Browns GM: HC Kitchens Will Hold Players Accountable After Odell Beckham TradeMarch 18, 2019
Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said he expects head coach Freddie Kitchens to "hold players accountable" when asked about how the team plans to deal with its personality-filled locker room.
Dorsey told Peter King of NBC Sports:
"From a planning standpoint, you want to surround a first-year head coach with quality coaches at all levels. I think we’ve done that. Surround him with a strong coaching staff [veteran offensive coordinator Todd Monken, ex-head coach Steve Wilks as defensive coordinator]. And remember: This head coach is very direct, very honest. He's going to tell it like it is, and he'll tell Odell like it is. He will hold players accountable. He'll let players express themselves, as he should do.
"We really like Odell. He's passionate. He's competitive. He wants to be great. You can't have enough of those guys. He's on time. Everything you hear is he's a great teammate. We're thrilled to have him."
The Browns have been all-in on talent acquisition this offseason, though two names in particular have created headlines. They signed running back Kareem Hunt in February, less than three months after he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after video of him kicking and shoving a woman in a Cleveland hotel was leaked to TMZ.
The NFL suspended Hunt for the first eight games of the 2019 season.
Beckham has had no off-field problems of note but is a competitive player prone to bouts of volatility. He also rankled feathers last season when he criticized the New York Giants coaching staff and wondered aloud if the team was better off replacing quarterback Eli Manning.
Add the never-shy personalities of returnees Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry, and the Browns' locker room will be as intriguing as their on-field product.
That will be among the major challenges facing Kitchens, who rapidly ascended from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to head coach in the span of less than three months. The 44-year-old had never been a coordinator before taking over that position on an interim basis under Gregg Williams after the firing of coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Kitchens' offense performed like one of the NFL's best over the final half of the season, with Mayfield emerging as one of the most promising young quarterbacks. The top pick in the 2018 draft set the NFL rookie record for passing touchdowns (27) and finished second behind Saquon Barkley in Rookie of the Year voting.
The Browns have gone from the NFL's most perpetually downtrodden franchise to a trendy Super Bowl pick.
No pressure or anything, Freddie.