The Cleveland Browns will hire Freddie Kitchens on Wednesday to be the 18th head coach in team history, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Kitchens served as the Browns' interim offensive coordinator for the final eight games of the 2018 season. That work and his relationship with and development of quarterback Baker Mayfield were keys to his promotion.
The Browns did not want to lose Kitchens and denied him permission to talk to other teams about offensive coordinator openings during the interview process.
Interim coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was relieved of his duties and is no longer with the team.
Kitchens called plays for the Browns starting in Week 9 and it certainly appears that he had a positive impact on QB Baker Mayfield. In Mayfield's first five-plus games, he completed 58.3% of his passes for a 6.60 YPA and a 3.6% touchdown rate. In nine games with Kitchens calling plays, Mayfield completed 68.4% of his passes for an 8.57 YPA and a 7.2% touchdown rate. Mayfield was the No. 10 fantasy quarterback (19.0 PPG) in that span, so retaining Kitchens as the Browns' play-caller should result in continued growth for Mayfield in 2019.