Should Freddie Kitchens be able to guide the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs, he could end up taking home the NFL Coach of the Year award
If I were in charge of setting the odds, the Cleveland Browns new head coach Freddie Kitchens would be my odds-on favorite to win the AP NFL Coach of the Year (COY) award this season.
Here’s how I’d stack ‘em up:
Lukas’ AP Coach of the Year Odds and Predictions
- Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns, +800
- Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts, +900
- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, +1300
- Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams, +1300
- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints, +1300
And here’s how I see it:
The COY award, handed out by the Associated Press (AP) at the end of every regular NFL season, is voted on by sportswriters and given to the head coach who they feel led his team to the best season given the quality of the roster that he had to work with.
Enter my front-runner, Freddie.
Granted, Kitchens’ paper roster looks terrific at this point (Dorsey be praised), but it’s certainly Kitchens’ overall situation that makes him my current favorite for this prestigious award.
Especially compared to my next four best candidates, who together share all the experience and/or success in the world.
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What makes Kitchens such an ideal COY candidate is the fact that many of the so-called football experts question whether a first time head coach will be able to control, let alone lead to victory, such a talented and headstrong roster, one that includes at least two outspoken (and occasionally incorrigible) leaders in Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.
But if Kitchens, a rookie head coach with a second-year quarterback and brand new offensive and defensive coordinators, can somehow manage to take the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs after having gone winless in 2017 and posting a 7-8-1 record last season, he will absolutely be a COY frontrunner.
And if he takes his rebounding Browns miraculously deep into the postseason or even to (gasp) the Big Game itself, Kitchens will be a definite lock for the COY honor.
Not to mention the model for many a Cleveland statue and the recipient of many a Cleveland cold one.
Lot of big IF’s there – they’re almost as abundant as the talent on Kitchens’ 2019 roster.
Which puts Freddie in a bit of a personally winless situation.
If (when!) the Browns do well in his first season as head coach, the haters will say that it’s not because he’s a great coach, but because he had such a talented roster to work with.
But, if the Browns come up short in 2019 (Dorsey forbid!), then the blame will be placed squarely on Kitchens’ shoulders for being a lousy coach who couldn’t make it work with all those playmakers finally on board.
Could be a lose/lose situation for some men.
But given the way Freddie has handled the various moments of offseason drama with the media, I’m guessing he could care less about a) what anyone says about him, because he’s truthful, and b) who gets the credit, as long as the Browns win.
Freddie Kitchens is in a position to turn the NFL upside-down with a team that nobody (except their die-hard fans – woof woof) has cared about since the early nineties.
The 2019 Cleveland Browns’ roster is finally built to do just that.
And my current prediction is that Freddie the new kid is actually going to make it all happen.
Wish I was in charge of setting the odds, Browns fans.