Many have initially scoffed at the NY Giants hiring of Freddie Kitchens, but the veteran coach makes a ton of sense for the role he’ll play.
Experience, experience, experience – it’s what I’ve been preaching about since the day Joe Judge was shockingly hired as the head coach of the NY Giants. Early on, the coaching hires lacked it, but as the staff has filled out it’s now one of the more experienced staffs in football.
Freddie Kitchens only adds to that. Much like the Jason Garrett hiring, many will write off the hire as a poor one due to Kitchens and the Browns’ collapse in 2019. However, when you consider what Kitchens’ role will be relative to his acumen, the hire makes a bunch of sense.
The former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback broke into coaching in the college ranks back in 1999 before moving onto the NFL to take the Dallas Cowboys tight end coach job in 2006. Since that time, he’s coached tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs for multiple years during his 13-year NFL coaching career.
That type of versatility will be valuable for Joe Judge, although Kitchens’ exact role has not yet been defined. Many believe he will end up being announced as the tight ends coach, but I believe he could also add some type of assistant head coach/passing game coordinator title to his role. Either way, he won’t be the head coach or offensive coordinator, so adding him to any type of assistant role is a huge win.
Kitchens’ stock fell dramatically after he was promoted to head coach of the Cleveland Browns this past year and the team stumbled to a 6-10 record despite monster expectations. The upstart coach earned the role after leading Baker Mayfield to the NFL rookie record for passing TD’s in his first year as an offensive coordinator and was considered to be a questionable hire by most.
Judge and Kitchens have a history dating back to their time as young coaches on the Mississippi State staff in 2005, and they reportedly kept in contact ever since.
Kudos to Judge for working that relationship and bringing in yet another multi-faceted, experienced coach to round out the staff.