Cowher On Kitchens: We Are Too Quick To Be Judgmental

Browns fans – and Browns brass – need to be patient with Freddie Kitchens as he navigates his first season as an NFL head coach

The DA Show
November 07, 2019 - 11:59 am
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The Cleveland Browns have been perhaps the most disappointing team in the NFL this season. Popular picks to win the AFC North – and perhaps the Super Bowl – the Browns (2-6) trail the Ravens (6-2) by four games in the division.

What has gone wrong in Cleveland?

“I think we put such a high expectation on them,” Bill Cowher said on The DA Show. “We sit there and look at all the people that they have – and yeah, there’s some talented names. We know about OBJ and Jarvis Landry and Chubb and Baker Mayfield, the way he finished last year. I think what you’re looking at is a team, a lot of it has been self-induced. You’re talking about a team that leads the league in penalties, they’ve given up a lot of turnovers on offense, some big plays on defense, and they’ve just not been able to put everything together. Baker does not look comfortable.”

Mayfield has completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 1,963 yards, seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions in eight games.

Freddie Kitchens, meanwhile, has struggled to find answers.

“I think he’s tried to temper the expectations,” Cowher said. “At the same time, what you have to do is adapt and adjust; adapt to where you are, adjust your systems accordingly. You’ve got to be able to stop the run better on defense. You’ve got to be able to not turn the football over and finish some of these drives. . . . What they have to do right now is eliminate all the outside noise and just find a way to win a game.”
 
Cowher believes that Browns fans – and Browns brass – need to be patient as Kitchens navigates his first season as a head coach.

“There’s no manuscript for being a head coach,” Cowher said. “It’s different in every building, what you’re walking into and what the responsibilities are. . . . Freddie is calling plays, and that’s fine. He can do that. But you have to be able to delegate, have a handle on things, have the pulse of your football team. Every week is a new experience. Every week you become a little bit better at because you’re now able to understand how you can have time-management from the standpoint of where you want to spend your time and what areas you have to be able to address.

“I think sometimes we get too quick to be judgmental,” Cowher continued. “Freddie will get better as this season goes on, as he goes through this. Give him some time to grow into that position and understand his football team. We’re halfway through it, and it’s not been the start they’ve wanted. But now is not the time to panic or overreact. I think what he needs to do is simplify things. You’ve got too much talent on that team. Don’t try to trick people. I would dial it more back than try to do something and thinking outside the box.”

The Browns host the Bills (6-2) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.