Freddie Kitchens is entering his first year as an NFL head coach after last year’s half-season as Browns offensive coordinator under interim coach Gregg Williams. Kitchens attempted to put his stamp on the staff in the offseason, by letting go or not retaining all but one offensive assistant hired by previous coach Hue Jackson.
That clearly bothered a few of the coaches let go, including former offensive line coach Bob Wylie, who went on the radio to air some grievances this weekend.
“Baker (Mayfield) likes Freddie,’’ Wylie said on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. “There’s a good relationship there even though (former Browns QB coach) Kenny Zampese did all the coaching there. Baker likes Freddie, so that had to (factor) into the decision.
“(But) Freddie didn’t have any coordinator experience or head coaching experience.”
Wylie indicated that the Browns offensive assistants that got fired after Kitchens got the job felt he left them out in the cold after they helped him go 5-3 the second half of the season and produce one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.
“(It was like) ‘thank you guys, you guys did a great job. Thanks for helping me get the interview, okay? but I’m going to take this job and you guys are going to become collateral damage, that’s what will happen,”’ Wylie said.
There was more, but that’s about the gist of it. Obviously at this stage of training camp, a story like this is more appealing to local media than writing about 7-on-7 drills, so Kitchens was asked about it after practice on Monday. As to Wylie specifically, Kitchens was a bit coy, but the real fun part was when Kitchens took the opportunity to warn everyone in the organization that serving as an anonymous source would be grounds for termination:
“The days of inside information and the days of unnamed sources and stuff like that have ended,” Kitchens said. “So you’re not going to get any information like that ever — anybody. And if I ever see it, they’re fired — immediately. That’s the way we’re running this organization. And I can take it. [General Manager] John Dorsey can take it. We won’t crack. I promise you.”
So, there you have it! Kitchens has solved the leak issue by noting that anyone doing it would be fired. Of course, the reason anonymous sources exist is because the people doing the leaking know they’d be fired if they attached their names, so issuing this kind of warning is fairly comical. And considering the prevalence of anonymous sources is such that Kitchens is preemptively angry about them, the system seems to be working just fine.
It’s nice to see that even when the Browns show some semblance of competence on the field, they still retain some of their dysfunctional essence in other ways.