CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Browns formally introduced their newest head coach on Monday afternoon, one of the more outside-the-box hires of this cycle: Freddie Kitchens.
The 44-year-old Alabama native had never run an offense at any level before the Browns promoted from running backs coach to coordinator midway through the season, after firing Hue Jackson and Todd Haley.
And now he’s the head coach in Cleveland.
In terms of news, Kitchens said he’ll call plays on offense, though the Browns hired Todd Monken, last with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as offensive coordinator.
Kitchens can also can fill up a notebook with colorful quotes, if Monday is any indication.
Here are some highlights:
- He can’t stand the idea that anyone is happy with the Browns’ record in 2018: “It drives me crazy that people are happy with 7-8-1. It drives me literally crazy and if I was in a different setting, my vocabulary would demonstrate that. But that’s not acceptable. Nobody here wants that. We understand that was an improvement, but under no circumstances is that ever going to be acceptable. We have only one goal here and that’s to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.”
- Our colors or bust: Let’s not fool ourselves: this game is about winning. Everything we do in the organization on the football side of things, and moving forward with the organization, we’re together. If you don’t wear brown and orange, you don’t matter. Alright?
- Because Kitchens doesn’t have the coordinator credentials most other candidates have, there have been questions about his readiness for the job. He wasn’t hearing them. “Was I ready to be a head coach? I don’t know, were you ready to be a parent?,” he said to one media member.
- Related to his relative inexperience, he also said, “It takes guts to do what the Browns did. I appreciate that. I know I’m not a popular choice, and I don’t care. I’m not going to let them down.”
- Kitchens is an Alabama native, and said Saturdays were all about the University of Alabama football, where he went on to play quarterback. But “on Sundays, you had to do something other than go to church or eat too much” and he was drawn to the Browns because of the simplicity of the team’s helmets. “I hope we don’t ever change that,” he said.
- He came up with his own “algebraic equation” too: “In an algebraic equation: if we’re going to have fun, and the fun’s in the winning, we’re going to win. And we’re going to have a damn good time doing it.”