BEREA, Ohio — All is quiet at 76 Lou Groza Blvd. in Berea 24 hours after the Cleveland Browns hired Freddie Kitchens as their next head coach, but as the team waits to introduce their former offensive coordinator, the buzz around the city is anything but quiet.
You can’t escape it, from the talk on the radio, to the local team shop and even the barbershop, the buzz is all about the Browns and new head coach Freddie Kitchens.
“It was a huge surprise but I’m super excited. Baker’s start was mediocre at first but his passer rating is 102 now,” said one Browns fan.
Kitchens will be the 9th head coach to lead the Browns since the team returned to the league in 1999. But, this time, there’s a different feeling around the city about the team and their new coach, a far different cry from a year ago.
“All season, just the Browns, that’s what people want, is the Browns stuff,” said Alexandra Kraus, an employee of Luna Team Shop in Berea.
Last year’s success has Browns fans hungry for more in 2019. As Kitchens builds his staff, a strong defensive coordinator sits at the top of the menu for the owner of Cafe Ah Roma.
“I want Freddie to still be involved that much with the offense, you have to have somebody that has a ton of experience on the defensive side,” said Rob Bennett. “His relationship that he had with not only the players but with Baker Mayfield, I felt like that was hugely important.”
No doubt, expectations are high not only in Berea at the team’s headquarters, but all across Browns nation.
“Go Browns,” said Charlotte Garmon.
Freddie Kitchens likely will be introduced on Friday as the new Browns head coach but his hire is already creating plenty of excitement for the 2019 season.