Jarvis Landry happy Browns hired in-house Kitchens

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Freddie Kitchens' audition as the Cleveland Browns' interim offensive coordinator led to his eventual hiring as head coach.

The move made sense, of course, given how Kitchens turned around the offense, which included his work with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who owes a lot of the success of his rookie campaign to Kitchens.

And by staying in-house with the hire, Cleveland ensured continuity, which wide receiver Jarvis Landry believes will only help an up-and-coming Browns team.

"Yeah, man, it's a good thing," Landry told NFL.com after Thursday's AFC practice at the Pro Bowl. "All the things that he implemented and brought to the team and the offense when he stepped in, and now he has the chance to be over the entire team.

"It will be exciting to see the changes, the new things, but most of all being around the guys again."

While Kitchens projects a fun-loving personality, Landry is quick to point out the new head coach didn't hesitate to have a keen eye on what went right or wrong down the stretch.

"He's real critical of what we do and how we match up against our opponent," Landry said. "A couple of games, we could've done better jobs. But for the most part, overall, we were one of the top teams in the red zone when he came in that he brought to us, helped us evolve to."

What Kitchens did as an offensive coordinator surrounded the injection of life to his unit after taking over from Todd Haley ahead of Week 9. At that point of the season, the Browns were 2-5-1 and made sweeping changes by firing Haley and head coach Hue Jackson.

The Browns then closed out the season with a 5-3 record, and Kitchens deserves a lot of credit for the play of Mayfield and the entire offense, including the unleashing of rookie running back Nick Chubb down the stretch.

With Kitchens in charge of the offense, the Browns averaged 23.8 points per game and became an efficient unit in the red zone, scoring on 79.2 percent of in-close opportunities. Mayfield, in particular, totaled 19 of an NFL rookie-record 27 touchdown passes with Kitchens calling the plays.

Additionally, the relationship between Landry and Mayfield blossomed.

"It was really good and obviously we learned things from each other," Landry said. "There are still things I'm learning inside of this game that he sees that I may not see. I've been playing the game for five years, so I think just that kind of transparency between the both of us helps us out and the better that we can be for our offense and the team, I think the better we'll do."

It is often said how a team closes out a season will carry offseason momentum. Given how the Browns closed out the season, Landry, Mayfield and the entire offense should only continue to develop in a positive direction under Kitchens.

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