Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens may be looking at his second promotion in less than three months, according to a report Tuesday by Cleveland.com, which says Kitchens has "a good chance" of being named head coach of the Browns.
The 44-year-old Kitchens, who had a dazzling eight-week run as the team's interim offensive coordinator, is finalizing a contract to become Cleveland's ninth coach since the franchise's 1999 rebirth, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Before Kitchens took over the offense, the Browns ranked 29 in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted passing metrics. Kitchens was a condition of employment for Browns candidates, or at least McCarthy, and they may have dodged a bullet.
Kitchens was the last candidate to interview for the head coaching vacancy, which came Monday, January 7.
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Some names to consider that are now on the Browns offensive staff that could appear as the offensive coordinator include senior offensive assistant Al Saunders, wide receivers coach Adam Henry, and running backs coach Ryan Lindley; it has been announced that quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese will not return under Kitchens, eliminating him from the conversation. Kitchens began the year as a running backs coach for the Browns, and has been coaching in the National Football League as an assistant since 2006. The job has been open since late October, when Kitchens was first made play-caller and the Browns were limping along. Not bad for a guy who had never been an offensive coordinator at any level of football before he took over for Haley.
New York, though, could be focused on Baylor head coach Matt Rhule. One name that could return is special teams coordinator Amos Jones, who spent time with Kitchens in Arizona on the Cardinals.