Freddie Kitchens says Browns playing as a group, not team

Head coach blasts players for not doing their jobs following latest loss

Daryl Ruiter
October 14, 2019 - 4:35 pm

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Talent only takes you so far.

It’s a lesson the 2019 Cleveland Browns are learning the hard way following another loss, this time 32-28 to the Seattle Seahawks that saw them squander a 20-6 lead.

It came 6 days after going to Santa Clara and being blown out 31-3 by the 49ers.

“All this talent we've got, that's gotten us 2-4,” Kitchens said. “So now let's try something different. Let's try to be a team and see if we can be better moving forward.”

With trips to New England and Denver to follow their bye week, this season could go off the rails in a hurry, and on Monday, it sounded like from Kitchens that maybe it already has begun.

“I think at 2-4, you're at the crossroads,” Kitchens said.

It’s never a good sign when the head coach talks about not playing as a team or the Browns being at the crossroads. We’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well.

Curing what ails the Browns is much easier said than done since 2-5 likely awaits them in New England where the Patriots are 6-0.

“We have a lot of talent, right? We are full of talent,” Kitchens said. “Hopefully, our talented guys will all become a team, and we will all go up there as one and put our best foot forward.”

One of the primary questions entering the season would be how would the stars and the big personalities that come with them gel.

The early returns are not good.

“I do not mind having individual goals. I am not going to bash the people on our team,” Kitchens said. “There is a commitment level here to doing your job. It could be the punter is going to affect the offense, the offense is going to affect the defense and the defense is going to affect the special teams. Everything kind of goes hand in hand here.

“This is not rocket science. It is you do your job and that puts yourself in a better position to be successful. In return, it would get the team moving in that same direction.”

The acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. in March was supposed to provide the Browns with a prolific offense and turn it into a juggernaut by pairing him with his fried and college teammate Jarvis Landry.

Through 6 games, Beckham has 1 score, and that came 4 weeks ago tying the longest stretch without a TD in Beckham’s career. Landry has none.

“Most of everything we've struggled with has been self-inflicted,” Landry said.

The bloom is off the rose.

“I think at this point nobody is going to pick us to beat anybody,” Landry said.

After scoring touchdowns on their first 3 possessions Sunday, the Browns scored just 1 more over their final 9 while turning it over 4 times and having a punt blocked prompting Kitchens to channel his inner Bill Belichick.  

“The motto today is everybody just do your job and do not worry about anybody else’s job. Just do your job,” Kitchens said. “At some point, we have to become a team. The difference between a group and a team is significant. To be a team, you have to do your job and then you bring it together collectively and then you become a team and you trust the guy beside you that is going to do their job. That is how you become a team.

“Until you get to that point, you are a group. The better team beat our group yesterday.”