Cleveland Browns: Bullet dodged with Mike McCarthy

Report: Kitchens, Stefanski finalists for Browns job

Report: Kitchens, Stefanski finalists for Browns job

As first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the Browns have hired Freddie Kitchens, the man who started the season as the team's running backs coach and ended it as a highly-regarded offensive coordinator, to replace Gregg Williams. He took over the Browns offense when coordinator Todd Haley was sacked an hour after coach Hue Jackson's dismissal on October 29 and Kitchens quickly showed he had coaching chops.

The most interesting name is Ryan Lindley, who not only is connected to Kitchens through this Browns job, but he was also a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals from 2012-2014 while Kitchens was on staff.

That fear of losing Kitchens to another team clearly played a role in Dorsey's decision to make hire him for the job, however it may have driven away the franchise's top candidate as well. Ken Whisenhunt was the head coach for most of the years that Kitchens was in Arizona, and he would be considered for the job, except that he is now running a pretty successful offense in Los Angeles for the Chargers. With the news of Kitchens being named the next head coach of the Browns, Stefanski a free agent for just one day, elected to return to the Vikings as their offensive coordinator, according to ESPN. While building game plans, he empowered his players by asking them what plays they were most comfortable running.

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Fields was waiting to decide to transfer to Ohio State because Dwayne Haskins didn't officially announce he was going to the NFL . Tate Martell , another five-star recruit , was likely to inherit the reins if Haskins opts to go pro.

As the team's success grew, Kitchens never campaigned to be Cleveland's coach but leading a team was always a goal.

The Browns finished the season with a 7-8-1 record.

"Definitely. No doubt", he said. I mean, who the hell's ready to be a head coach? "I love the town of Cleveland". Kitchens was a condition of employment for Browns candidates, or at least McCarthy, and they may have dodged a bullet. "Cleveland and I get along well".

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