let alone a possible playoff berth. But that’s exactly what happened and a big reason for that is because the offensive coordinator, now the head coach, designed the offense to fit Mayfield and utilize the running game. The Browns used the running game to set up the passing game and in the AFC North, that’s the type of football you need to play against Pittsburgh and Baltimore and maybe Cincinnati.
However, there is a trade-off with hiring Freddie Kitchens as the head coach, which is that Gregg Williams got relieved of his duties and will not be coming back to the team. I’m not too sure I like the fact that Williams is now gone. The reason for this is because, under Gregg Williams, the defense played outstanding this season. Yes, there were a couple hiccups along the way, but overall, the defense played really well. So, I’m concerned about the Browns defense and what it’s going to look like this season. I am also curious, will Kitchens hire another offensive coordinator or will he handle the offensive play calling?
There is something else that I am curious about, which is that with Gregg Williams as the interim head coach, the Browns seemed to play with a different swagger, but is that because of something Gregg Williams was doing or is it that Hue Jackson was no longer the coach? So, I support the decision to name Freddie Kitchens as the head coach, but I’m not sure it was the right move to move on from Gregg Williams.