Kitchens and Mayfield formed a strong relationship during their time together, and Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam along with general manager John Dorsey are counting on the pair taking Cleveland to new heights.
Kitchens was the last candidate to interview for the head coaching vacancy, which came Monday, January 7.
After an extensive search that saw them interview several candidates, the Browns made a decision to keep their head coach position in-house.
Kitchens served as the Browns' offensive coordinator from Week 8 on this past season, and oversaw improvement in the team's offense, sparked by increased reliance on Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb.
This week, Ohio State announced that linebackers coach Bill Davis would be leaving the team to pursue opportunities in the National Football League after one season with the team. Offensive coordinator suitors, however, is more of a crapshoot. Kitchens was a condition of employment for Browns candidates, or at least McCarthy, and they may have dodged a bullet. This would lead to an assumption that outside of a name that either has no connection to Kitchens or one that wouldn't be recognized, an internal hire could be the most realistic situation for the Browns' offensive coordinator position.
If Kitchens is hired, it's a stunning ascension for the former Alabama quarterback, who began the season as Cleveland's running backs coach following 11 seasons with Arizona.
But the franchise appears to be turning a page on their disgusting past. Not bad for a guy who had never been an offensive coordinator at any level of football before he took over for Haley.
The Browns didn't have to go far to find their new coach.
In late November, I wrote a tape piece on the differences Kitchens' offensive concepts made to the Browns, and how awesome it was that he was able to install a fully-formed, radically diverse offense in the middle of the season that set every defense it faced on edge.