Cleveland Browns fire head coach, Gadsden AL-native Freddie Kitchens

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FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2018, file photo, Freddie Kitchens (AP Photo/David Richard, File)

By Jeff Speegle, ABC 3340

Freddie Kitchens is one and done as the Cleveland Browns Head Coach. Kitchens, a former Crimson Tide quarterback, was fired Sunday after the Browns lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 33-23. The Browns lost their last three games to finish 6-10, running the NFL’s longest playoff drought to 18 years.

Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam announced the move Sunday evening in a statement.

“We thank Freddie for his hard work and commitment to this organization but did not see the success or opportunities for improvement to move forward with him as our head coach,” the Haslems said. “Our focus is on hiring an exceptional leader for this football team and we will take a comprehensive approach to this process. We are excited about the core players we have to build around and develop and we look forward to bringing in a strong head coach that will put this group of players in the best position to succeed.”

Kitchens was a popular hire with the Browns players. When Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator midway through last season after head coach Hue Jackson was fired, the offense thrived with Kitchens calling plays and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield running the offense. There were, however, those who raised eyebrows at the fact Kitchens had never been a head coach before on any level of football. Expectations were raised when the Browns got All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants in the spring. But with Kitchens also calling plays, the offense never found a groove.

There were also discipline issues. The Browns incurred 18 penalties in the season opener. The discipline issues came to a violent head Nov. 14 in the closing seconds of a victory over Pittsburgh, when star defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Steelers QB Mason Rudolph and slugged him in the head with it. Unfortunately for Kitchens, that game more than any other will be the way NFL fans remember his brief coaching tenure in Cleveland.

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