By: Travis Rodgers | January 14, 2019 1:40 pm ET 4-5 minutes
Freddie Kitchens has been officially named the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Kitchens comes on the heels of a borderline miraculous turnaround after the firing of the previous regime.
Along with General Manager John Dorsey, Kitchens sat down for the introductory press conference and fielded a variety of questions. Kitchens was his usual self as he spoke, peppering in the jokes, while also being humble, and letting everybody know that he meant business. Here are three big takeaways from the conference:
One large question that has been looming was whether or not Kitchens would retain play-calling responsibility going into the season. Then the Browns hired Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator. Monken is known for his air raid offenses. This raised some eyebrows and had many wondering if Kitchens would be more managerial and allow his staff to take control of the offense.
That will not be the case as Kitchens bluntly stated that he would still be calling the play, Monken understood that, and he still wanted to be a part of the team.
Kitchens, who already has an established rapport with franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield, will still be the man calling the shots when the Browns have the ball. This will allow the QB/coach relationship to continue to build and will allow Mayfield the chance to mature as a player with the consistency that many rookies desperately need.
Throughout the conference, Kitchens reiterated that he has been in football for a long time and he has learned that you have to develop strong player-coach relationships to succeed and to create confidence. Throughout the year, we’ve heard players say that their opinions were heard by Kitchens and he implemented schemes that they enjoyed using.
Kitchens made sure to emphasize that he will be open and receptive to his players’ remarks. He also shied away from credit as he told reporters that the offense ran what the players wanted to run rather than what he dictated.
Players on both sides of the ball have echoed praise for Kitchens and his hiring and that bodes well for the locker room. Kitchens expressed the importance of strong relationships, especially when tough conversations would be needed and when criticism had to come out. He will be the third head coach the team has had in less than a year, but he is the unquestioned leader already.
At one point during the presser, Kitchens told a reporter that he doesn’t know everything yet and he will learn as he goes. He also noted that he has built relationships over the years so he has a support system outside of the organization, as well as having one inside of the organization.
Kitchens stated that he had multiple calls with NFL legend and mentor, Bill Parcells and he had spoken with current Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban regarding the new job. Aside from that, he noted that having a support staff with people like John Dorsey and Paul DePodesta allowed him ample resources to tap into.
Kitchens also stressed that there were things he didn’t know yet and he didn’t know everything he would run into, “who’s ready to be a parent?” He would follow up by noting that he is a curious person and he will not be afraid to ask questions.
The Cleveland Browns have their head coach and he has already proven that he is a leader for the offense.
The next step is showing he can lead the entire team. The current task at hand is finishing the coaching staff. Then comes all of the offseason fun of free agency and the NFL Draft. After that, Freddie Kitchens and the 2019-20 Cleveland Browns will be ready to roll.
"Seems they finally have a clear understanding on field operations of who is in charge and where the buck stops. Freddie has total control and final say and the support staff is in complete 100% agreement and understanding. Front office will get the required field talent and Head Coach will be in complete control of field situations that may arise. "