1. Baker Mayfield endorsed it
OK, fine. But Freddie Kitchens reportedly received a “resounding endorsement” from the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Remember way back when Hue Jackson was fired? “With Baker Mayfield in mind,” was a popular buzz phrase used when talking about who might be hired for the coaching job.
It looks like that philosophy held true in the end because Kitchens was absolutely hired with Mayfield in mind.
Just look around the league. Cleveland couldn’t do what the Titans have done to Marcus Mariota and what the Bucs have done to James Winston, switching coaches and overturning staff every year.
By promoting Kitchens, the Browns have continuity in their offensive system, and it can’t be overstated how much better Mayfield started playing after Kitchens was promoted to offensive coordinator.
Mayfield only took five sacks in the final eight weeks with Kitchens calling the plays. It’s an astounding improvement, considering the rookie had been taken times 20 times on the season.
Mayfield was sacked 20 times during the year, a concerning number specially since he took over the job in Week 3.
Nineteen of his 27 touchdowns were thrown with Kitchens as offensive coordinator. He completed 58.3 of his passes B.K. (Before Kitchens) and 68.4 after the assistant’s promotion.