Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens made one thing abundantly clear — his team needs to execute better.
Kitchens repeated the phrase so much that if a drinking game was made out of it, most would have ended up on the floor incapacitated by the end of the near 20 minute press conference on Monday.
When asked what’s missing from his team after a miserable 2-6 start: “Execution.”
So what do they need to do this week against the Bills for it to be different?
“We’re going to go out this week and continue to try and execute,” Kitchens said. “It falls on different people at different times.”
How about that late 4th-and-4 where Baker Mayfield threw to Jarvis Landry in double coverage instead of an open Odell Beckham down the sideline.
“I’m not saying where the ball should have went,” Kitchens said. “I just know we should have executed better.”
Kitchens said after the loss that he is not worried about his job security despite his talented squad stumbling through the first eight games.
“It really doesn’t concern me,” he told Cleveland.com. “It’s not my decision. I’ve never worried about it before, I’m not worried about it now, I’m not going to worry about it in the future. I’ll just do the best job I can do.”
Browns Miserable in Red Zone Against Broncos
Here’s the fact of the matter: the Browns had seven drives inside the Denver 30-yard line during the 24-19 loss to Denver and their backup quarterback Brandon Allen. Six drives ended with four field goals and two turnovers on downs.
So when Kitchens talks about execution, is he absolving himself of blame? It’s been eight games and he still can’t get guys to execute on the field? He’s insisting the red zone packages don’t need to be rehauled, but something simply isn’t clicking.
On top of that, Kitchens ran Dontrell Hillard on two third-and-shorts when he had Nick Chubb — a top five rusher this season — standing on the sideline.
Sure, execution has been an issue. But if Kitchens has any desire to keep his job, he’ll have to look in the mirror and make a change himself, either handing over the playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Todd Monken, or giving his players something they can “execute.”
Kareem Hunt to Return This Week for Browns
A positive for the Browns this week is that running back Kareem Hunt is returning from an 8-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Hunt returned to practice two weeks ago and Kitchens said that the running back will “definitely” have a role in the offense.
Hunt has racked up 2,151 rushing yards, 833 receiving yards in his first two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 as the league’s leading rusher and was on pace for another strong season before being let go by the Chiefs last season.
They likely won’t have to make any moves to add Hunt to the roster. The team released safety Jermaine Whitehead after his social media tirade following Sunday’s loss. The Browns issued a statement shortly after Whitehead took to social media to call out people who criticized his poor tackling.
“Jermaine Whitehead’s social media posts following today’s game were totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate. We immediately spoke with Jermaine upon learning of these comments. The Browns in no way condone that type of language or behavior. This matter will be further addressed internally.”
Whitehead, who was acquired via waivers from the Green Bay Packers midway through last season, appeared in eight games this year and compiled 41 tackles and an interception.