Are The Browns Preparing To Fire Freddie Kitchens?
Are The Browns preparing to fire Freddie Kitchens?
That is the question on the minds of Cleveland sports fans in light of their team’s disappointing 20-13 loss on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
Kitchens, whose Browns are now off to a disappointing 1-2 start to the year after a lot of preseason hype, made several bizarre calls this past weekend.
With his team in possession of the ball on the Rams’ 40-yard line in the fourth quarter and the opportunity to take the lead, Kitchens opted to not go for the first down with a Baker Mayfield pass and instead called a draw to Nick Chubb.
The play resulted in a 2-yard gain.
So… since ESPN began video tracking the NFL in 2007, there has never been a draw play called on 4th and 9 or more, according to @ESPNStatsInfo
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 23, 2019
For his part, Kitchens seemed to realize he messed up.
“It just didn’t work. It was a bad call,” he admitted.
“We’re trying to win the game and we’re on their side of the field. Bad call.”
After that botched play, the Rams promptly marched downfield and extended their lead with a field goal.
When asked about the questionable call, Mayfield attempted to shoulder the blame personally.
“I know what you guys are gonna try and do is talk about the playcalling,” he said.
“But you know what, that’s why I said execution’s the most important thing. Whatever we have called, we have to do our job.”
Despite Kitchens’ odd call on that sequence, Cleveland still had a chance to send the game into extra quarters.
Mayfield led the offense to the Rams’ 4-yard line with 43 seconds remaining, but Kitchens could not for the life of him come up with a good play to secure the score.
Despite the fact that he had all three timeouts remaining, in this instance Kitchens refused to hand the ball off to Chubb at that point.
After three consecutive incompletions, Mayfield was ultimately picked off in the end zone and the game was over.
“I should’ve run it one time,” Kitchens admitted.
“I should’ve — that’s why I’m kicking myself in the ass for it right now.”
While it is certainly good that Kitchens does not shy away from justifiable and deserved criticism, it also doesn’t make the coaching situation any better.
The Browns are still off to a disappointing start despite boasting a very talented roster, and the main person responsible for their issues appears to be the head coach.
“I gotta do a better job during the course of the week, putting these guys in better situations and then on game day,” Kitchens said.
“So, if you’re looking to blame somebody, blame me. Don’t blame any of our players; don’t blame any of our other coaches — just blame me, because I can take it.
“Go write your article and say I messed the game up. Go write your article and say it’s my fault things [are] not looking like it did last year. Because it is.”
Coming into the season, guys like Jay Gruden, Pat Schumer and Matt Patricia were all popular names for the dubious honor of first coach to be fired – but all three of those guys have done way more with less so far in 2019.
Will Kitchens ultimately get the boot this season?
It remains to be seen.
But if things don’t improve quickly – it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see someone else calling the plays come midseason.
.@WhitlockJason breaks down the real problem with the CLE Browns
“Sean McVay was brought to Los Angeles to fix Jared Goff, Freddie Kitchens got the job because Baker said ‘hey this is my guy.’ There’s a power imbalance.” pic.twitter.com/u93acwUZkc
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) September 23, 2019