CLEVELAND — Freddie Kitchens has yet to be confirmed as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns, but that has not stopped him from building up his first coaching staff.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, former Detroit Lions assistant coach Jim Bob Cooter is scheduled to be interviewed for the Browns’ offensive coordinator opening.
During the 2017 season, Cooter mentored veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to his best year since 2013. Stafford completed 371 of his 565 attempts (65.7 percent) for 4,446 yards and 29 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.
Wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate both eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. Jones accounted for 1,101 yards and a Lions-best nine touchdowns on 61 catches, while Tate turned his team-leading 92 catches into 1,003 yards and five scores.
Prior to spending four seasons as the Lions’ offensive coordinator (2015-2018), he served as Detroit’s quarterbacks coach (2014-2015), as well as an offensive assistant for both the Indianapolis Colts (2009-2011) and Denver Broncos (2013).
Also, Cooter was the Kansas City Chiefs’ quality-control coordinator in 2012.
Should Cooter be offered and take the Browns’ offensive coordinator position, he will get to work with one of the NFL’s best rookies from the 2018 season, quarterback Baker Mayfield.
No rookie in the near 100-year history of the NFL has thrown more touchdowns passes than Mayfield.
Mayfield broke the NFL record with his 27th touchdown throw of the season with 3:24 to play in regulation of a season-ending 26-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North Division clash at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on December 30.
After taking over the first-team offense in the second quarter of a Week 3 win over the New York Jets, Mayfield completed 310 of his 486 attempts (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Although Mayfield does not get official credit for the victory over the Jets because he came on in relief of an injured Tyrod Taylor, the first-year quarterback guided the Browns to seven wins and the greatest single-year turnaround in franchise history.
Individually, Mayfield set franchise records for the most passing touchdowns and yards by a rookie, and his 3,725 yards rank as the sixth-best single-season in team history, regardless of years of service. Additionally, Mayfield had three of the top five passing yards games by a rookie, as well as the fourth-most accurate season of any Browns quarterback ever.
Additionally, Cooter would inherit a productive running game.
Of all rookie running backs who have played for the Browns since their founding in 1946, no one rushed for more yards than Chubb, as he set the franchise single-season record in a 26-18 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23.
Chubb rushed for a game-high 112 yards on 19 carries, which gave him 972 yards on the season.
Chubb broke the old mark for rushing yards by a rookie that was set by Trent Richardson during the 2012 season. Richardson rushed for those 950 yards on 267 carries, while Chubb eclipsed his yardage total on 84 less attempts.
Chubb finished the 2018 season, one in which he was seldom used in the first seven games, with 996 yards and eight touchdowns on 192 carries. Chubb had 11 20-yard runs, four 40-yard bursts and 47 first-down conversions.