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The 5 things you need to know about new Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens

Posted: 2:19 PM, Jan 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-09 16:28:17-05
Alabama V Tennessee

CLEVELAND — By now Freddie Kitchens is a familiar name to Browns fans because of how well the team and Baker Mayfield played when he took over the offense. What's not as well-known is pretty much anything else about the Browns' new head coach, who started the season in relative obscurity as an assistant under Hue Jackson.

RELATED: Cleveland Browns hire Freddie Kitchens as head coach

Here are 5 things you should know about the new Browns coach:

1. He made the Browns better
Under Kitchens, the Browns offense improved greatly. His play-calling energized Mayfield, who finished with a rookie record 27 touchdown passes, with 19 of those coming when Kitchens was calling the plays. The Browns surrendered just five sacks during the second half of the season compared to 33 in the first half, which is the lowest of any team in the league.

2. He was a star quarterback
Kitchens was a star quarterback in high school, winning Alabama's "Mr. Football" his senior season. He then went on to quarterback the Alabama Crimson Tide.

26 Oct 1996: Quarterback Freddie Kitchenes #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scans the defense for an open receiver as he drops back to pass during a play in the Crimson Tide's 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers at Nyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee
26 Oct 1996: Quarterback Freddie Kitchenes #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scans the defense for an open receiver as he drops back to pass during a play in the Crimson Tide's 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers at Nyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee

One of his biggest highlights came in the 1996 Iron Bowl when he threw a game-winning touchdown pass against rival Auburn.

3. He got a second chance at life
In 2013, Kitchens talked about how he underwent emergency heart surgery to repair a defective aorta after experiencing dizziness and light-headed feelings. “I always felt like I lived life every day like it could be your last, but what an incident like that makes you realize and thankful for are the friends that you have,” Kitchens told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram in November.

4. He's a quarterback whisperer
Kitchens worked closely with Carson Palmer in Arizona, serving as a tight ends and quarterbacks coach. While working in Arizona, Palmer set team records for passing yards (4,671) and touchdown passes (35) in a season.

5. He has always wanted to be a coach
Kitchens revealed last month that his goal has always been to become an NFL head coach. And he likes Cleveland, to boot. “I like it here a lot, and everybody around here knows that I like it here,” Kitchens told Ohio.com . “I love the town of Cleveland. Cleveland and I get along well.”

And that's not all.

NFL Films produced a short feature on Kitchens last year, when he was with the Cardinals, calling him "The most selfless man in the NFL." You can watch it here.

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BROWNS SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · Thu 08/08 · Browns 30, Redskins 10 (1-0)

WEEK 2 · Sat 08/17 · Browns 21, Colts 18 (2-0)

WEEK 3 · Fri 08/23 · Buccaneers 13, Browns 12 (2-1)

WEEK 4 · Thu 08/29 · Browns 20, Lions 16 (3-1)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 09/08 · Titans 43, Browns 13 (0-1)

WEEK 2 · Mon 09/16 · Browns 23, Jets 3 (1-1)

WEEK 3 · Sun 09/22 · Rams 20, Browns 13 (1-2)

WEEK 4 · Sun 09/29 · Browns 40, Ravens 25 (2-2)

WEEK 5 · Mon 10/07 · 49ers 31, Browns 3 (2-3)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/13 · Seahawks 32, Browns 28 (2-4)

WEEK 7 Bye

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/27 · Patriots 27, Browns 13 (2-5)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/03 · Broncos 24, Browns 19 (2-6)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/10 · Browns 19, Bills 16 (3-6)

WEEK 11 · Thu 11/14 · Browns 21, Steelers 7 (4-6)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/24 · Browns 41, Dolphins 24 (5-6)

WEEK 13 · Sun 12/01 · Steelers 20, Browns 13 (5-7)

WEEK 14 · Sun 12/08 · Browns 27, Bengals 19 (6-7)

WEEK 15 · Sun 12/15 · 4:05 PM EST at Arizona Cardinals (CBS)

WEEK 16 · Sun 12/22 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 17 · Sun 12/29 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)