ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan reported Giants head coach Joe Judge was going to meet with Kitchens to discuss a Giants coaching vacancy. Judge and Kitchens worked together at Mississippi State as assistants under Sylvester Croom in 2005. Judge was a graduate assistant (after a four-year playing career for the Bulldogs) while Kitchens coached the tight ends.
Kitchens, a former Alabama quarterback, was named Browns offensive coordinator midway through the 2018 season after the firings of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. He was promoted to head coach last January and went 6-10 in a season with raised expectations. The Browns missed the playoffs for the 20th time in the 21 seasons since returning to the NFL and Kitchens was fired.
He could potentially become the second member of the Giants’ coaching staff with NFL head coaching experience. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for nine seasons before he was fired after an 8-8 2019 campaign where they missed the postseason.
It is unknown what role Kitchens would fill on Judge’s staff. The Giants haven’t hired a tight ends coach as of yet. In addition to serving in that capacity at Mississippi State, Kitchens also has two NFL tenures coaching tight ends: for the Cowboys (2006) and Arizona Cardinals (2007-12).
Co-owner and team president John Mara said he wanted Judge, who has never been a head coach at any level, to have an experienced staff. Garrett is already in the fold. Reports surfaced Tuesday that Bret Bielema will join the Giants coaching staff in a yet-unknown capacity. Bielema, who was most recently a New England Patriots assistant, was head coach at both Wisconsin and Arkansas.
If Kitchens joins the Giants, Judge will have three assistants with a combined 23 years of head coaching experience (including 10 at the NFL level).