CLEVELAND, Ohio - Doodles in my notebook as new head coach Freddie Kitchens puts together his coaching staff:
1. I have talked to an NFL leader who has generally had a bad opinion of the Browns in recent years, especially as far as the composition of the coaching staff is concerned. He told me more than once: "Not many people really want to work there."
2. It had nothing to do with Cleveland and everything with the way the Browns had run. He explained, "Most assistants live in fear that they will be released in three years." But in Cleveland, it's a year or two. Hue Jackson has hired and dismissed 21 assistant coaches in his 2 1/2 1/2 season as Browns' head coach.
3. However, this is different, said the executive. "Most of their top employees would be considered B or B-plus." He spoke about coordinators Todd Monken (attack), Steve Wilks (defense) and Mike Priefer (special teams). The executive believes that Wilks was "head over heels" as head coach in Arizona. "But he is an extraordinary person and should be a very good coordinator there."
4. Wilks was a top 10 defender in most important areas when he became the Panthers defensive coordinator in 2017. Previously, he was a longtime coach of defensive defenders. In 2018 he was 3-13 head coach of Arizona, then was dismissed.
5. The manager gave some clues as to why Kitchens said he was "not a popular choice" to become Browns' next coach. This certainly was not the case with local fans and the media. The national media were mixed. I know a number of coaches who do not know exactly how Freddie made a back coach - actually just an assistant - head coach in just a few months.
6. At his press conference, Kitchens referred to the fact that "Reading on the Internet" led to returning the coach to head coach within a year. The kitchens said he has spent more time as a quarterback coach and as a tight-end coach a running backs coach.
7. There are only 32 NFL head coaching jobs. This time eight opened. They are in demand - and this is especially true for the Browns. As I explained in some other sketches and a video, the rise of Baker Mayfield has changed everything. The Browns have a young quarterback who showed he can win games.
8. And as the executive said, it made sense to keep the combination of kitchens and Mayfield together. "It's hard to dismiss the work of the last eight games (5: 3 record)," he said. "You had what happened to Hue and (Todd) Haley and what happened after that. It was a big difference. "
9. The Browns have had a top 10 attack in many important categories in their last eight games. If you are Monks, the Browns could position you to become a head coach. Monken had a top-10 offensive against Tampa Bay in 2018. He interviewed the head coach with the jets (Adam Gases got it).
10. As the manager said, Monken did not go to a team with an unsuspecting quarterback and a bad offense. The Browns are a team on the rise.
11. The front office of John Dorsey also makes this attractive for coaching. His record in Kansas City and his freshman year in Cleveland is impressive. In direct counter-designs he chose Patrick Mahomes and Mayfield. Think of an assistant coach who wants some stability. This front office could deliver that because it finds talent.
12. Priefer had a chance to stay with Minnesota. He was born in Cleveland. His father, Chuck Priefer, went to Borremeo, John Carroll and trained early in his career in Padua. Chuck was later in the NFL. Mike grew up as a Browns fan. Mike also coached Youngstown State under Jim Tressel.
13. I was upset when I hired James Campen, the experienced Green Bay bus. He has a long history with Dorsey. I've heard that the Browns thought Bob Wylie was OK as an offensive bus, but camping could be a major upgrade.
14. Former Alabama quarterback Kitchens adds Jody Wright (head coach's assistant) and Tosh Lupoi as a defense coach. Lupoi was Alabama's defensive coordinator. Wright was an offensive teacher in Alabama.
15. There are many more attitudes, but the main point of these scribbles is that the Browns go in the right direction with the coaching staff. Dorsey helped. Mayfield's presence helped. Kitchens have connections. And the Browns are no longer the Devil's Island in the NFL.