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Browns' Freddie Kitchens Says He Plans on Showing Up to Work Monday After Loss

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 29, 2019

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 29: Head coach Freddie Kitchens of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

And now, Freddie Kitchens will wait.

The Cleveland Browns' first-year head coach commented on his uncertain job status following the team's 33-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

More Freddie: "I don't know that anyone thought I was a finished product." Says he wouldn't look at coming back in 2020 as a second chance -- it's still the first chance. Says he has a good relationship with GM John Dorsey and they have frank conversations.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Kitchens' future was "undecided, though it appears the desired outcome for owner Jimmy Haslam is to keep him." Losing to the 2-14 Bengals, the worst team in the league, presumably won't help the Browns come to a definitive decision on Kitchens. 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Prior to week 15, #Browns brass planned to stand with coach Freddie Kitchens, barring a disaster ending. Cleveland has since lost 3 in a row, including today to the NFL’s worst team. The Haslams have a hard decision to make.

The Browns lost their last three outings to finish 2019 at 6-10.

Cleveland has now posted 12 consecutive losing seasons and missed the postseason for the 17th straight year.

Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns' No. 1 and 2 receivers, succinctly dodged questions about Kitchens' future after Sunday's loss:

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Jarvis Landry on Freddie: “Not my call.” https://t.co/Qbz6YIBiHk

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Odell on potential changes: “I don’t know what that is, what’s gonna happen. ... I’ll be here.” https://t.co/IQR62JlXcA

The vague sentiment was similar to how quarterback Baker Mayfield answered questions following Cleveland's 31-15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week:

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Baker Mayfield, asked if he thinks changes need to be made including the coaching staff: “That’s not my decision to make, so whatever happens happens...” (added he’ll be focused on getting pass-catchers together in offseason) https://t.co/IcxdSTlvPW

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Baker, on if Kitchens deserves the blame for the way this season has gone: “It goes to many more things than just Freddie. We can all be better... there’s no one single thing to blame.” https://t.co/bBbTTz64ed

Mayfield's regression is among the largest indictments against Kitchens. The 2018 top overall pick recorded 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions this season compared to 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 picks as a rookie.

The Browns reportedly hired Kitchens, at least in part, because Mayfield liked him (h/t NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala). Kitchens served well as the team's offensive coordinator last season but appeared to be overwhelmed as a head coach. The Browns were majorly undisciplined throughout the season:

trey wingo @wingoz

Is there a discipline problem in Cleveland? Browns - This Season NFL Rank Penalties 87 Most Penalty yards 822 Most Special team penalties 13 T-second Defensive penalties 33 T-Third Offensive penalties 41 T-Third

Andrew Siciliano @AndrewSiciliano

Browns have been flagged for 17 penalties, their most since 1951. 1951.

The most notable penalty came in Week 11 when defensive end Myles Garrett was ejected for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's unprotected head with his helmet, which led to him being suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Garrett was just one talented Browns player to underperform. However, Landry and fellow receiver Odell Beckham Jr. were hampered by hip and sports hernia injuries, respectively. That aspect was obviously out of Kitchens' control. Landry still managed to catch 83 balls for 1,174 yards and six touchdowns. 

Beckham also secured a 1,000-yard receiving season, while running back Nick Chubb finished second in the league with 1,494 rushing yards. The fact the Browns still couldn't win will ultimately fall back on Kitchens.

Jordan Zirm @clevezirm

Browns had: -the leading rusher in the NFL -two 1,000 yard receivers and lost ten times

Beckham was arguably the largest offseason acquisition across the league, making his underwhelming campaign especially surprising:

Field Yates @FieldYates

The Browns added Odell Beckham, Jr. to their offense this offseason and found a way to throw for 414 fewer passing yards, 7 fewer passing TD and score 24 fewer points than they ddi in 2018.

There were reports earlier this month that Beckham, Landry and other unnamed players were telling opposing teams to "come get me" from the Browns in the upcoming offseason—something both Beckham and Landry vehemently denied:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Multiple Browns players, including Jarvis Landry, yelled “Come get me” to the Cardinals sideline on Sunday, per @MikeSilver. That’s the same phrase @JayGlazer reported OBJ has told opponents. https://t.co/ochiw0gBoo

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Jarvis Landry, on the NFL Network report that he was telling Arizona players “come get me” out of Cleveland: “I would never look to another team during a game especially that we’re losing and say ‘come get me’ with a worse record than we have. ... don’t try to slander my name.” https://t.co/nyNGPP2yDb

Tony Grossi @TonyGrossi

Odell Beckham Jr said it: ‘I’m not going anywhere.’

The question, though, isn't whether the likes of Beckham and Landry will be in Cleveland next year. It's whether the Browns believe Kitchens is capable to bring out the best in a very talented roster.