After relieving Gregg Williams of his duties as defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns are in the market for a new defensive leader, which will be key in helping Freddie Kitchens.
With the decision to name Freddie Kitchens as the 17th full-time head coach in the franchise’s history, the Cleveland Browns will be searching for a new defensive coordinator.
The organization decided to move on from Gregg Williams, who was the defensive coordinator while also serving as the team’s interim head coach.
It was a move that made a lot of sense, as having Williams coach under Kitchens after Williams being the head coach just a season prior would be an extremely awkward way to build a staff.
Also, the Browns defense was one of the worst defenses in the league in 2018, ranking 30th in the league in total defense. It was a smart move to try and improve the defense, but it leads to another important search for the Browns.
Kitchens is an experienced coach in the NFL, with 2019 being his 14th season coaching in the league. However, he has little experience leading an entire unit, let alone an entire team. He has also spent his entire career as an offensive coach.
If the Browns want to help Kitchens adjust to being the head coach, it would be smart to hire an experienced defensive coordinator so he does not have to focus so much on that side of the ball.
For example, look at what the Los Angeles Rams did when they hired Sean McVay as head coach. A younger offensive-minded coach, the Rams paired McVay with veteran, defensive-minded Wade Phillips. Phillips, a former head coach, has made the Rams defense one of the best in the league while McVay can make still make his impact on the offensive side of the ball as he continues to grow in his role as a head coach.
It is not a necessity, but it would be really smart to hire a defensive coordinator that is a former head coach. That way, the defensive coordinator can give advice to Kitchens if he has an issue. So here’s a look at three former head coaches that Kitchens should target to become the next defensive coordinator.