Entering the 2019 season, the Cleveland Browns had sky-high expectations for the first time in recent memory; they have a blossoming young quarterback, one of the best wide receivers in the league, and a brand-new head coach in Freddie Kitchens. Freddie Kitchens, who took over as offensive coordinator midway through last season, was handed the keys to a Ferrari and has managed to burn that Ferrari to ashes.
Through eight games, the Browns sit at a meager 2-6 and are dead last in the AFC North. While there is a multitude of reasons for Cleveland’s struggles, the majority of the blame has been placed on Kitchens.
Prior to coaching for the Browns, Kitchens worked for the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys as an offensive position coach. But in his prior NFL experience, he has never had anything resembling the responsibilities that the Browns have placed upon him; he was never even a play-caller during his days coaching college football.
I have had the opportunity to watch most of Cleveland’s games this season and I even attended the game against the Seahawks. Ever since their week one bout against the Tennessee Titans, fans began to see the cracks starting to form. Baker Mayfield, the young Browns quarterback, has been in awful form and is tied for the most interceptions in the NFL; he has thrown 12 interceptions in eight games this year, compared to only 14 interceptions all of last year.
It is extremely unusual to see a head coach call their own plays; this responsibility lies with the offensive and defensive coordinators. But, for some odd reason, Kitchens has refused to hand over play-calling duties and his struggles as a head coach have worsened with every passing week.
With Kitchens worried about calling the plays and the normal responsibilities of a head coach, he has put Mayfield in terrible positions to succeed and the offense has struggled mightily because of it.
During my visit to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland to see the Browns square off against the Seahawks, I witnessed some of the worst coaching incompetence in my 20 years of life.
The Browns were up 20-12 with less than two minutes in the first half and were in the red zone threatening to score again, but Kitchens called a pass play with all three timeouts left and Mayfield threw an interception. The Seahawks then proceeded to score and went into halftime down only one point.
After the game, Kitchens was asked about the monumental blunder and here was his response: “I thought about scoring… using my three timeouts, and scoring again…” As a football fanatic, this response made me absolutely sick to my stomach. The ineptitude that has been on display all season long by this coaching staff has been utterly shocking.
Sitting at 2-6 and staring down the barrel of another disappointing season, Freddie Kitchens’ job security becomes increasingly unstable with every passing week. Kitchens has failed to utilize the talent he inherited on this team, he has somehow gotten the franchise quarterback to digress, and has driven the Browns into the ground.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported that Freddie Kitchens could possibly be canned before the season’s end. As a Browns fan, I would be very in favor of this decision.
The Browns front office botched this head coach hire and, as a result, the organization has most likely been set back one to two years because of this mistake. Freddie Kitchens is one of the worst head coaches in recent memory, and the Browns should rid themselves of him as quickly as possible.
It is no longer a question of IF he gets fired, but instead a matter of WHEN he gets fired.