Coaching Notes: Kitchens, 49ers, Bucs

Freddie Kitchens will see his role expand in New York. The Giants are promoting the former Browns HC from tight ends coach to senior offensive assistant, according to’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Earlier this month, we heard the Giants may be eyeing more responsibility for Kitchens. Derek Dooley, who received interest from other teams, will take over as the Giants’ tight ends coach, Raanan adds. Previously the Mizzou offensive coordinator, Dooley joined Joe Judge‘s staff last year. The Giants used Kitchens as their interim play-caller while Jason Garrett battled COVID-19 last season and will lean on him more in 2021.

Here is the latest from the coaching circuit:

  • To replace Antwaan Randle El on their coaching staff, the Buccaneers will also turn to a recently retired quarterback. Thad Lewis will rise from intern to offensive assistant on Bruce Arians‘ staff, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Randle El left to become the Lions’ wide receivers coach. Lewis bounced around the NFL for nearly eight years; he was most recently with the Ravens in 2017.
  • A day after hiring Jay Valai as cornerbacks coach, the Eagles will lose him. Alabama will instead hire Valai, according to’s Adam Rittenberg (on Twitter). Announced as one of the Eagles’ hires earlier this week, Valai will join former Texans HC Bill O’Brien at Alabama. Valai will replace Karl Scott as the Crimson Tide’s cornerbacks coach. Scott joined the Vikings’ staff this week.
  • Hired recently after a one-year stint as Lions DC, Cory Undlin will serve as the 49ers‘ secondary coach and defensive passing-game specialist. Fellow former DC James Bettcher will be a senior defensive assistant and the team’s run-game overseer on that side of the ball. The 49ers are promoting Darryl Tapp to assistant defensive line coach and hiring former wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and Klay Kubiak as quality control assistants. Klay is one of Gary Kubiak‘s sons. Even after Gary’s retirement, there are still three Kubiaks in the NFL — Klay and brothers Klint (the new Vikings OC) and Klein (a Cowboys scout). Hankerson also has a history with Kyle Shanahan, having played with Washington from 2011-13.
  • The Bengals hired Justin Hill as running backs coach. Hill will come to Cincinnati from the college ranks, having spent the past six seasons as Tulsa’s running backs coach. This will be his first NFL job. The Bengals are also promoting former NFL wideout Troy Walters to receivers coach. Walters served as Cincy’s assistant wideouts coach last season, working under Bob Bicknell.
  • Robert Saleh made an interesting hire recently. The new Jets HC added Steve Scarnecchia as his chief of staff, per Brian Costello of the New York Daily News. The son of longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Steve spent the past six years as the Falcons’ assistant to the head coach. Steve Scarnecchia was part of both the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, working in the team’s video department from 2001-04, and was the Broncos staffer whose filming of a 49ers walkthrough in 2010 led to Josh McDaniels‘ firing in Denver. The younger Scarnecchia will accompany new Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich in moving from Atlanta to New York.
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11 comments on “Coaching Notes: Kitchens, 49ers, Bucs

  1. arty!

    I watch Red Zone. But it was always written, said, and highlighted throughout NFL coverage that the NYG D carried them this season. Promoting bad coaches for constancy doesn’t make your team better Gmen.

    Now I understand having a bad QB, RB missing his 3 knee muscles, no WR’s, & a shaky line, isn’t an ideal situation for winning; but man did Freddie suck in Cleveland.

    • bravesfan88

      Fredie Kitchens is a solid QB coach, he’s probably even a pretty good play caller, but he just couldn’t cut the mustard as a head coach. He wasn’t ready, it was that simple, and was plain as day.

      I wish the man good luck, especially because he got crucified for his own players basically giving up on him and playing like trash, but you will always he the scapegoat when you have a talented roster with expectations, you’re a new HC, and you fail to meet said expectations..

      The guy wasn’t ready to be a head coach, arguably wasn’t even ready to be an OC, and was thrown into a cluster-you know what-..He knows football, Judge is a smart man, he knows he can use Kitchens’ and he will to his own benefit.

  2. frozeninneohio

    Giants fans, our prayers are with you. You’re going to need them.

  3. nentwigs

    Antwaan Randle El:
    Why would you quit a high profile position as the quarterbacks coach for a SUPER BOWL winning franchise for an “ordinary” position as the Wide Receivers Coach in an organization clearly in transition?
    Did Tom Brady tell Antwaan Randele El, “Just keep your mouth shut, leave me alone, and collect your paycheck. I’ve got more quarterback knowledge in this little finger than you have or ever will have in your entire body.”

    • gleybertorres25

      Lol he was an offensive assistant with the Bucs, not a QB Coach

      • nentwigs

        It might still be that:
        “Tom Brady told Antwaan Randele El, “Just keep your mouth shut, leave me alone, and collect your paycheck. I’ve got more football knowledge in this little finger than you have or ever will have in your entire body.”

        • Ak185

          If Brady told him that, he’s a moron. I doubt that happened, because even legendary QBs don’t refuse to learn tricks or develop plays with their staff. Hell, Peyton Manning worked with Adam Gase, and I personally am quite certain that Manning had more QB knowledge in his little finger than Gase had in his little…um, win total.

  4. Ak185

    It’s really cool to see all of these ex players on coaching staffs now. Darryl Tapp, Leonard Hankerson, Randle El…just really cool.

    How Steve Scarnecchia continues to be allowed to have a job is beyond me, though. How one is connected to those two major scandals and is still employable is nuts, no matter how legendary his father is.

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