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Freddie Kitchens
Quarterbacks
College:
Alabama
Hometown:
Gadsden, AL
Experience:
10

Biography

Former Alabama quarterback Freddie Kitchens enters his 10th season on the Cardinals coaching staff and fourth in the role of quarterbacks coach after his appointment on 2/5/13. He previously served as Arizona’s tight ends coach for six seasons after joining the team in 2007.

A three-year starter at quarterback for the University of Alabama (1995-97), Kitchens finished his playing career with 4,668 yards and 30 touchdown 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.

Former Alabama quarterback Freddie Kitchens enters his 10th season on the Cardinals coaching staff and fourth in the role of quarterbacks coach after his appointment on 2/5/13. He previously served as Arizona’s tight ends coach for six seasons after joining the team in 2007.

A three-year starter at quarterback for the University of Alabama (1995-97), Kitchens finished his playing career with 4,668 yards and 30 touchdown 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.

Last season, 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). Quarterback Carson Palmer was selected to the Pro Bowl after he set franchise records with 4,671 passing yards, 35 TD passes and a 104.6 passer rating while 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. Palmer has accumulated a 29-9 record as a starter in Arizona while working under Kitchens, which includes an NFL-best .863 win percentage (19-3) over the last two seasons.

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. Palmer also had 24 TD passes and completed 362 passes while leading the Cardinals offense that had 5,542 net yards, the sixth-most in franchise history.

In 2012, Cardinals tight end 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 touchdowns. In 2007, the tight end trio of Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick and Troy Bienemann helped the Cardinals finish 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 touchdowns, 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 touchdown 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 tight end 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, running back Patrick Cobbs rushed for 1,680 yards and scored 19 touchdowns, 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 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.

Photos

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> <p class="MsoNormal">#CardsCamp Best Comeback: S Tyrann Mathieu. The All-Pro safety tore his ACL at the end of last season and missed most of camp, but returned for the final week. He picked off three passes in his first three practices and looks like he should be ready for the regular season opener.</p>
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    #CardsCamp Biggest Surprise: WR Chris Hubert. The undrafted free agent out of Fayetteville State had little buzz entering training camp, but quickly established himself by regularly getting open and making catches. He shot up the depth chart, and while it would still be a surprise for him to make the team, Hubert has turned heads. Even a practice squad spot would be a solid accomplishment for the diminutive rookie.
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    #CardsCamp Best Rookie: CB Brandon Williams. The third round pick has taken the field with the starters throughout camp. While there have been some growing pains, the Cardinals are excited about his progress. Williams is a converted running back who has played corner for only a year, but he's catching on quickly and should make an impact quicker than originally expected.
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    #CardsCamp Most Improved: TE Troy Niklas. The former second-round pick was close to bust status after struggling with injuries in his first two seasons, but a healthy training camp has allowed him to make significant strides. Niklas is in the mix for a starting role as he begins to deliver on the vast potential he showed coming out of Notre Dame.
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    #CardsCamp MVP: WR Jaron Brown. The Cardinals have a deep group at wideout, and playing time during the regular season for Brown could be sporadic, but he took advantage of regular work in camp. Brown lined up a lot with the first team because of injuries and seemed to come away with one or two big-time catches in every practice. Brown is a fantastic safety valve to have if he's needed regularly during the season.

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