The Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their HC. Kitchens took over as Cleveland's interim OC in Week 9 of this past season and immediately turned the unit around. After averaging 21.1 points and 342 total yards over the first 8 games, the Browns averaged 23.8 points and 395 yards across the last 8. QB Baker Mayfield was especially impressive under Kitchens, completing 68% of his passes, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt and tossing 19 TDs over those 8 games. This is a big step up in responsibility for Kitchens, who had never even called plays in the NFL prior to last year. But we at least like the move for the Browns offense.
The Browns have fired HC Hue Jackson, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Finally! Jackson has compiled a 3-36-1 record in Cleveland but somehow hung around for 2-and-a-half seasons. We'll see who the Browns tab as their interim HC, but the move can be nothing but good news for the team's skill-position guys.
Update: The Browns have also fired OC Todd Haley.
Update: The Browns have named former DC Gregg Williams their interim HC and former RBs coach Freddie Kitchens their interim OC.
Browns HC Hue Jackson confirmed Monday what everyone suspected after Thursday night: QB Baker Mayfield is taking over the starting job. Tyrod Taylor completed just 48.8% of his passes at 5.5 yards per attempt and a 63.7 QB rating before sustaining a concussion in the win over the Jets. Mayfield came on to go 17-of-23 passing for 201 yards (8.7 YPA) and a 100.1 passer rating. Anyone watching the game could see the rookie sparking a struggling offense. Mayfield carries fantasy upside with his mobility and a solid set of receivers but figures to open as a QB2 -- even in an upside Week 4 matchup at Oakland.
Browns HC Hue Jackson said Friday that he's giving OC Todd Haley "total autonomy" of the offense. He's "one of the best in the business," Jackson added of Haley. Consider this good news for all of Cleveland's skill-position guys. The Browns have ranked 31st and 32nd in points scored under Jackson the past 2 seasons. Haley arrives with 11 years of experience as a HC or OC. Eight of his squads have finished in the top half of the league in total points, including 6 top-10 finishes.
The Browns selected Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the 1st pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s a new, smarter day in the Cleveland front office! Our top-ranked QB in the class, Mayfield turned in a sparkling college career. He walked on at Texas Tech in 2013 and beat out heralded recruit Davis Webb for the Week 1 starting job. After transferring to Oklahoma and sitting out 2014, Mayfield went on to complete 69.8% of his passes with 119 TDs vs. 21 INTs over the next 3 seasons. He added another 895 yards and 19 scores on the ground. Mayfield led the Sooners to a 34-6 record and won the 2017 Heisman. Mayfield haters point out his less-than-ideal height (6’1) and cocky attitude. But the guy is ultra-accurate, boasts plenty of arm strength, is crafty inside the pocket and slippery outside of it. He has all the makings of a successful — and potentially superstar — NFL QB. Mayfield joins Tyrod Taylor in Cleveland’s QB room. The veteran might be the favorite for the Week 1 nod, but Mayfield is a strong bet to make a good number of starts this season. The last 10 QBs to go #1 overall have averaged 10.9 starts as rookies. Six of the 10 made double-digit starts, and only JaMarcus Russell made fewer than 7. Whenever Mayfield gets on the field, he’ll be working behind a solid offensive line and with a nice group of pass-catchers in Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman, David Njoku and Duke Johnson.
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