With Jason Garrett unable to call plays for the Giants’ offense on Sunday due to testing positive for COVID-19, tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens will be getting those duties.
And he is in no way a rookie in that field.
For the past two seasons, Kitchens was calling plays for the Cleveland Browns, first in 2018 when he was OC and last season when he was leading them as head coach. And of course, that’s exactly who the Giants are going up against this week in a crucial game.
What should be expected with Kitchens at the helm? Head coach Joe Judge knows Kitchens’ range of knowledge will certainly be an asset.
“I think he’s intelligent. I think Freddie does a good job of seeing the defense and understanding what his players are capable of,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I think Freddie sees the game through a big picture perspective. I’ve always respected how he’s able to look at a defense and understand their strengths and understand our players. I think that builds him into where he’s been successful.”
Now that’s not to say that Garrett won’t still have his hand in things leading up to the game against Kitchens’ former team. As of Thursday, Garrett was still leading the way in meetings, Judge said.
“Because the coaches are all working virtually, his role hasn’t changed,” he noted.
So Garrett’s influence will likely be in Kitchens’ game plan for Sunday. But when it comes time to start calling plays and making in-game adjustments, Kitchens might have full reign to start mixing some things up.
Judge believes that his time in both run- and pass-heavy schemes gives him the flexibility to adapt to what the Cleveland defense will be showing on Sunday.
“One thing about Freddie is he’s been in a lot of different systems,” Judge said. “He brings a lot of different knowledge, you know, more run-heavy systems, more pass-heavy systems. He’s worked under different coordinators and coaches and I think that’s something that builds into his overall knowledge of the game and how he sees it.”