The New York Giants continue their pattern of hiring former head coaches to their new coaching staff headed by a first-year head coach in Joe Judge. After much speculation, the G-Men officially announced the hiring of former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens to their coaching staff. Kitchens marks the fourth former head coach to be added to Big Blue’s staff since Judge’s arrival.
Freddie Kitchens Hired as Giants Tight Ends Coach
Freddie Kitchens to the Giants is a move that has reportedly been in the works for several weeks. However, on Monday, they finally made it official.
Kitchens, like the majority of recent Giants hires, has a history of working alongside New York’s head coach Joe Judge. In Kitchens’ case, he served as Mississippi State’s tight ends coach in 2004 while Judge was finishing out his final season on the Bulldogs’ roster. In 2005, Judge started his coaching career working as a graduate assistant, while Kitchens shifted gears from tight ends to running backs coach. In New York, Kitchens will return to his roots, as the Giants have named him their tight ends coach.
We are all well aware of the turmoil that ensued in the first and only season of Kitchens’ tenure as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. By all accounts, 2019 was chalked up as a disappointment for the Browns and the beloved Dawg Pound. Kitchens seemed in over his head, as the team finished the year with their 12th consecutive losing season.
However, don’t let Kitchens’ lone season as a head coach waiver your opinion on a man who has a prominent and successful coaching resume to his name. For starters, we all know why Kitchens was handed the job in Cleveland in the first place. It was due to the elevated play he was able to get out of Baker Mayfield in the quarterback’s rookie year following Kitchens being named offensive coordinator during a mid-season coaching change. The numbers provided by ESPN’s Field Yates speak for themselves.
While Mayfield’s statistical influx with Kitchens in 2018 was staggering, to say the least, it may not even be his most impressive coaching feat in the NFL. Prior to landing a gig with Cleveland, Kitchens served as the Arizona Cardinals‘ quarterback coach from 2013 through 2016. During that stint, he helped rejuvenate Carson Palmer’s career, one that previously seemed to be in its closing stages by most accounts. Under Kitchens, Palmer once again took the league by storm, most notably in 2015 when he tossed a career-high 35 passing touchdowns.
Kitchens will now man the role of tight ends coach in New York, a gig that he’s had at three other stops along the way, once in Arizona prior to being named quarterbacks coach, once in Dallas, and of course at Mississippi State where it all started.
Joe Judge Leans Heavily on Experience
Now with Kitchens on board, the Giants will have four coaches on their staff that have served as a head coach either at the NFL level or at an SEC collegiate program. Giving Joe Judge more than enough experience for him to lean on during his first crack at being a head coach of a football team. Kitchens joins a Giants staff consisting of former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett (offensive coordinator), former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema (outside linebackers coach), and Derek Dooley, former head coach of the Tennessee Vols (role not announced).