Ready Freddie: Browns make Kitchens new head coach

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens talks to quarterback Baker Mayfield during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, in Cleveland. A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their coach. Kitchens, who had a dazzling eight-week run as the team’s interim offensive coordinator, is finalizing his contract and will be named Cleveland’s ninth coach since 1999, said the person who spoke Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the imminent hire. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
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CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Browns have officially named Freddie Kitchens their coach after his strong, eight-game stint as offensive coordinator.
Kitchens started the season coaching Cleveland's running backs. He agreed to a contract on Wednesday and signed it Saturday to become the team's 17th full-time coach.
The affable 44-year-old became interim coordinator on Oct. 29 after coach Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired. Kitchens transformed Cleveland's offense while developing quarterback Baker Mayfield, who threw 19 of his NFL rookie record 27 touchdown passes in the season's second half.
Kitchens rose from nearly unknown to fan favorite after helping the Browns win five of their last eight games and finish 7-8-1 following a 0-16 season. He's Cleveland's ninth coach since 1999 and fourth hired since 2012 by owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam.
Kitchens was picked over six other candidates, including interim coach Gregg Williams, who is not returning as defensive coordinator.
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