Forget the shenanigans surrounding Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens wearing the “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt.
It was foolish for Kitchens to wear the shirt, but the first-year head coach has shown he’s inept in more meaningful areas.
Plus, Ron Rivera is on the open market.
The Carolina Panthers fired Rivera on Tuesday as it appears the team will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Rivera, 57, has 33 years of NFL experience as a player and coach.
The two-time AP NFL Coach of the Year (2013 and 2015) told media members Wednesday morning he intends to coach again.
It’s possible Rivera will coach somewhere in 2020 because of the vacancies that will inevitably emerge around the league.
The head coaches on the hot seat include Doug Marrone of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons, Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys, Pat Shurmur of the New York Giants, Matt Patricia of the Detroit Lions, Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals and Kitchens.
Plus, the Washington Redskins might want someone to replace interim head coach Bill Callahan.
Rivera coached the Panthers from 2011-2019, taking them to Super Bowl 50.
The Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos 24-10 despite being a 4.5-point favorite and nearly 90 percent of bettors taking Carolina.
With a 76-63-1 record, Rivera became the winningest coach in team history.
You would think Rivera might want a chance to coach one of the NFL’s youngest teams with an offense that has Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
What about a defense with Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and if the team decides to keep Joe Schobert?
On paper, the Browns’ current roster looks like an AFC Pro Bowl team.
It’s the reason why oddsmakers made Cleveland the preseason favorite to win the AFC North. August feels like a lifetime ago.
Odds to win the AFC North (Bovada):@Browns +120@steelers +195@Ravens +295@Bengals +1500
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) August 13, 2019
Wouldn’t a coach like Rivera have gotten more production out of this current Browns roster than Kitchens?
The Panthers have the same record as the Browns this season at 5-7 despite Carolina having several injuries, most notably Cam Newton.
Browns fans should be concerned about Kitchens’ questionable in-game decision making.
It includes running the ball on a 4th-and-9 play and intentionally taking a false-start penalty on a 4th-and-11 situation only to put his offense back on the field on 4th-and-16.
Under Kitchens this season, Cleveland also allows a league-worst 77.16 penalty yards per game.
Until the Browns fired Todd Haley midway through the 2018 season, Kitchens hadn’t even been a coordinator before.
Kitchens’ lack of experience is evident through 12 games.
Rivera’s success speaks for itself in nearly nine years as Panthers coach.
It’s the same success the Cleveland Browns organization has spent decades trying to find.
The #Panthers fired Ron Rivera today. I thought of this scene at Levi’s Stadium the day before Super Bowl 50. After the official team photo, he wanted to take his own pictures of his players. pic.twitter.com/3RXbeoqSB8
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) December 3, 2019
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