Browns notes: Offensive performance Friday a recipe for disaster

Austin Seibert hasn’t won kicking competition

Daryl Ruiter
August 24, 2019 - 4:13 pm

© Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports


Berea, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Freddie Kitchens was not happy with his offense Friday night in Tampa Bay, and understandably so.

From pass protection, run blocking, route running and catching footballs, nothing went right for the starters in the first half that saw the Browns settle for a 9-0 halftime advantage before losing 13-12.

“It was just a recipe for disaster all the way around, but there are a lot of good opportunities for these guys to learn from, and I do not want to lose sight of that,” Kitchens said.

With Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb dressed but inactive, Baker Mayfield failed to find chemistry with his supporting cast.

Mayfield completed 10 of 26 attempts for 72 yards and an interception that came on the final play of the first half. The Browns went 0-2 in the red zone and totaled 75 net yards of offense despite favorable average starting field position – their own 43 – in the first half.

“I do not think Baker played as well as he would have liked to have played nor how I would have liked him to play,” Kitchens said. “Just like we have said before, he has to try and get better, too, each and every day.

“The way offensive football works is the offensive line has to do their job, the tight ends have to do their job, the receivers have to do their job, the running backs have to do their job and the quarterback has to do his job. If all of that happens, you have a successful offense. If any part of that breaks down, it affects other people’s job.”

Mayfield received little help from his receivers on some throws and on others, he missed by a fraction.

“There were a couple of instances of just not running routes the way we are supposed to,” Kitchens said. “They have to be in rhythm, they have to be at the proper depth and the ball has to come out on time or you do not really have a play. There were several instances last night where we did not get to where we were supposed to get to. Our protection was just a little off.”

Nothing is over – Austin Seibert took full advantage of his opportunity Friday night by making all four of his field goal tries, including a 54 yarder to begin the evening, but Greg Joseph is still in the running.

“Just because he made four kicks doesn’t mean the competition’s over,” Kitchens said. “These guys are still competing. We wanted to give a game-like setting to a punter and to a kicker and see how they responded to that because clearly the alternating attempts were not working so yeah, Greg will have his opportunity now and we’ll go from there.”

In addition to the kick from 54, Seibert hit from 36, 30 and 35.

Undrafted rookie free agent Jamie Gillan averaged 47.8 yards on six punts, including two that went for 50 and 54 yards. After booting a 74 yarder at Indianapolis, Kitchens wanted Gillan to work on his hang time rather than wowing everyone with the distance of his kicks.

“Anytime you can net 44 yards you’re doing something right and there’s a couple kicks there that probably we’d like to have a little higher but at the end of the day I thought he did a very good job,” Kitchens said. 

Testing, testing – Kitchens made it a point to challenge a pass interference Friday night to test the new replay rules.

“I was not leaving that game last night without throwing [that flag] to challenge a pass interference either way, whether it was for us or against us or whatever,” Kitchens said. “Do I have any more understanding than I did before? Uh, probably not. But we keep working with it. It’s a fluid situation where we just gotta learn what can be overturned and what couldn’t. I thought it was a good opportunity though with the one I threw it on.” 

Kitchens lost a challenge of a call against rookie linebacker Mack Wilson in the third quarter.

Glimmer of hope – Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi’s odds of making the Browns 53-man roster remain long but an 18-yard punt return last night caught Kitchens’ eye after having a quiet week.

“I think he’s shown he can return punts,” Kitchens said. “He had one the first week, he really didn’t do much last week and then yesterday he did have a pretty good return.

“Sheehy’s a tough guy now. I was impressed he was able to go out and play because he’s a little banged up right now.”

Up next – Players off Sunday, practice resumes Monday.