A few years ago, the Cleveland Browns hired Freddie Kitchens to be their new head coach, and he looked to improve the team after it had failed to make the playoffs since 2020.
It didn’t quite work out, as he was fired just after the end of the 2019 campaign.
Now, he has moved on and has gotten a new job in the college ranks.
Kitchens will now be the senior football analyst for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
Now we’re cooking 😎 pic.twitter.com/7qmMtvgXr9
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) May 18, 2022
Kitchens Has Had Quite A Journey
Kitchens, 47, is a native son of the South, as he grew up in Gadsden, Al., a rural town in the northern part of the state.
He was a star quarterback as a young man, and he went on to play for the University of Alabama starting in 1993.
His numbers weren’t too impressive during his first two seasons there, but he helped lead the Crimson Tide to the 1995 Citrus Bowl in his first year starting under center.
There, they claimed a clutch 24-17 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Kitchens blossomed in his junior and senior seasons, and as a senior, the Tide won the 1997 Outback Bowl versus the University of Michigan Wolverines.
He ended his college career ranked third in Alabama history in career passing attempts, fourth in career passing yards, and fifth in career completions.
After spending time on the coaching staffs of several NCAA teams, Kitchens matriculated to the NFL when Bill Parcells hired him in 2006 to be his tight ends coach with the Dallas Cowboys.
The zenith of Kitchens’ career may have been his time with the Arizona Cardinals, a team he joined in 2007.
He spent 11 seasons there, and not too long after they hired him, they reached Super Bowl XLIII, where they lost a very tight, down-to-the-wire contest to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the Cardinals, Kitchens wore many hats as a member of their coaching staff.
At various times, he was in charge of their tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs.
Kitchens Was At The Helm During A Tough Season
In 2018, the Browns felt they were starting to build a winner, as they had recently acquired wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
They had also just drafted a promising quarterback named Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the NFL draft.
Kitchens was hired that season to be the Browns’ running backs coach, and after Week 8, head coach Hue Jackson was fired and replaced by Gregg Williams, which resulted in Kitchens being moved up to offensive coordinator.
The new coaching configuration seemed to work, as Cleveland won five of its last eight games.
When it brought in running back Kareem Hunt and star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. for the 2019 season, it looked like it finally had a very competitive team that would make the playoffs.
Kitchens became the head coach of the Browns that season, but they couldn’t put their talent together into a cohesive unit, and they won just six games.
The consensus among the Dawg Pound is that Kitchens simply failed as an NFL head coach.
Browns fans watching Freddie Kitchens coach in the red zone pic.twitter.com/EvQ3UrC4yR
— Jacob Linkous (@JacobLinkous) November 26, 2019
He spent the last two seasons as a member of the New York Giants’ coaching staff, where he was a tight ends coach in 2020 and the senior offensive assistant and interim offensive coordinator this past season.