'Good chance' Kitchens will be Browns' head coach

'Good chance' Kitchens will be Browns' head coach

Cleveland has been a desert for stability at the head coach and quarterback positions over the last two decades, but with one draft pick in 2018 and one coaching hire in 2019, that all may change.

Baker Mayfield pre-Freddie Kitchens as his OC: 130-of-223 (56.5%), 1,471 yards, 8 TD, 6 INT.

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.

Kitchens and Mayfield formed a strong relationship during their time together, and Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam along with general manager John Dorsey are counting on the pair taking Cleveland to new heights. Austin since has been the defensive coordinator for the University of Florida Gators for one season under Urban Meyer, the Detriot Lions for three years from 2014-2017 under Jim Caldwell, and the Cincinnati Bengals for less than a year this season before being relieved from his duties by Marvin Lewis.

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Kitchens, 44, joined the club before the season as a running backs coach under Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley and was promoted to OC upon their firings on October 29 on Gregg Williams's staff.

Due to their overlapping time in Arizona, connection to Kitchens, and experience in the NFL, Davis, and Austin could be potential suitors for the defensive coordinator job in Cleveland. The offensive line only allowed five sacks under Kitchens, and the Browns average gain per play went up by two yards according to Football Outsiders.

The Browns went 5-3 in the second half of the season and finished with a 7-8-1 record. He then stated it was because, "Coaching Baker Mayfield is not something that appeals to successful head coaches".

The Browns also have blocked other teams from interviewing Kitchens, indicating they want him to stay with the organization.