Freddie Kitchens didn’t live up to the hype in his lone season as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Kitchens led the team to a 6-10 record in 2019, and he was fired after just one year in charge.
The former Browns head coach has since moved on to the New York Giants as the tight ends coach. When the Giants face off against the Browns this Sunday night, Kitchens will have a chance to exact revenge on the team that fired him. And what does he have to thank for this opportunity? None other than COVID-19.
Freddie Kitchens had an underwhelming season in Cleveland
Heading into the 2019 NFL season, the Browns were surprisingly pegged as one of the most exciting teams to look out for. Baker Mayfield was steadily improving, Myles Garrett was making his mark as one of the most dominant defensive players in the league, and the team added Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason.
Cleveland also promoted Freddie Kitchens to take over head coaching duties. Kitchens was a widely beloved figure in the Browns’ locker room, and the franchise believed he was the answer to Cleveland’s longtime struggles.
But the season didn’t pan out exactly how ownership expected. Kitchens led the Browns to an underwhelming 6-10 record in 2019. He might’ve been a popular coach in the locker room, but his on-field performance left much to be desired.
Cleveland had high expectations for the team under Kitchens, so the front office wasn’t impressed by his first year.
The Browns fired Kitchens after one year
For the Browns, 6-10 isn’t even a bad record compared to the previous two decades. Just two seasons before Kitchens took over as head coach, Cleveland went 0-16. The year before that? 1-15.
A 6-10 record could’ve been seen as a mild improvement, but team owner Jimmy Haslam didn’t see it that way. Haslam sent Kitchens to the curb after just one season in charge. Kitchens eventually got a job with the Giants as the tight ends coach, and this Sunday he faces off against his former team for the first time since getting fired.
Freddie Kitchens can get revenge over the Browns thanks to COVID-19
The Giants will face off against the Browns this Sunday night in the Meadowlands. Kitchens is undoubtedly foaming at the mouth to stick it to his former team this weekend, but he couldn’t really do much to sway the game as the tight ends coach.
But Kitchens has just received a surprising promotion thanks to COVID-19. Jason Garrett, the Giants’ offensive coordinator and play-caller, will miss Sunday night’s game after testing positive for the virus. The team announced Thursday that Kitchens will step in to call plays in Garrett’s absence.
Expect an aggressive game plan from Kitchens against the team that cost him a head coaching job just last year.