Falcons’ Arthur Smith on Kitchings: ‘We’ll talk about that at the end of the season’

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons running backs coach Des Kitchings reportedly is a target for the offensive coordinator role on Tony Elliott’s staff and Virginia, according to an ESPN college football writer.

“In terms of Des, I think it’s a credit to him and the staff that people are interested,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday. “Again, if he’s got an opportunity, we’ll talk about that at the end of the season. But Des is a fantastic football coach.”

Elliott recently took the Virginia job after as successful run as offensive coordinator for Dabo Swinney at Clemson. It’s unclear if Elliott or the new offensive coordinator will call the plays for the Cavaliers.

Kitchings, 42, who played at Furman, is in his first season with the Falcons. The Falcons are 31st of 32 teams in rushing in the NFL at 86.2 yards per game. However, Kitchings has done a fine job of converting former wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in to the team’s top running back.

Patterson has rushed for a career-high 579 yards and six rushing touchdowns. He has 140 carries for a 4.1 average and has rushed for 26 first downs.

The Falcons went with Mike Davis to open the season, but when he wasn’t productive, they started to switch carries to Patterson.

Before joining the Falcons, Kitchings was at South Carolina as the running back coach. He also coached at Furman, Vanderbilt, Air Force and N.C. State.

Kitchings previously served as offensive coordinator for Vanderbilt in 2010 and was co-offensive coordinator with the N.C. State in 2019.

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