It is still too early to know what Freddie Kitchens will be as a head coach, but his comments on Tuesday at the annual NFL meetings left no doubt about one thing:
Kitchens is ready for whatever the league is going to throw at him and the Browns come the fall.
The Browns have quickly become a national story as a team filled with big personalities, including quarterback Baker Mayfield, and wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Because of that, the Browns are expected to receive several prime time games this fall, possibly as many as the league maximum of five.
Those are some pretty lofty heights for a team that went 3-36-1 under Hue Jackson - the worst head coach in NFL history - and has only posted two winning seasons since 1994.
Kitchens is taking it all in stride, however, as he explained when questioned about the renewed attention on the franchise, according to ohio.com:
“No, anytime you’re playing in prime time — we had quite a few prime-time games when I was in Arizona, we were at the Super Bowl, which was the most prime — does it change? The only thing is it changes up your schedule a little bit, whether you practice a little later or a little earlier. That’s the only thing.”
And what about the prospect of opening the season on Sunday night against the defending champion New England Patriots?
“You’ve got to have it at some point. I don’t care who it is. I just want to make sure I know what time the game is. I’ll be there. No, it doesn’t worry me.”
It is the perfect attitude for Kitchens to take. In addition to managing the team on game days, Kitchens is faced with the task of keeping everyone focused on what is important. The hype for the upcoming season has already hit a new level, which is pretty amazing when you consider that most Browns fans live in a perpetual state of hype, and it is only going to get crazier the closer we get to the start of the season.
Kitchens may have been a surprise choice as head coach, but given the way he has handled the situation so far, the Browns appear to be in very good hands.