I took a day after that horrible Browns loss in Pittsburgh to fully digest what I had just seen. An insanely depleted Steelers team whipped up on a fairly healthy Browns team in a game the Browns, and Steelers had to have. The Steelers just wanted it more. (Duck Hodges!!!) This Browns team is so incredibly disappointing, it's hard to know where to begin. So I'll begin where you should - at the beginning.
I have always felt the real job of the NFL head coach is singular. Getting players to WANT to play for them. The great ones all did - and do. Lombardi, Landry, Brown, Noll, Parcells, and more recently, Belichick, and Tomlin. They took different paths of motiviation, but they all got there. There are plenty of assistant coaches to do the X's and O's. Head coaches motivate players and coaches and manage games. Here in Browns Country, we have none of that.
What I can't decide though is this. Do these Browns players today not like and respect Freddie Kitchens, or do they like him too much and everyone is just dudes and buddies? If it's the first, the team is lost, if it's the second, the team is lost. THE job of an NFL head coach is to get these guys to walk through fire for them. And this team will not do it.
My feeling is that it is the former. Kitchens has produced a very immature football team that mirrors himself, where they don't know how to win. And he refuses to admit that he is being out prepared every week by more seasoned coaches that are way, way down the line from him on the field and off. And it's not by a little, the word is out, don't fear the Browns, they don't know what they are doing. And they don't.
He forgets the coaches on the other sideline are getting paid too, as he attempts to reinvent the wheel most Sundays, as other coaches simply laugh. Many of those same coaches would love the talent Kitchens has to coach, as they watch him squander game after game with blunders, inexperience and an arrogance that's here way too soon.
This team is really not as bad as it seems. They just have to learn to walk through fire. And one day they will, but for whom?