Now that Freddie Kitchens is gone, the dysfunction that was going on throughout the regular season is starting to leak.
According to Zac Jackson of The Athletic, offensive coordinator Todd Monken had friction with Kitchens, and those issues even reached opposing coaches before games.
Per Jackson, Monken “would spend time on the field before games telling opposing coaches how bad things were with the Browns, calling the team “a total mess.”
Monken’s main problem with Kitchens was that despite Monken having the title of offensive coordinator, Kitchens was calling the plays.
Due to this, the two were never on the same page, and Kitchens play calling “steered away” from their initial game planning from Wednesday to Saturday.
#Browns stuff starting to leak (via Athletic). pic.twitter.com/wbSRctaUG6
— Turner Maney (@turnermaney) December 31, 2019
Despite having last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year (Baker Mayfield), the NFL’s second-best rusher in Nick Chubb, and two 1,000-yard receivers, the Browns ranked 22nd in total yards, 22nd in total points.
Brian Flores had:
As key players on offense while actively tanking
Freddie Kitchens had:
And finished with 1 more win than the Dolphins. Coaching matters #Browns
— Johnny Blitz (@johnnyblitzz) December 29, 2019
Monken’s frustrations would mirror his wide receivers’ actions.
The latter course of the season saw both 1,000-yard receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr have run-ins with Kitchens.
Then, when the Browns relieved Kitchens of his duties, Landry was asked about the situation and did not go to bat for his former head coach.
Jarvis Landry on Freddie: “Not my call.” pic.twitter.com/Qbz6YIBiHk
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 29, 2019
Landry also told reporters that he believes that “ownership did what they felt was best for the organization and for us as players.”
When asked to elaborate, Landry said that Kitchens “relied on plays and not players as much.”
When the Browns needed big plays in the end zone, it did seem that Landry and Beckham were not utilized as well as one would think.
Landry finished the season with just six touchdowns and Beckham finished with four, which was just one-off from his career-low.
Beckham was the prize of the offseason when the Browns traded for him, but in terms of his use, Landry was getting more looks than the three-time Pro Bowl receiver.
Anyone defending @obj saying he should get the ball more.
Odell Beckham Jr. has 108 targets and 59 catches through week 14.
Jarvis Landry has 115 targets and 69 catches through week 14.
What am I missing here? 🤔#dawgcheck #clevelandbrowns #jarvislandry #odellbeckhamjr
— marcgutter (@mgutterman113) December 9, 2019
Monken is still employed by the Browns and will have a chance to reverse the culture of the team when a new head coach is hired.
The Browns have been linked to numerous coaches, but one intriguing option is New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach from 2005 to 2008 before becoming the head coach for the Denver Broncos in 2009.
After the Broncos fired McDaniels in 2010, and one season with the Rams as an OC/QB coach, McDaniels returned to the Patriots in his same role in 2012.
McDaniels has been linked to multiple head coaching vacancies over the last couple of years due to his ability to run an offense that has ranked towards the top of the league.
With the players on the Browns roster, some believe that McDaniels could be the perfect fit.
I’m pretty sure if Josh Mcdaniels can make the Pats offense a super bowl offense I’m gonna bet he can do the same with Cleveland. #Browns pic.twitter.com/tG4ityrYHa
— Kadin Schmitz (@KadinSchmitz) December 30, 2019
Even if Monken was correct it should have been handled in house. That’s not something you should be discussing with other teams coaches before or after a game. Sounds like he could have been part of the problem.
Hampton Rds Browns Follower says
Absolutely I agree with Jmac. Monken should look elsewhere for a job. That lack of discretion isn’t worthy of keeping him.
They need to fire monkin too if thats true
Monken should be gone too.
Totally agree. If you’re not happy with your head coach, you don’t go complaining to the other team. You know he was spreading dissension amongst other people.
It still comes from the top. Haslem new this and did nothing about it. If coaches arent getting along it should have been dealt with at that time. Kitchens and Jimmy just screwed with peoples lives. Unbelievable.
so true, Haslam structures and promotes distention in his staffs
. Flying J????
Browns just don’t know how to pick head coaches it seems they never will I will never see a super bowl in my lifetime I am 69
Dan C says
My dad had season tickets with the Browns from 1946 to 2002 — 51 years, counting the lull between 1995 to 1999. I had them from 1965 to 2002. He died in 2005. In 2003, I said to him, “Dad, I don’t think you are going to live long enough to see the Browns in the Super Bowl.” He replied, “I have news for you. I don’t think YOU are going to live long enough to see the Browns in the Super Bowl!”
I am now 69 years old. It is looking pretty grim.
Perfect response by your dad!
He knew Kitchens was going to call the plays when he was hired.
But he didn’t know that kitchens wouldn’t follow the game plan they prepared each week. Kitchens should have let monken call the plays. Many offensive coaches who become head coach let the OC call the plays and focus on being the head coach of the while team.