No. 2: Freddie in charge
When the Browns fired Hue Jackson eight games into the 2018 season, the speculation began right away about who would be the new shot caller. Plenty of big names with years of experience were tossed out as possibilities with Mike McCarthy and Bruce Arians topping the list of candidates.
McCarthy, a former Super Bowl winner with the Green Bay Packers, was fired in season after a second-consecutive year of missing the playoffs despite having one of the best in the game under center in Aaron Rodgers. As for Arians, he was out of coaching in 2018 as he left the Arizona Cardinals following a disappointing 2017 campaign. There were also health issues for him late in his time with the Cards as well as questions about his commitment to coaching.
Even with their questions, it seemed likely one of these two would get the job. That was until the dark horse made his presence felt. Freddie Kitchens took over the offense after Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired and everything improved on that side of the ball. His ability to maximize the offense led to him being granted an interview and he did enough while talking to general manager John Dorsey to win the job.
Kitchens may lack experience but he brings a new, fresh mindset. He’s all about earning the trust of his players and is surprisingly humble for a guy who had so much success so quickly. That humility, as well as his ability to relate to the players, will be a huge benefit as he makes the transition to his new role — and there’s plenty of reason to be excited about what he can do after the eight-game tease we had last year.