Odell Beckham Jr. got heated on the sidelines while talking to Freddie Kitchens in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game.
The Browns scored on a touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield to Beckham to make it 24-15. Cleveland then went for two, and Ricky Seals-Jones was unable to catch a pass from Mayfield for a failed conversion.
After coming back from a commercial, CBS showed Beckham throwing his helmet near the bench and getting heated. He was talking with Kitchens.
Some will read into this and think that was Beckham getting angry with Kitchens, but without audio, it would be irresponsible to say that. It’s very possible that he was just voicing frustration/venting.
Beckham also seemed to be open on an inside slant on the 2-point conversion, but Mayfield did not look his way.
This has been a frustrating season for Beckham. He’s had a down year statistically, and the team has underperformed at 6-9. There have been rumors that he wants out of Cleveland, and he’s vented during games about not getting the ball.
The Cleveland Browns had yet another uninspiring performance on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, and Jarvis Landry did not look thrilled with head coach Freddie Kitchens at one point late in the game.
After one of Cleveland’s drives stalled in the fourth quarter, Landry had a brief conversation with Kitchens on the sideline. While we don’t know exactly what was said, it certainly appeared that the star receiver was ripping into Kitchens.
Kitchens has been in over his head all season, which is why it is so surprising that a report on Sunday claimed the Browns still envision him as their coach for the long term. He had some success as the team’s offensive coordinator late last season when Baker Mayfield broke out, but very little of that has carried over into 2019.
Landry has been more productive than Odell Beckham Jr. this year and has over 1,000 yards receiving, but the Browns struggled to get him the ball on Sunday. It would not be a surprise if he was frustrated about that.
If the Cleveland Browns decide to make significant changes following a disappointing season, firing their head coach will not be one of them.
The Browns are committed to Freddie Kitchens and have no intention of firing him, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The team continues to support Kitchens and wants him to remain the head coach in Cleveland long term, so Rapoport does not envision the Browns moving on from him “barring a horrific collapse.”
Cleveland has won four of its last five games, which has certainly helped Kitchens state his case to keep the job. Many speculated that he could be one-and-done after the Browns entered the season with enormous expectations and got off to a brutal start, but the franchise is desperate for stability.
Kitchens landed the head coaching job because of the work he did with Baker Mayfield last season as offensive coordinator, but Mayfield has taken a step back this year despite the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. There have also been rumblings that Kitchens is not on the same page with some members of his coaching staff, so perhaps there will be changes underneath him in the coming weeks.
Assuming Kitchens does keep his job, he’ll be under even more pressure in 2020. The Browns’ roster is constructed to win now, and fans will be expecting them to make the playoffs next season even if they trade a seemingly disgruntled star. It’s not a huge shock that Cleveland is sticking with Kitchens heading into next season, but he’ll almost certainly be on the hot seat from the start.
The Cleveland Browns are 5-7 and have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL this season. Their lack of punch on offense is a big reason why they’ve been a letdown.
In an article published on Saturday, Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot quoted sources who described the Browns’ offense as “dysfunctional.” Beyond the problems that are visible to everyone — the inability to score points and get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr., the regression shown by Baker Mayfield, and the poor offensive line play — there are also problems behind the scenes.
Cabot says there is a “disconnect” between Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
There’s a disconnect between offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who answers for the offense every Thursday and has jokingly called it his weekly “dentist appointment,” and Kitchens, who calls the plays on game day with input from Monken, quarterbacks coach Ryan Lindley, and some say even inactive quarterback Drew Stanton.
If that collaboration for playcalling sounds convoluted, it is.
Kitchens calls the plays, as Cabot said, even though Monken had the Bucs top-10 in the league in yards the last two seasons and 12th in the league in points. The Bucs led the league in passing yards and were third in passing touchdowns last season under Monken, but Kitchens is still calling plays.
The frustration among offensive players has been visible. Beckham and Jarvis Landry did not speak with the media after last week’s game. The two have seemingly been trying to censor themselves somewhat, though Beckham was part of headlines during the week. Landry and Lindley even got into an argument on the sidelines after an interception.
Between some of his playcalling, the team underachieving, and his T-shirt issues, Kitchens does not seem like the right person for the job.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens created headlines leading up to his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he decided to wear a T-shirt that read “Pittsburgh Started It,” and naturally the shirt was a topic of discussion following Cleveland’s 20-13 loss. Baker Mayfield’s wife does not believe it should have been.
Mayfield was asked about Kitchens wearing the shirt and whether or not it may have motivated the Steelers. The Browns quarterback defended his head coach with a lighthearted response. His wife Emily, however, was not amused. She criticized the media for asking about the shirt.
Even if Kitchens’ shirt wasn’t a factor in motivating the Steelers, an NFL head coach should know what he is getting himself into if he does something like that. The fight between the two division rivals was huge news that resulted in multiple players being suspended, so Kitchens’ decision to wear the shirt helped breathe more life into a story that doesn’t really need it.
As you might expect, Kitchens said he did not think his shirt had anything to do with Sunday’s loss. He also explained some of his rationale behind wearing it, which may or may not make you think it was more acceptable.
There are only four weeks to go in the NFL regular season, which means we’ll be watching a lot of huge games in the weeks to come. With bye weeks finished and everybody in action the rest of the way, every game is big in some way, even if the outcomes only affect draft position. Sunday was no different, effectively kicking off the stretch run of the season.
Here are 10 big disappointments from Week 13.
New England Patriots
The Patriots entered Sunday night with the best record in the league at 10-1 and the No. 1 defense. But they looked nothing like the best team in the league during their loss at Houston. The offense struggled to get anything going for most of the game, with Tom Brady taking sacks and complaining about his receivers’ inability to get open. The defense allowed four touchdowns in what was their worst performance since the Baltimore loss. Even kicker Kai Forbath missed an extra point. The Pats are 2-2 in their last four and their 22 points (mostly in garbage time Sunday night) was their high mark during that span. Brady seems to have seen this coming.
The Eagles looked like a disaster, particularly on defense, against the lowly Miami Dolphins. They were victimized by one of the better trick plays we’ve seen, sure, but Miami also put up 409 yards of total offense on them and totally deserved to win the game. Add in lingering concerns about how good Carson Wentz really is, and the Eagles have a lot to think about. Losses like this tend to cause a reckoning in Philadelphia.
The Pittsburgh Steelers won the long-awaited rematch with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and Browns coach Freddie Kitchens was left in a rather embarrassing situation as a result.
Kitchens was photographed wearing a shirt Friday that read “Pittsburgh Started It,” in reference to the fight the two teams had on Nov. 14. That made a few headlines prior to Sunday’s game, but the Browns lost 20-13.
After the game, Kitchens reiterated that the shirt was a gag gift from his daughters, and said that his decision to wear it had nothing to do with Pittsburgh’s win.
The implication is that Kitchens’ shirt might have added a little bit of extra motivation for the Steelers. He’s probably right that it wasn’t a factor. The Steelers needed this game to keep their playoff hunt moving forward, and many of the key figures from November’s game weren’t involved here, one by Kitchens’ own decision. Even if it didn’t have an impact on the game, though, it didn’t turn out to be a great look for Kitchens.
The Cleveland Browns won last week, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-7. Very few remember that now because of the fight that happened at the end of that game that, at least for now, will cost Myles Garrett the remainder of the season.
The Browns still have more to play for. They’re 4-6, but with four games against the Bengals, Dolphins, and Cardinals left, can at least claim to have a chance of saving their season. Garrett’s actions have the potential to hang over the team, but coach Freddie Kitchens is confident that won’t happen.
Even as Kitchens proclaims that his team will be fine mentally, things may be different on paper. Garrett is Cleveland’s best defender, and their pass rush will be significantly diminished without his presence. Even with Garrett’s appeal pending, he almost certainly won’t be back in 2019.
Freddie Kitchens’ job status in Cleveland is shaky, but that does not necessarily mean a firing is coming in the immediate future despite an incredibly ominous trend.
The Browns host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night, which led a crazy stat to be circulated. The last six Browns coaches have all been fired after a loss to the Steelers.
That fact should have put Kitchens on high alert.
So why has this happened historically? Five of the six coaches (everyone except Hue Jackson) were fired at the end of the season. The Browns end the season against a divisional opponent and have a 33 percent chance of that being Pittsburgh. Under all those coaches, they were completing poor seasons, and the loss to the Steelers was by at least double-digits.
Kitchens may be one-and-done in Cleveland, but it would be surprising to see them fire him so early, or even after the teams’ second meeting in Week 13.
Freddie Kitchens has looked like a horrendous head coaching hire for the Browns, but it is rare that an NFL coach would be fired during his first year on the job. If things don’t improve down the stretch in Cleveland, Kitchens may not make it through 16 games.
The Browns have quickly established themselves as a model of wasted potential, and Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report was told by multiple NFL team officials that there is an “increasing belief” Kitchens could be fired before the end of the season. If the Browns decide against an in-season firing, the consensus is that Kitchens will be dismissed after Week 17.
It’s tough to judge a coach after just one year on the job, but Kitchens is clearly in over his head. Oftentimes new coaches struggle because they are dealing with depleted rosters and teams that are in rebuild mode, but the Browns are loaded with talent and simply can’t figure out how to utilize it.
Baker Mayfield thrived under Kitchens last season when Kitchens was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, but there’s a big difference between that job and being a head coach. It’s also noteworthy that he has been calling plays this season, and it doesn’t sound like he plans to give that responsibility up despite the 2-6 record and an offense that ranks 25th in the NFL with 19.0 points per game.
If the Browns decide to wait until the offseason to show Kitchens the door, it would not be the first time they fired a head coach after just one year. Rob Chudzinski was dismissed following his lone 4-12 season in 2013, and he had a lot less to work with than Kitchens. At this point, it would be a shock if Kitchens is asked to return in 2020.