Coaching circles in the NFL are an entangled lot. When a head coach is fired, this means basically the entire coaching staff is also fired. Sometimes, the new head coach will keep an assistant on his new staff, but usually not.
Coaches have “guys” that they have worked with before and already know their tendencies and work ethics. Bill Parcells went from the New York Football Giants to the New York Jets to the New England Patriots with basically the same coaching staff including Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel, Al Groh, Tom Coughlin, Fred Hoaglin, Charlie Weis and Mike Sweatman.
The allure is that everybody already knows who the chief is, what their responsibilities are, what to expect and the head coach has confidence in his assistant’s abilities. There isn’t any guessing nor undermining power plays.
Every year, fired head coaches go back to doing what they were best at: being a coordinator or position coach for another club. It’s just the cycle of coaching in the NFL.
And just because a guy was a great coordinator does not make him an excellent head coach. Wade Phillips has been an excellent defensive coordinator and was subsequently hired as the head coach for three different clubs, and was fired from each. Norv Turner is another example of a stellar coordinator that just could not succeed as the main guy despite multiple attempts.
Now that Freddie Kitchens has been fired, his coaching staff is in limbo until the new guy comes in, does an evaluation on which coaches (if any) he wishes to retain, and then contacts other men he feels confident in to be a new staff member of the Cleveland Browns.
The Giants just hired Joe Judge as their new head coach. He has reached out to Kitchens about a possible job opening according to Jordan Raanan, the Giants beat writer for ESPN.
New Giants coach Joe Judge is expected to speak with former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens about a spot on his offensive staff, per source. The two worked together at Mississippi State.— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 9, 2020
Kitchens (age 45) and Judge (age 38) worked together on the staff at Mississippi State back in 2005 where Kitchens was the running backs coach and Judge was was in his first year as a graduate assistant. The following season, Kitchens was hired by the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 as their tight ends coach (under Parcells) whereas Judge ended up on the Patriots’ staff (under Belichick) in 2012.
Now Judge is filling out his staff. Last year under now-fired head coach Pat Shurmur, who was also fired as the head coach of the Browns in 2012, the OC was Mike Shula with Craig Johnson the running backs coach while Lunda Wells coached tight ends.
In the NFL, coaching circles come back full swing. The only irony for the Giants is that they would be bringing in a fired, failed Browns’ head coach after firing another failed Browns’ head coach.