nobody movie_South Carolina Football: USC Gamecocks sign Freddie Kitchens

As of November 28, 2021, then-New York Giants interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens speaks with Daniel Jones during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, November 28, 2021 in East Rutherford, NJ (AP Photo/Adam Hunger ).

As of November 28, 2021, then-New York Giants interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens speaks with Daniel Jones during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, November 28, 2021 in East Rutherford, NJ (AP Photo/Adam Hunger ).

AP

South Carolina brings some NFL flair to its coaching staff.

OK, slow down the eye roll.

Yes, Gamecocks fans had mixed feelings about the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield’s foray into Columbia last year. But this latest transaction is different — sort of.

South Carolina announced this last week that it had hired former Cleveland Browns head coach and longtime NFL assistant Freddie Kitchens as senior offensive analyst. In terms of modern college football, that’s an offbeat way of saying Kitchens will likely take down the film and help the offense staff when needed — though his exact responsibilities are still being ironed out, according to head coach Shane Beamer.

Most importantly, Kitchens’ hiring is a logical fit for an offensive staff that appears to have gone all-in in 2022.

“I didn’t want to add anyone – we were ready,” Beamer told The State last week. “This is just an opportunity to add someone I’ve known for 20 years who I know is a really good person and a really good football coach.”

Beamer, Satterfield and the rest of the offensive staff will be the first to tell you last season wasn’t good enough.

The Gamecocks ranked 110th out of 130 teams nationally in total offense. They ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference on rushing offense and 13th on both scoring offense and passing offense. USC’s offensive line was among the worst in the league in almost every major blocking category, per Focus on professional football.

South Carolina’s honor still tempered it, starting four different quarterbacks and an up-and-down offensive line to win six regular-season games and eventually a Duke’s Mayo Bowl affiliate from North Carolina.

So where does the kitchen fit into all of this?

USC has clearly struggled to revamp an offense that largely held them back a season ago. The ex-NFL head coach should be a part of it, at least on paper.

former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler is the headliner of a transfer portal class ranked 7th in the nation and 4th in the SEC according to 247Sports. Ex-OU tight end Austin Stogner, Wake Forest running back import Christian Beal-Smith and receivers Antwane “Juice” Wells (James Madison) and Corey Rucker (Arkansas State) should all make an immediate impact.

South Carolina also brings back prolific pieces from last season’s group in receiver Josh Vann and do-it-all tight end Jaheim Bell. Not to mention a running back room that should include three or four players in MarShawn Lloyd, Juju McDowell, Beal-Smith and Lovasea Carroll (Georgia).

Adding kitchens feels like a home run when paired with these other offseason moves. Well-connected in NFL circles, he has a 20-year relationship with Beamer (and new tight ends coach Jody Wright). from her time in the state of Mississippi.

The worst-case scenario here isn’t bad at all: Kitchens is spending a season in Columbia dismantling films and helping out an offense that should take a step forward.

“I don’t want a huge staff of analysts where nobody knows what anybody’s doing just to have a former head coach on the staff,” Beamer said. “But (Kitchens) is a guy that I know who I think can help us in a lot of ways.”

To be clear, this isn’t a climb into Nick Saban’s domain via the army of people he’s hired as analysts over the past decade Pseudo recovery program for fired college football coaches it is developed in Tuscaloosa.

Beamer made sure that Kitchens’ hiring, as much as anything else, was in the right place and at the right time.

Kitchens – who worked for the New York Giants last year – visited the South Carolina staff this spring, Beamer said. The pair also had dinner in Florida in January, around the time the Giants fired head coach Joe Judge (who also has ties to Beamer from his Mississippi days).

Beamer said there are other big programs that are pining for Kitchens – programs that so projector, the former Alabama quarterback had ties to. (Kitchens was also previously an assistant at LSU and Mississippi State, for what it’s worth.)

“The only thing that sometimes gets lost in the business of football is the kindness of the people,” Kitchens told The State earlier this year. “And we had a lot of good people on that (MSU) staff. They were great people. They (Beamer, Wright, Judge and others) worked their ass off and nobody really cared about getting credit for anything. It was all about getting to work back then and trying to do what was best for the state of Mississippi.

The one layer to Kitchens’ addition that may not even matter is whether it becomes an insurance policy should the Gamecocks undergo any personnel changes later.

projector, as expected, stood by his coaches last season as the team went through difficult times. That’s what good bosses should do – defend their people.

However, it’s no secret that Satterfield came under fire in 2021. The USC offensive was unpredictable and could not be observed at certain points. A revolving door at the quarterback didn’t help, nor did inconsistent play on the offensive line, among other things.

To their credit, Beamer and Satterfield didn’t shy away from opening up about last season’s struggles.

Satterfield owned last fall’s issues with all his heart and never publicly threw anyone under the bus. Ditto for Beamer, who went to great lengths to defend his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Greg Adkins.

That’s part of what made moments the bowl victory over North Carolina Justification for sophomore head coach.

“All I’ve heard for a month is how awful they are and what do I do if I don’t fire people and things like that,” Beamer said after the game. “Well I hope that’s a great answer for you. That’s why.”

Potential insurances aside, it’s hard to imagine South Carolina’s offense not taking at least a small step forward given the sweeping talent upgrades this side of the ball.

Adding a longtime NFL spirit to lend his unity thoughts will only help this cause.

Ben Portnoy is the football beat writer for The State’s South Carolina Gamecocks. He is a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors Award recipient and has received recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered the state of Mississippi for Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana Football for the Journal Gazette at Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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