The Cleveland Browns are still looking for a head coach and have scheduled a second interview with Kevin Stefanski, according to sources. They went 5-3 down the stretch under interim head coach Gregg Williams.
The Browns have had 10 different head coaches since the franchise reentered the National Football League in 1999, and two have been interim head coaches.
As the team's success grew, Kitchens never campaigned to be Cleveland's coach but leading a team was always a goal.
Kitchens will get the chance.
That fear of losing Kitchens to another team clearly played a role in Dorsey's decision to make hire him for the job, however it may have driven away the franchise's top candidate as well.
Kitchens becomes the Browns' ninth permanent coach since 2000.
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Kitchens was promoted from Cleveland's running backs coach to offensive coordinator - his first time holding a coordinator position - in Week 9 of the regular season, and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield thrived after the change.
He revamped the offensive scheme, using multiple formations and tweaking the game plan to include calls that he knew his players were comfortable running. The 29-year-old does, however, only have two years of coaching experience, 2017 as a graduate assistant with San Diego State University, and this season with the Browns.
"Definitely. No doubt", he said.
"I can tell you Mike McCarthy wanted the job, and the Browns wanted him but he did not want to keep Freddie Kitchens as OC", he reports. I am humbled to have worked for such a storied franchise and will always love the city of Cleveland, this city deserves a victor!
Kitchens and Mayfield also formed a close bond, something none of the other candidates could claim when they sat in front of Dorsey and Haslam.