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Freddie Kitchens
Running Backs
College:
Alabama
Hometown:
Gadsden, AL
Experience:
12

Biography

Longtime Cardinals assistant Freddie Kitchens enters his 11th season on Arizona’s coaching staff and first as the team’s running backs coach after his appointment on 1/27/17. He worked the past four seasons as Arizona’s quarterbacks coach (2013-16) after working for six seasons (2007-12) as the Cardinals tight ends coach. Kitchens returns to coaching running backs after serving in the same role previously at Mississippi State (2005) and North Texas (2001-03).

During his time as quarterbacks coach, Kitchens helped Pro Bowl QB Carson Palmer establish single-season team records for passing yards (4,671), TD passes (35) and passer rating (104.6) in 2015. Palmer also became the only player in Cardinals history to throw for 4,000+ yards in multiple seasons (2013, ‘15-16) and only one of two quarterbacks (Kurt Warner) for throw for 25+ TDs in multiple seasons (2015-16).

Longtime Cardinals assistant Freddie Kitchens enters his 11th season on Arizona’s coaching staff and first as the team’s running backs coach after his appointment on 1/27/17. He worked the past four seasons as Arizona’s quarterbacks coach (2013-16) after working for six seasons (2007-12) as the Cardinals tight ends coach. Kitchens returns to coaching running backs after serving in the same role previously at Mississippi State (2005) and North Texas (2001-03).

During his time as quarterbacks coach, Kitchens helped Pro Bowl QB Carson Palmer establish single-season team records for passing yards (4,671), TD passes (35) and passer rating (104.6) in 2015. Palmer also became the only player in Cardinals history to throw for 4,000+ yards in multiple seasons (2013, ‘15-16) and only one of two quarterbacks (Kurt Warner) for throw for 25+ TDs in multiple seasons (2015-16).

Arizona finished the 2016 season with 418 points, the fourth-best total in team history, while having the #9 ranked offense in the NFL. It is the second straight season the Cardinals had a top-10 offense in the league.

In 2015, the Cardinals had the top ranked offense in the NFL for the first time in team history and established single-season records for points (489), TDs (59), TD passes (35), total net yards (6,533), first downs (373) and first downs passing (237). Palmer was selected to the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games and both postseason contests. He also had 11 games with a 100+ passer rating to lead the NFL and was named second-team All-Pro. In 2014, Palmer became the first Cardinals QB in 40 years to win each of his first six starts in a season before suffering a knee injury. Arizona went on to win 11 games for the first time since 1975 despite four different quarterbacks seeing action under center.

Following an offseason in 2013 where Kitchens fell ill during an OTA practice on June 4 that required immediate emergency surgery at the Arizona Heart Institute due to an aortic dissection, he recovered in time for the first day of training camp and helped a Cardinals offense that finished 12th in the NFL. Palmer threw for a then career-high 4,274 yards and became the first player in NFL history to throw for 4,000+ yards with three different teams. 

In 2012, Cardinals TE Rob Housler had 45 receptions for 417 yards. In franchise history, only two TE’s (Jackie Smith and Freddie Jones) had more catches in a season than Housler did in 2012. In 2011, Kitchens oversaw a group of tight ends that totaled 65 receptions for 712 yards and four TDs. In 2007, the Cardinals finished with the #5 ranked passing offense in the NFL as well as helping to record 32 passing TDs. As a group, the eight TDs caught by the tight ends were the most by the Cardinals since 1988 and the trio also recorded six red zone TDs, helping the Cardinals to the second-best red zone scoring offense in the NFL (94.0%).  

Kitchens began his NFL coaching career in 2006 with the Dallas Cowboys after seven years of coaching in college. In 2006, Kitchens helped tutor Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten to his third consecutive trip to Hawaii. Witten finished the season with 64 receptions for 754 yards (11.8 yard avg.) and one TD while starting all 16 games.  

In 10 years as a player and coach at the college level, Kitchens was a part of teams that won three conference titles and played in seven bowl games. He went to the NFL after a two-year stint at Mississippi State University where he coached running backs (2005) and tight ends (2004). In 2005, Jerious Norwood, a 2006 third-round choice of the Atlanta Falcons, had a 1,180-yard season, becoming just the second runner to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in school history. Norwood finished his Bulldogs career with a school-record 3,222 career rushing yards. In his first season on the Bulldogs staff in 2004, Kitchens helped TE Eric Butler earn All-SEC freshman recognition while setting a school single-season record with four TD receptions.

He served as the running backs coach at the University of North Texas (2001-03) and contributed to Mean Green clubs that won three straight Sun Belt Conference titles. In 2003, RB Patrick Cobbs rushed for 1,680 yards and scored 19 TDs, earning the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year award while also leading the nation with a 152.7 yards per game average. Cobbs played five seasons (2006-2010) in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins. During his first two seasons, Kitchens developed Kevin Galbreath into the first back in school history to rush for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. The 2,372 yards gained on the ground in 2002 were the most at North Texas since 1959.

Kitchens went to North Texas after one season as a graduate assistant at LSU (2000) where he served on Nick Saban's first Tigers staff, managing the offensive scout team and helping with special teams. That team went 9-4, including a 28-14 win over Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl. After a one-year stint playing professionally in Italy in the spring of 1999, he began his coaching career as an assistant at Glenville State College that fall, coaching both running backs and tight ends.

A three-year starter at quarterback for the University of Alabama (1995-97), Kitchens finished his playing career with 4,668 yards and 30 TD passes for the Crimson Tide. His offensive coordinator as a senior in 1997 was current Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Upon his departure, he ranked third in Alabama history in career attempts, fourth in career passing yards and fifth in career completions. Alabama went 22-13 during those three seasons and went to the 1993 Gator Bowl, 1995 Citrus Bowl and the 1997 Outback Bowl.

 

A native of Gadsden, AL, Kitchens earned high school All-America honors and was named Mr. Football in the state of Alabama his senior season. He returned to his hometown in April of 2015 when he was one of four individuals inducted into the Etowah County Sports Hall of Fame. Kitchens and his wife, Ginger, have two daughters, Bennett and Camden.

Freddie Kitchens Coaching Breakdown

Year              School/Team                                 Position

1999              Glenville State                                Offensive Assistant

2000              Louisiana State                               Graduate Assistant

2001–03        North Texas                                   Running Backs

2004              Mississippi State                            Tight Ends

2005              Mississippi State                            Running Backs

2006              Dallas Cowboys                              Tight Ends

200712        ARIZONA CARDINALS                  Tight Ends

201316        ARIZONA CARDINALS                  Quarterbacks

2017            ARIZONA CARDINALS                  Running Backs

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