Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens has a big task facing him on Sunday.
The team’s new offensive coordinator has to put together a game plan to help the Browns keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs offense, which is scoring an NFL-high of 36.2 points per game.
It will also be the first time that Kitchens, who was promoted to the job on Monday after the Browns fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, will call plays during a game in the regular season.
But Kitchens, who has been coaching in the NFL since 2006, is taking things in stride, at least publicly. When asked on Thursday about the pressure of calling plays, Kitchens took a pretty laid back approach, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“I have always viewed plays as do your work during the week – it is a lot like a player – then it becomes easier on game day. You have to somehow take all of the emotion out of it and then just call the plays and know what you have worked on. Know what looks good, know what the players’ comfort level is. Calling plays, they could make a play caller look great if they execute. I fully expect them to make me look great. It is not the other way around. The players play the game. Coaches coach. Coaches coach during the course of the week to get them better and to prepare them for what is going to show up on Sunday. Then, it is time for them to go play the game.”
It may sound odd at first, but Kitchens makes a good point.
If he can keep his wits about him on Sunday, calling out a play becomes easy. The hard part falls on the players, as center JC Tretter needs to make the correct protection call, running back Nick Chubb needs to hit the right hole, wide receiver Antonio Callaway needs to not get pushed off his route, and quarterback Baker Mayfield needs to make the correct throw, and so on.
Do all that, and Kitchens ends up looking like a genius.
And if they don’t? Well, then we will all get to see just how chill Kitchens really is on game days.