Mayfield/Kitchens Relationship Played Role In Hire

Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfield helped Cleveland win five of its last seven games this season

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 11, 2019 - 9:32 am

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The Cleveland Browns promoted Freddie Kitchens from offensive coordinator to head coach Wednesday, a decision that Baker Mayfield had to love.

That’s because Mayfield played a role in the Browns’ head-coaching search.

“It was reported that Baker was FaceTimed or video-conferenced into the interviews for a period of time – obviously not for the entire duration, but he was brought in,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan Browns reporter Daryl Ruiter said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Now, that doesn’t mean that he had input as to who got selected. There’s a difference there. Everyone assumes if you do a video conference, ‘Oh, well the quarterback is helping to make decisions.’ No, you’re just allowing him to kind of get to know the candidates and have some questions and kind of pick their brain and vice versa, (to) allow the candidate to pick the brain of Baker Mayfield.

“So he was involved,” Ruiter continued, “but I don’t think it was to a significant pint to where they hired Freddie Kitchens because of Baker Mayfield, even though the relationship that those two seemed to forge (was strong). I do think that that relationship between them did play some sort of role in the final decision to hire Kitchens.”

Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick last year, completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as a rookie and led the Browns to victory in five of their final seven games.

Cleveland went 4-44 from 2015-17.