Browns’ Freddie Kitchens Taking Larger Role on Offense a Cause for Concern

Getty Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens.

The Cleveland Browns are adjusting to a ton of new faces is key places this season.

Among those are new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who was hired by the Browns in the offseason after not being retained by head coach Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay.

Monken had spent the previous three seasons with the Bucs, who had the top passing offense in the league last season and club records in total yards, passing yards and passing TDs. He seemed like a great coordinator to pair with head coach Freddie Kitchens — an offensive mind himself.

However, NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported on Thursday that the installation of the new offense has not gone as smoothly as planned, leading Kitchens to take on a bigger role than expected.

“The transition to new OC Todd Monken has not gone as smoothly as planned, resulting in HC Freddie Kitchens playing a greater role in spearheading the offense than originally intended,” Silver wrote on Twitter. “We’ll keep an eye on this as the season approaches.”’s Mary Kay Cabot built on Silver’s report saying that the reason Kitchens is more involved now than previously is because he’s gathering information from all the offensive assistants.

Monken’s offense has elements of the Air Raid system, similar to what Baker Mayfield ran at Oklahoma. 

“I like having fun. I don’t know why it has to feel like such drudgery all the time,” Monken said. “Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”

It was previously stated by the Browns that Kitchens would continue to calls the plays.

“I’m very impressed that Todd made that decision,” Kitchens said. “He showed an investment in me and showed an investment in what we’re trying to build and the vision where we’re taking this thing. He made a decision based on people. Our decisions here are going to be made on people.”

Last year, Mayfield excelled once Kitchens took over the play-calling duties on offense midway through the season.

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Cleveland averaged 23.8 points per game with Kitchens calling the plays and scored on 79.2 percent of its red zone trips. That should only improve with the new weapons in the Browns’ arsenal.

What likely didn’t help the situation is that Odell Beckham Jr., a key addition to the offense, missed much of OTAs. Before reporting to minicamp last week, head coach Freddie Kitchens admitted OBJ had missed “a lot” when it came to the offense.

Baker Mayfield

GettyCleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Baker Mayfield Takes Heat From Veterans For Duke Johnson Jr. Comments

Baker Mayfield didn’t hold back when asked about Duke Johnson Jr.’s trade request at Cleveland Browns minicamp, and it turns out some of his veteran teammates took issue with what the second-year quarterback said.

Mayfield ripped Johnson when asked about how a player wanting to be traded affects the locker room.

“It’s not awkward. It’s self-inflicted,” Mayfield said. “I hope he does his job.

“If someone wants to be here, they’ll be here,” Mayfield added. “You got guys in our locker room that are dying to get playing time and dying to be here. Duke has been here for years but it’s about what are you doing right now.”

Michael Silver of reported on Wednesday that Mayfield’s comments didn’t sit well with veterans in the locker room.

“According to multiple sources, several veteran Browns players approached Baker Mayfield in the locker room after the young QB’s critical comments about RB Duke Johnson to register their displeasure, and they hashed out their differences,” Silver reported.

It’s somewhat of an unwritten rule to not get involved in other players business, especially when it involves trades and contracts.

Jarvis Landry, a veteran wide receiver, showed a little more restraint when asked about the issue.

“I hope he understands and feels that guys are here for him,” Landry said. “Whether he is here or not, that the relationship goes beyond the player, obviously the person as well. I definitely hope he understands that and knows that there are guys that are here for him.”

READ NEXT: Giants Star Saquon Barkley Responds To Odell Beckham Jr. Comments

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