Freddie Kitchens Talks To Joe

July 19th, 2019

Disciple in Cleveland speaks.

If anyone in the NFL knows how Bucco Bruce Arians ticks, it is likely the coach of the Cleveland Browns, Freddie Kitchens.

You see, Kitchens was the starting quarterback at Alabama in Arians’ lone season as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator in 1997.

Later, Kitchens was an offensive assistant for Arians at Arizona, including three seasons as quarterback coach. So Kitchens actually learned first-hand what made the Quarterback Whisperer so special.

Back at the combine this past winter, Joe had a chance to fight with dozens of other NFL reporters to squeeze in a question to Kitchens. Joe wanted to know what was so special about Arians’ football mentality.

JoeBucsFan: Freddie, you have a long history with Bruce Arians. What is something that you learned from him that you use to this day in your position with the Browns?

Freddie Kitchens: That cocktail [postgame tailgate] thing works pretty good. You know, Bruce has a drive and desire to continually throw the ball down the field. And I think you need that in this league. You can’t be settled with dinks and dunks and things like that. That is probably the biggest thing football-related [I learned from Arians] — to continue to throw the ball down the field and not let that defense condense on top of you.

Two offenses should be fun as heck to watch this year. One is the Bucs and the other is the Browns.

Both are coached by no-risk-it-no-biscuit guys. And both have loaded offenses with the only exception being the Bucs’ lack of talent at running back.

If you are a fan of ground-and-pound football, the Bucs offense quite likely won’t be your cup of tea.

38 Responses to “Freddie Kitchens Talks To Joe”

  1. Magadude Says:

    Good info Joe…a delicious nugget.
    My concern is not so much the Bucs offense as it is the defense. Nothing new with hat. But both are in new schemes and I hope the O adjusts faster and hits on all cyclindars early. The D is probably going to take longer to find a groove, if they do at all. But thanks to the schedule, the season is going to go to he11 fast if the offense can’t light up the scoreboard early in the season. I hate to say it, but as a whole, the Browns are significantly farther along. The Bucs are going to have to have somewhat of a Cinderella start like last year to have a shot at winning more than just a handful of games and/or being out of it early.

  2. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Joe–this is off topic. Will you write an article about our two female coaches.You can probably arrange an interview with them before training camp gets hectic. Info from this will be picked up by national outlets.Just trying to add some free publicity for your great site!!

  3. Joe Says:


    Will you write an article about our two female coaches.

    Joe finds that topic — specifically that angle — boring as can be. Joe is convinced one reason it has gotten so much run has nothing at all to do with football.

    Joe has a hunch Bucs fans don’t give a damn if a lower level coach has a package in the jeans or not so long as the team wins games.

  4. Magadude Says:

    “Joe finds that topic — specifically that angle — boring as can be. Joe is convinced one reason it has gotten so much run has nothing at all to do with football.”

    Well said. Leave that one for ESPN who cares about stuff like that.

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    Magadude- Do you sleep? You are relentless!

    Joe- It may not be “ground and pound” but I bet we run a lot more. In fact, if we want to win games, we HAVE to run the ball.
    I love the description “condense.” Defenses condense forward against the run or backward against the pass. Being able to exploit open areas in those defenses is key. That’s where the coaching comes in.
    We have enough good pieces for this offense to move the ball. I think we’ll be fun to watch.

  6. BucEmUp Says:

    Rojo is going to explode once Arians gets him out there and bug one off he will just from there

  7. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    7 days………

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Still can’t figure out how Kitchens ended up as Cleveland’s HC and Arians ended up as the Bucs HC. Thought I remembered reading a long time ago that Cleveland was the place BA wanted to go.

    Kitchens was ‘promoted’ to HC on Jan 12th, 2019 after spending the 2nd half of last season as Browns OC (with DC Gregg Williams acting as interim HC in that time). Arians was hired to be the Bucs coach on Jan 8th, 2019. Can’t help but wonder if BA had been in negotiations with Cleveland prior to signing on here. If so, what turned the tables in our favor?

  9. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    I’m more worried about a Qb who can’t throw a deep ball? Ever think about that ? Pull your head out of the sand joe.

  10. Todd Says:


    “Joe has a hunch Bucs fans don’t give a damn if a lower level coach has a package in the jeans or not so long as the team wins games.”

    Allow me to validate your hunch.

    Unless…one of the female coaches self-identifies as an All-Pro running back. Then maybe we can talk.

  11. Ndog Says:

    Buccaneerscotty Says:
    July 19th, 2019 at 7:01 am
    I’m more worried about a Qb who can’t throw a deep ball? Ever think about that ? Pull your head out of the sand joe.

    Hey tough guy get you head out of your a** that problem was solved when the diva was sent bye bye.

  12. Kobe Faker Says:

    “You need to block to throw the ball downfield

    Thats why we fired his kangol a$$”

    Pittsburg Steelers

  13. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Ndog Says:
    July 19th, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Hey tough guy get you head out of your a** that problem was solved when the diva was sent bye bye.

    So it’s Desean Jackson’s fault Jameis hasn’t been accurate with the deep ball ?
    People need to stop making excuses for the guy and call it how it is . One of Jameis’ flaws is that he has had a subpar deep ball . And quite frankly , I think even most of his die hard supporters , would agree . Hopefully new coaching helps him improve in that area .

    Smooth Bay 2019

  14. Ndog Says:

    No excuses they are called FACTS. Watch the games and tell us all who else had a problem getting perfectly deep balls thrown to them by Jameis. Dont make me post countless videos of him hitting deep balls over and over again. When one uses the word can’t that means he cannot do it, well he had done it multiple times to multiple people. So blame him if you want but the FACT remains that the only person he had an issue with is gone. Do you want to refute that he is gone or is that FACT an excuse as well?

  15. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Jameis cannot throw the deep ball & that is a fact, if he was good at it, he would have excelled and won more games w/ djax here because he was constantly behind the defense. Im guessing djax gets 8-10 tds up in philly this year & some 50 plus tds

  16. WyldKat Says:

    I said that about an online game once. “I don’t care what their plumbing is as long as they’re competent.”

  17. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Can we all just stop with the JW debate? I get and agree with parts of both sides of the argument. It’s irrelevant at this point!
    JW IS OUR QB FOR 2019 live with it.

    As far as debates on the Arians/Kitchens offensive philosophy…as an old AFL fan I LOVE it…as whether it’s good or smart football there are just sooo many ingredients but JW should prosper.

    As we judge this season and JW and the Bucs can we at least consider some FACTS or at least facts if you use stats from the NFL.

    Next gen lists six factors that go into a completed pass and DISTANCE is their #1 determinant…

    As distance between the quarterback at the time of the throw to the location of the receiver at the time of the catch increases, the likelihood of a completion decreases. Passes traveling more than 40 air distance yards have roughly a 20% chance of completion, while passes traveling 10 air distance yards have a roughly 80% chance of completion.

    I have to believe BA is well aware of this and believes 1 in 5 completions makes the gamble worth the risk.

    As the distance between the receiver and nearest defender increases, the likelihood of a completion also increases. Do our targets give JW enough separation?

    Play calling and route running…As the distance between the receiver and the sideline decreases, the likelihood of a completion also decreases. The probability of a completed pass decreases rapidly at 5 yards of sideline separation. Controlling for all other factors, passes to the sideline just inside the white paint have a roughly 30% chance of completion.

    Pass Rush Separation: As the distance between the quarterback and nearest pass rusher at the time of the throw decreases, the likelihood of a completion also decreases.

    As the speed of the quarterback at the time of the throw increases, the likelihood of a completed pass decreases. Speed below 8 MPH has little effect on the probability of a completion, however, as the speed of the quarterback increases above 8 MPH, the chance of completion decreases dramatically. I’m not sure JW can get to 8MPH LMA0

    As the duration of time increases from snap to throw, the likelihood of a completed pass decreases. Most passes occur between 2 and 3 seconds after the snap, and the probability of a completion declines significantly after 3 seconds. Does JW hold the ball too long?

    ALL of these factors go into completion %. JW IS our QB. Let’s see how well the TEAM does in all of these areas…not just JW

  18. stpetebucsfan Says:

    BTW I realize most of you guys already knew these six factors I just thought the actual numbers from the NFL documenting what you already know was interesting.

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ndog- Not to be argumentative but, there were at least half a dozen times last year alone that DJax was running free behind the defense WIDE OPEN and Jameis either overthrew or underthrew him. Lets not revise history here.

    We cannot rely on deep passing alone. 5-11 says it doesn’t work. If we are to win games we HAVE to run the ball more effectively.

  20. Ndog Says:

    Now you’ve gone and done it.

    BTW in the game above we had a 17-0 lead at home annnnnnd lost!

    In this game above in a little less than a half Jameis threw for 199 yards and 2 TDs and led us to 4TD drives with a hail Mary interception and oh yeah WE LOST.

    Shall I go on making you look foolish?

  21. Ndog Says:

    Bucsfanman no one is revising history I simply said HE CAN throw the deep ball very well just not to a malcontent who was behind the scenes and openly trying to get him benched. I wonder why he could hit everyone else with no problem but couldn’t hit one certain pain in the a**? Yeah let’s blame the guy showing up early and staying late and give a pass to the guy who didn’t show up unless forced, refused to return punts and has been let go by 3 different teams. Make perfect sense, do you guys even hear yourselves?

  22. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Cleveland was the place BA wanted to go.”

    That was BA throwing his hat into the ring, saying that he would like to be considered for a HC gig. The Browns had already fired their HC.

    It would have been in extremely bad taste to announce that he would really like the Tampa job since Koetter was still employed.

    It allowed several teams to start making moves ahead of their present coaches terminations like Gump and the Glazers.

  23. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Dang, St Pete, Are you trying to turn Jameis into ROJO last year? Lol

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Ghost … I was wondering more if BA ever had an conversations with the Browns (recognizing full well that we’ll most likely never know BTW). The 4-day separation in the 2 hirings may be purely incidental … but maybe not.

    I’ve been intrigued by BA’s hiring here in Tampa, and how it went down. I’m sure that Licht ‘made the introductions’ so to speak, but so many things transpired so quickly that I keep thinking this ‘deal’ was in the works for a considerable amount of time. For instance, Todd Bowles was let go by the NY Jets on Dec 30th. He was hired by the Bucs on Jan 8th, same day as Bruce Arians became HC. And that’s AFTER being courted by the Bears to be their DC. Wow, things happen fast in the NFL. Everything came together just perfectly for BA & the Bucs. Timing is everything I guess.

  25. BA FAN Says:

    The reason Jameis could complete the long ball to everyone but Mejax was that he had practiced throwing many more reps to other receivers than Mejax who didn’t want to practice as much as he could get out of and when he did have practices with Jameis he was not running as fast as he does in ball games so he he would not get winded likely. Also there were passes Mejax could have caught by laying out for the ball but he would not make the effort. I also remember some interceptions when Jameis would throw like when he practiced with Mejax and they were short and Mejax could have come back and broke up the interception but he didn’t even try. This is why BA makes all receivers to run all out in practice like they do in games. Dumb Koetter never even thought of that solution. If BA had kept Mejax he would have made it work but he had to get rid of the Mejax cancer in the locker room and his selfish play! I am glad Mejax is gone!

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ndog- I didn’t lay blame on anyone. I just pointed to FACT.
    You’re always trying to make this into a “he hate Jameis” thing! Just stop it dude. You need to listen to yourself sometime.

  27. BA FAN Says:

    By the way Scotty has the fast acceleration and top speed like Mejax and similar height but is a totally team oriented receiver and will do everything that Mejax would not do and is an asset in the locker room. I also bet with practice at full speed with Scotty Jameis will be able to hit Scotty deep too. Perriman has better height and similar speed, bigger body for more durability, and needs to start just as long as he keeps catching the ball but in the past he has had too many drops. We definitely need to keep Scotty because if Perriman starts dropping too many again BA can bench him and insert Scotty at his position!

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    And again, we KNEW what DJax was when we signed him. I think an argument can be made that a starting QB should be able to deliver a pass to a wide-open WR, regardless of their “diva-ness”!

    Simply put, that guy is gone now and ain’t a Buc. We added some speed to the roster so, lets see what Jameis can do.
    I just don’t want to hear this excuse that he couldn’t hit a WR because they were a “diva” crap anymore. It’s garbage.

  29. SmoothBayRider Says:

    Anybody elsewhere convinced that NDog is Jameis1of1 ?

  30. Ndog Says:

    Bro it’s not about being a diva it’s about effort or lack thereof. Not showing up for practice, when he is forced to be there going half speed. He is uniquely fast and that means he is unique to throw to. Of course it would be nice if the connection would have just happened but it didn’t so then you need to work at it. One half of the equation wanted to the other didn’t and he said it himself, Jameis likes to get reps and I don’t is exactly what HE SAID. From that point it was clearly a mental thing and trying to be too perfect. I’ve said this many times Jameis’s biggest flaw, and if doesn’t get over it will end him, is his desire to please everyone. He needs to just play the offense as it is designed and let the coaches, if they will unlike Koetter, deal with the touches/egos. He tries to get Evans the ball, tried to force the ball to DJax, tried to lead from behind like Koetter asked. At some point you have to say F it, my job is to do one thing and that’s win games regardless of how someone feels. If/when he does that we will see a truly elite QB in my opinion.

  31. SmoothBayRider Says:

    NDOG go check out the website attached to my username . This guy does a yearly thing called the Deep Ball project . Out of the 35 QBs he broke down , guess who was dead last ? Jaboo . FACT is that you don’t know your FACTS

  32. Ndog Says:

    Of course he shows last cause one they include the throws to DJax and more often when we are throwing downfield it is a known situation so the odds of completion are low. So yeah it will be low but like I always say we shall see so please come back when Jameis is hitting deep balls on the regular with the diva gone. I’ll be here either way will you?

  33. Ndog Says:

    So I just looked at the website and it looks at his worst year and that is your take? Wow bro you better bring more to the table than that and even in that piece he points out Jameis was 1 for 10 to the diva so you or that goofball doesn’t think that messes up the numbers just a little bit? So this is loud and clear JAMEIS WAS HORRIBLE THROWING TO THE DIVA QUITTER, but it was not all, or even mostly his fault, as the diva himself said Jameis needed and wanted to practice more but he himself didn’t want or need to. My entire point is that Jameis has never had a problem with the deep ball before the diva and will not after the diva but if you want to blame the one that was trying to get better and support the one that admitted to not wanting to practice go right ahead.

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    BA Fan- Man, it sure would be nice to see those connections. It was what we all wanted and expected out of the previous fast WR.

  35. Bnice Says:

    BayRider you also have to take in the effect of how many deep balls were thrown when we were down a ton and all teams have to do is play deep dime/quarters. It becomes a simple game for the defense when they practically know whats coming at them. I will 1000% agree with Ndog though, JW was 1000x better hitting the deep ball with everyone else on the roster except for that midget scum djax.

  36. Adrnagy Says:

    All you Winston haters …. when we go this year to playoff don’t be all into the Bucs . Peyton , Luck, Big Ben don’t have the prettiest deep balls but they do have the big balls , Arians will make sure Winston has them. I’m more worry about oline and rb the defense will be way better with Bowles.

  37. Stanglassman Says:

    NDog- great job.

    I’d like to see JW3’s deep ball percentage minus the Mejax throws.

  38. Reach87 Says:

    Neighbor, thanks for posting facts and not recycled sound bites.its that second layer of discussion that is useful to the identifying what the real problems with the team were last year. New personnel, new coaches…Go Bucs!