Moreover, Kitchens' story gave him a strength many first-time head coaches may not have.
While many fans were surprised that Williams was passed over given the Browns' resurgence to end the season, others viewed the Kitchens hiring as a smart move - as another National Football League team may have offered him a head coaching job had the Browns not promoted him.
The Cleveland Browns have identified in-house candidate Freddie Kitchens and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as finalists for their head coaching job, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The interim offensive coordinator took a deadbeat Browns offense and brought it back to life and helped rookie Baker Mayfield on his way to setting the rookie record for touchdown passes in a season; an excellent hire and what we hope will be just the beginning of an extraordinary tandem for years to come. Once it became clear that Riley wasn't leaving the Sooners, promoting their offensive coordinator must have seemed like the best option.
The Cleveland Browns may have their next head coach almost decided.
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Under Kitchens, who took over after the firing of former coordinator Todd Haley, Cleveland was reinvigorated. Perhaps more importantly, Kitchens oversaw the successful rookie season of quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Browns even asked Stefanski who he would include on his coaching staff, should he get the job, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Cleveland Browns have parted ways with interim head coach Gregg Williams, our P.J. Ziegler confirmed on Wednesday. He also had a big hand in turning the running back role over to Nick Chubb who finished the season tenth in total rushing yards despite only starting nine games for the team.
Kitchens himself was a quarterback at Alabama in the early-to-mid 1990s, and at the time of his departure he ranked fourth in the school's history in in passing yards.