Freddie Kitchens emerging as favorite for Cleveland Browns head coach?

As the Cleveland Browns continue the search for their next head coach, it appears that a current coach on the staff is emerging as the favorite for the position.

The Cleveland Browns search for their next head coach could be circling back to the team’s facility in Berea and one of their staff members becoming a favorite for the job. That man is offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.

The Browns are reportedly interviewing the 44-year-old for their head coach position either Monday or Tuesday. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Kitchens has a realistic shot at landing the job.

Benjamin Allbright also said on Monday that if the Browns are planning on keeping Kitchens, then they will most likely have to offer him the head coach position.

Although Kitchens has not been named as a head coaching candidate anywhere other than the Browns, he has drawn interest across the league this off-season. Teams are wanting to interview Kitchens for their offensive coordinator positions, but the Browns have blocked all of those requests.

Since Kitchens is still under contract as the Browns offensive coordinator, Cleveland can block coordinator interview requests from other organizations. However, if a team wants to interview Kitchens to become their head coach, the Browns can not block that request, as the job would be a promotion for Kitchens.

The Browns obviously do not want Kitchens to leave the staff, which is why they are blocking other teams from interviewing him. Rapoport reported last week that if Cleveland does not hire Kitchens as head coach, they want to give whoever they hire the opportunity to keep Kitchens on the staff.

However, with all of the interest in Kitchens, the only way the Browns keep the offensive coordinator could be to hire him as the head coach. There may be concerns that the only time Kitchens has called plays in his career was in the eight game stretch with the Browns and if he has the ability to manage an entire staff.

Despite that, Kitchens emerged as an extremely creative offensive mind, and is still young at 44-years-old. Teams are wanting to find coaches just like Kitchens, so it would make sense for the Browns to be intrigued to hire Kitchens as the head coach. He also did phenomenal work with Baker Mayfield, which is the main reason why he is a candidate to become the head coach.

With Bruce Arians the favorite to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Kitchens will have a strong pull to join him Tampa Bay. Kitchens coached under Arians in Arizona, and Arians said he would have kept Kitchens on his staff if he would have become the Browns head coach. So it would make a lot of sense if Arians would want to bring Kitchens with him to the Buccaneers to be his offensive coordinator.

If the Browns do decide to hire someone other than Kitchens as the head coach, Kitchens could potentially ask the Browns to allow him to work with Arians. So if the Browns really want to keep Kitchens, him becoming the head coach seems like it is becoming the main option.

Rapoport saying that Kitchens has a realistic shot to become the Browns head coach as he is set to interview for the position and Allbright saying it is trending towards offering him the head coach position is the only way to keep him on staff makes it seem that Kitchens has become the favorite for the job.

Entering the off-season, it seemed that Kitchens should have been looked at as one of the favorites. With the way everything is starting to trend, Kitchens seems to be emerging as the favorite for the job. His work with Mayfield was obviously important, as the Browns seem to be ready to do whatever they can to keep him in Cleveland and continue to work with the quarterback.