Freddie Kitchens not planning offensive overhaul as Browns new OC

Duke Johnson Jr., Nick Chubb excited to see Kitchens get chance to call plays

Daryl Ruiter
November 01, 2018 - 4:07 pm
Freddie Kitchens Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan


Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Don’t expect to witness a massive offensive overhaul Sunday when the Browns host the Chiefs under new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.

Kitchens isn’t changing the system installed by Todd Haley, which he learned under Bruce Arians in Arizona mostly because there’s just no time.

“We’re not changing systems,” Kitchens said. “Nothing’s going to change from that standpoint. What I hope we do and are able to accomplish is we are able to execute better. Do the things the way we’re supposed to do them, how we’re supposed to do them, and when we’re supposed to do them.”

Under Arians, Kitchens was the Cardinals' tight ends coach from 2007-2012, quarterbacks coach from 2013-16 and running backs coach in 2017. 

New interim head coach Gregg Williams downplayed the significance of Kitchens calling plays for the first time.

“Calling plays is not that hard,” Williams said. “Executing plays is hard.”

Kitchens didn't disagree. He thinks too much stock gets placed on the difference a coaching staff makes on game days, especially when it comes to play calling.  

“Calling plays, they could make a play caller look great if they execute,” Kitchens said. “I fully expect them to make me look great. It is not the other way around. I do not know where we get this preconceived notion that it is the other way around.

“The players play the game. Coaches coach. Coaches coach during the course of the week to get them better and to prepare them for what is going to show up on Sunday. Then, it is time for them to go play the game.”

Kitchens got to call plays for the fourth preseason game at Detroit that saw the Browns score on drives of 80, 59 and 69 yards on Baker Mayfield’s first three possessions. It was a first for him and quality entertainment for running back Duke Johnson Jr.

“Duke probably got a kick out of it because I put him in charge of substitutions because he did not play that game,” Kitchens said. “Duke likes to think that he is a coach sometimes. Those guys are good in that room. The running backs are a good group of guys. We have good guys here on this team that want to work hard and want to compete every day.

“We as coaches, have to continue to want to put them in the right situations and continue to build their growth, execution and understanding of what we are trying to get done.”

After weeks of criticism over the use of the running backs – mostly Johnson – it is widely assumed Kitchens will lean on his backs, who are excited for Kitchens’ new role, this week.

“He’s a very good dude, and a very good guy,” Johnson said. “We appreciate him in the running back room. We’re going to fight for him. We’re going to do everything we can to help his offense come alive.”

“He’s going to do a great job,” rookie running back Nick Chubb said. “He’s going to call the right plays, it’s on us to execute it.”

How much impact will Kitchens be able to make offensively in less than one week on the job as offensive coordinator?

“You got a ticket to the game?” receiver Jarvis Landry said. “You’ll see. We’ll see. Then you’ll see.”

The 3 most important things we learned from Kitchens’ first presser Thursday:

1. Arians owes him money from golfing and he plans to collect this weekend when Arians calls Sunday’s game for CBS.

2. When asked what he learned from Arians in his time working under him in Arizona he replied, “um, how to make a cocktail.”

3. Unlike his new boss, Kitchens put rumors of being in demand to bed. “One other thing, I thought this was going to come up, but it didn’t come up and I want to address it, alright: I have not been offered any head coaching jobs, alright.”