Tiki Tells D.A. He Doesn't Think Kitchens Will Get Fired

Tiki Barber explains why firing Freddie Kitchens isn't a foregone conclusion

The DA Show
December 05, 2019 - 11:27 am

The Cleveland Browns entered the season with high expectations. Super Bowl expectations.

Instead, they started 2-6 and are 5-7 heading into a Week 14 showdown with the Bengals (1-11).

Why didn’t the Browns play up to their potential this season?

“Let’s not forget the history of the Browns. It’s not one of winning,” Tiki Barber said on The DA Show. “Yes, Baker Mayfield injected some excitement last season and they got off the schneid, but it takes a culture. It takes a development of the culture in order to consistently win. I think getting distracted by the expectations, not being focused on developing the things that matter – like, ‘What’s our route tree look like? If we get into trouble, what do our scramble rules look like? In situational football, what are we doing to win the close games?’ They just haven’t developed that yet.”

Four of the Browns’ seven losses have come by seven points or fewer. They’re also the last team to beat the Ravens (10-2), who have won eight straight games.

But the consistency just hasn’t been there for Cleveland.

“Freddie Kitchens is a rookie as a head coach,” Barber said. “Odell and Baker are new together, so they’re still tying to develop a chemistry – the targets aren’t right and everything else. They do, interestingly though, have a lot of positives to talk about. So while people on the outside will say, ‘Freddie Kitchens is done, he’s going to get fired,’ they’re quietly really good defensively.”

The Browns rank sixth against the pass. Nick Chubb leads the league with 1,175 rushing yards. There have been positives.

“Some things are working,” Barber said. “They’re just having some growing pains because the culture of winning hasn’t been there for decades, and it’s going to take some time. I think a lot of it, though, is on them because they’ve pushed it out. They made themselves feel like they were Super Bowl-viable. They’re not there yet. They may be in a couple of years. They’re premature in how they viewed themselves, I think.”

While some wonder if Freddie Kitchens will be fired after the season, Barber doesn’t see that happening.

“I don’t,” he said. “I really don’t because there’s too many positives to point to. . . . The Browns could be rash and say, ‘Yeah, Freddie is not our guy’ and blow this thing up and start over again, but you’re starting all over again and you just started over a year ago. So I don’t think it’s foregone. I think he actually gets another year.”