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Browns Rumors: Management Wants Freddie Kitchens as HC 'For a Long Time'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens answers questions after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won 27-19. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns reportedly are sticking with head coach Freddie Kitchens.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the team's front office and management "continues to stand with Kitchens and wants him to continue to have the success necessary to remain in that position for a long time."

Rapoport added that "barring a horrific collapse or circumstance to end the season, it appears the Browns will be moving forward with Kitchens."

The Browns have had a disappointing 2019 season, starting the year 2-6 before winning four of their last five to move to 6-7 overall. That has left them with a slim chance to reach the postseason, though they are currently two games back of the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) for the final wild card berth in the AFC.

The team had high hopes coming into 2019 after Baker Mayfield impressed during his rookie season and the team made several major offseason acquisitions, landing players like Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson and Kareem Hunt. 

Plus, the Browns impressed during the second half of last season after Hue Jackson was fired and Gregg Williams took over as interim head coach, going 5-3. That led to Kitchens—the team's first-year offensive coordinator in 2018—becoming a candidate, and eventually the choice, for head coach. 

His first season on the job hasn't exactly gone as planned, however, with the Browns underachieving given their talent on both sides of the ball. Mayfield in particular has been a major disappointment, throwing for 3,109 yards, 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while completing just 59.2 percent of his passes. 

It's been a major regression from Mayfield, who threw for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 games a year ago. Kitchens was hired, in part, to help develop his young quarterback. Thus far, that process has not gone smoothly. 

But as Rapoport noted, the Browns have considered that Kitchens "is a first-year coach who understands he's not a finished product. They knew that when they hired him."

And it sounds as though they'll be sticking with him beyond the 2019 season.