4 takeaways from the Cleveland Browns’ hiring of vanguard sports,
For eight games, Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens called plays . strengthened his bond with quarterback Baker Mayfield and laid a track for himself. And on Wednesday,
The move says a lot about where the Browns are heading and who is calling the shots.
In success or failure, the responsibility for this hire ultimately rests on team owner Jimmy Haslam and GM John Dorsey — with an assist from Baker Mayfield.
Considering the number of head coaches in Cleveland over the years and the debate over who should shoulder the
responsibility, this is an important point. If it’s 2021 and you’re either celebrating or lamenting Kitchens’ hire it’s
always good to be able to draw a line to the most responsible parties. In this case it’s going to be Haslam and Dorsey as the two most directly responsible.
It’s also worth noting: Browns leadership didn’t ask Mayfield who he wanted, but their ears were wide open when it came to his thoughts on Kitchens. Not surprisingly,
Kitchens got a resounding endorsement from Mayfield. It would be wrong to say Mayfield named his coach. But it would be right to say his thoughts certainly laid a portion of the foundation for Kitchens in the process.
With the three most responsible parties in mind, the natural question is going to be “Did chief strategist Paul DePodesta and the analytics crew get shot down in this process?”
It’s a complicated question to answer because there are a few vantage points. First, I believe DePodesta thinks the Browns can win and build with Kitchens. Second, I don’t think this search developed into a “turf war” hire between Dorsey and DePodesta, with Haslam sorting out the drama.