The Cleveland Browns entered the year with a historic level of hype thanks to some major offseason moves. But as the season winds down, first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens finds himself on a hot seat that is growing warmer by the day.
The Browns are 5-7 and need some good fortune to make the playoffs after dropping a road contest to a depleted Steelers team last week. Much of the blame comes down on Kitchens, who has called the plays for a talented but inconsistent offense and he’s also failed to instill discipline in his squad.
Many are clamoring for the team to replace Kitchens, but Albert Breer of The MMQB thinks he’ll get another year to lead the Browns. After all, Hue Jackson got to come back after an 0-16 campaign, albeit the expectations were much lower then.
Breer joined Bull & Fox on 92.3 The Fan Cleveland to talk about the future of the Browns skipper.
“It’s my belief that there’s a good chance he survives now. But I wouldn’t be surprised if part of that is that there are some staff changes,” Breer said. “And that may not be be some of the guys getting fired, it might just be changing roles. One thing that has been raised to me in the past as a possibility that Freddie becomes more of a walk around head coach and Todd Monken becomes the play caller. I would say there are multiple things on the table.”
Freddie Kitchens Not Worried About Job Security With Browns
Kitchens has said multiples times this season that he does not think about his job security. He was asked if he worries about it again this week and replied to the reporter simply: “No, I’m not.”
Kitchens’ rise to the head coaching spot was near meteoric, moving up from a running backs coach, to the offensive coordinator and then the lead man. While he has over a decade of coaching experience in the NFL under his belt mostly as a position coach, there have been some fairly obvious rookie growing pains and mistakes along the way in his first head coaching gig (see Pittsburgh started it shirt).
Breer made sure to say he wasn’t “reporting” Kitchens would be staying, but that he formed the opinion through talking to multiple sources.
“You make enough phone calls this time of year, you sort of put two and two together with a bunch of different things and you star to form an opinion,” Breer told the radio show. “My opinion is that Freddie has a pretty good chance of surviving to be the coach again in 2020, barring any catastrophe the next month.”
Browns Focused on 1-0 Mentality Going Forward
After falling to 2-6, the Browns won three games in a row before hitting the speed bump against the Steelers. Now to maintain any hope of sneaking into the playoffs, Cleveland needs to win out against the Bengals (twice), Ravens and Cardinals.
“Just simply put, the same way we did when we were 2-6. These guys invested a lot into getting back to the point to get us to where this game even meant anything. Moving forward, we are going to do the same thing because I know this, we have a zero percent chance unless we take care of what we can take care of, and that is just to go 1-0 this week,” Kitchens said. “We are about to play a Cincinnati team that is coming off of their first win. Their confidence is going to be at an all-time high. We understand that and respect that, but we also know that is more about us than anything else.”
The Browns are a touchdown favorite for the contest against the Bengals with a total of 41.5 points.