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Browns’ Freddie Kitchens playing ‘bigger role’ in offensive installation

Freddie Kitchens is no longer the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator. Due to the struggles of his replacement, though, the Browns’ rookie head coach is apparently taking a hands-on approach with implementing the offense during the offseason. Whether that’s a departure from expectations is apparently a matter of debate.

According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Kitchens hasn’t been extra involved in offensive meetings because first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken is acclimating to his new team more slowly than expected, but due to his role as overseer of the Browns at large.

Kitchens has been doing more in offensive meetings the past few weeks, but only because he’s been gathering input from all the assistants and must make decisions on how the scheme will ultimately play out, a source told cleveland.com.

NFL Network’s Mike Silver first reported on Thursday that Kitchens had assumed a more hands-on approach to implementing Cleveland’s offense of late due to Monken’s integration not going “as smoothly as planned.”

Monken was hired as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in January. He’d spent the previous three seasons in the same position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who poached Monken from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 after a decade as the team’s running backs coach.

Kitchens was introduced as Cleveland’s head coach shortly after the regular season. He ascended to the role as the team’s offensive coordinator following the midseason ouster of Todd Haley and head coach Hue Jackson, upon which the Browns went on a second-half run that, among other things, established quarterback Baker Mayfield as a future star.