A current South Carolina offensive analyst and former NFL head coach, Freddie Kitchens, was named by the Tuscaloosa News’ Nick Kelly as a potential Alabama football offensive coordinator candidate. Nick Saban is looking for a new play-caller because Bill O’Brien took the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job on January 23.
Kelly frames Kitchens’ multi-league candidacy — he has experience working for three SEC programs and four NFL franchises — well in his entry for the former Cleveland Browns head coach. “He’s a former UA quarterback who won Mr. Football while at Etowah High School in 1992, but Kitchens’ qualifications stem past his Alabama roots,” he wrote. “Kitchens has NFL coordinator experience for the Browns as well as the Giants in 2021 when he stepped in on an interim basis after (Jason) Garrett was fired.”
Kitchens has coached at South Carolina, Mississippi State, and LSU, where he was a graduate assistant under Saban. Perhaps it’s time the former Crimson Tide quarterback and Gadsden native makes his way home working for his old boss.
Nick Saban on Freddie Kitchens’ Coaching Future
Freddie Kitchens already has a key endorsement in the Alabama football program: Crimson Tide head coach and one-man brain trust Nick Saban. Saban said back on May 2, 2019, that Kitchens has the chops to succeed as a coach during an NFL Network appearance.
“I think Freddie has got a tremendous sort of psychological disposition of what it takes to be successful as a coach,” Saban said. “He knows how important it is to be knowledgeable, because that knowledge is what helps you create good relationships and trust with your players. He’s been around some great people. Bill Parcells. Some really, really good people he’s learned from. He’s got great common sense. He’s very bright. Very intelligent. He understands human behavior extremely well.”
Saban was commenting on Kitchens’ upcoming Browns stint, but even though Cleveland went just 6-10 in Kitchens’ lone season in the head coach role, those words point to someone Saban would trust coaching for his alma mater.
Shane Beamer on Freddie Kitchens’ Role at South Carolina
Freddie Kitchens would be leaving a role at South Carolina that includes being more than just a play-caller on the offensive end. Shane Beamer indicated back on May 19, 2022, at the Wednesday at the York County Welcome Home tour stop that he was bringing more to the table than just being an offensive coordinator (h/t On3).
“He’s called plays in the NFL, but also, defensively as well, understanding defenses and things like that,” Beamer said. “So I think there’s a lot of areas he can help us and as we get closer to the season — we’ll really, we’ve already talked about some things that we see him doing this fall — but as we get closer to the season, we’ll continue to really hammer down what he’s going to be doing exactly.”
Having experience with NFL stars is something Beamer noted — and something that could help the Alabama football staff navigate coaching recruits with massive NIL deals. “He’s been around some high-profile players from Odell Beckham Jr. to Baker Mayfield to Saquan Barkley, he’s been around some really good players and strong personalities,” Beamer said. “And I think that experience would be good with our guys as well.”