The Browns’ failure to reach the playoffs begs offseason questions for Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, others

On Aug. 20, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens was asked if Cleveland could handle the courtesy campaign around a team that added Odell Beckham Jr. and gathered from many to win the AFC North.

Could Cleveland wear a bullseye?

“We don’t care,” said Kitchen. “It’s already there, so it doesn’t matter, we’ll be ready to play, I don’t know what the bullseye is … The expectations you set don’t matter to our expectations. Do the best we can do. That changes week. many times a week. “

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Ah, after a week-long loss to the Titans, expectations changed for the Browns, who were eliminated from the playoffs with Sunday’s 31-15 loss to the Ravens. Cleveland (6-9) suffered a 12th consecutive loss this year.

There is a week left in a disastrous time during which Browns coaches and players simply could not handle the hype. There was a lot of noise around this group and pointing out what had to change as the Browns head into a worrying future requiring a comprehensive look at the main characters.

This starts with the Kitchens.

Freddie Kitchenshttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/72/11/freddie-kitchens-120219-getty-ftrjpg_mykz37r5hsn91o1damd2pepbq.jpg? T = -949600282 & w = 500 & quality = 80

Kitchens Freddie

The noise: The kitchens went from perfect renting under the house to coaching an inquisitive team. one that garnered the third highest penalty in the NFL on the court and at least one soap opera per week.

Choose one. The Beckham wardrobe. Jermaine Whitehead uplifts social media. Jarvis Landry shouting in the kitchens on the court on week 15.

“On top of his head” was the often used phrase. This was best symbolized when the Kitchens wore a “Pittsburgh started” shirt, a reference to the famous Cleveland brawl before the Browns lost to the Steelers this week.

With the numbers: The Kitchens can still reach seven wins, which would be the biggest since a first-year Browns coach since Bud Carson led Cleveland to a 9-6-1 record in 1989. Bill Belichick finished 6- 10 with the Browns in 1990.

The future: This is a question that needs to be answered quickly, either with a vote of confidence from the Browns or a cannon. Kitchens need to prove he is the right coach to build a future around franchise leader Baker Mayfield.

Baker Mayfieldhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c7/5d/baker-mayfield-092519-getty-ftrjpg_1h9daz5jchkxp1jn1wobch97bj.jpg? T = 1767397133 & w = 500 & quality = 80

Baker Mayfield

The noise: Mayfield has struggled in Year 2. Tracks are up, completion rate is down, and he gets too many sacks behind one below the average offensive line. Mayfield at this point is more “imitative” than he is at this point and is still subject to unnecessary beef with media members such as ESPN’s Tony Grossi of Cleveland and NFL Countdown’s Rex Ryan.

With the numbers: Mayfield is now 12-15 as a freshman. That’s better than his 2018 championship teammates Sam Darnold (9-15) and Josh Rosen (3-13), but worse than Josh Allen (15-10) and of course Lamar Jackson (18-3). .

The future: For all comparisons with Brett Favre, the former Packers general was 17-12 after his first two seasons at Green Bay in 1992-93. Favre also had the opportunity to grow up with Mike Holmgren and the Packers were in the 1996 Super Bowl.

Mayfield needs the right bus to head to the central part of the rower’s contract. He’s still the right general for this franchise, but it’s time to grow.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landryhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/bc/4c/beckham-landry-122219-getty-ftrjpg_1be130d28mof019z4tmufanb14.jpg? T = 783050735 & w = 500 & quality = 80

Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry

The noise: Beckham and Landry have dismissed reports that they are telling other “Come with me” teams during the disappointing season in Cleveland. Both receivers had to change their spots during a loss on November 3 in Denver. Landry’s exchange with the Cardinals Kitchens on Week 15 was public. Beckham didn’t have one of those yet.

With the numbers: For the whole drama, the only teams that entered Week 15 with two 1,000-seat receptions were the Cowboys (Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup), the Chargers (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams), the Rams (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods) and Buccaneers Chris Godwin, Mike Evans). Landry and Beckham are close, but are still looking to join the team.

The future: Production is more than drama, but efficiency with Mayfield should be better in season two with all three. This means reaching the end zone more often.

Mason Rudolph, Myles Garretthttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/7a/0/mason-rudolph-myles-garrett-ftr_o5y9070xx0ev1054jn3suux8p.png? T = 1876143966 & w = 500 & quality = 80

Myles Garrett

The noise: Garrett will be considered a “dirty player” when he returns from suspension to turn his helmet on Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph on November 14. The NFL rejected his appeal, alleging that Rudolph described him as a racial abuser.

With the numbers: Garrett has had 30.5 sacks in the last three seasons and had 10 sacks at the time of suspension. He is one of the best defensive players in the game.

The future: Garrett is in the final year of a fourth-year contract with a fifth-year option and has the opportunity to prove he is a great franchise defensive player. Its reputation can only be restored with fewer divert calls.

The Browns are the only team with three different defensive ports with multiple callbacks this past season. This starts with Garrett.

John Dorseyhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/6b/ab/john-dorsey-061218-getty-ftrjpg_19fnpsrrapyai1k44m9k130nu2.jpg? T = -188129597 & w = 500 & quality = 80

Browns Management

The noise: Jimmy Haslam and John Dorsey face another offseason that could change the perception of both. Since taking over the team in mid-2012, Haslam has been unable to build Cleveland into a winner. Dee’s wife wore a hat that supported Garrett the week after the suspension, which could be taken as an indication of either support or deafness.

Dorsey was the love of the last offseason, but Beckham’s trade weakened an already suspect offensive line. Kareem Hunt’s signing was also dangerous and the start-up called for the team to fail after losing week 15 in Arizona.

With the numbers: The Browns went 4-5 under Haslam when he took over the interim through the 2012 season. The Browns are 28-81-1 since 2013, the worst record in the NFL. Jacksonville (37-76) is nearly 10 games better next.

The future: Cleveland must face offensive line this offseason and figure out whether it is worth returning players like Hunt, Damarious Randall, Joe Schobert and Rashard Higgins. He has to do this while planning big contracts with Mayfield, Garrett and Nick Chubb, who was the NFL’s top player and by far the most consistent player on the team.

Dorsey has been aggressive in the last two offseasons. Will this trend continue?

Cleveland Brownshttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1/13/browns-022819-getty-ftrjpg_1lrhq8vovhjol1g8gd7vs56wcf.jpg? T = 881700977 & w = 500 & quality = 80

All the others …

The noise: How about having a fan base that is least expected in the playoffs and talking about the Super Bowl reacting to the bite of a disappointing season? The Browns won’t be her “team” outside of the 2020 season, and that could be good.

With the numbers: What was one of the big differences in a potential playoff run this season? The Browns went 0-4 against the West NFC. Next year’s third-place timetable will include the NFC East complete with a game in New York (Odell has it) and the AFC South.

The future: The fact that the Ravens are the best team in the division (and maybe the NFL) should have mobilized this franchise to prove itself in the field. There is still a lot of talent in Cleveland. more than it has been since the franchise returned in 1999. A playoff spot is not as far-fetched as it may seem, but the accumulation of celebrities should now realize that the postseason positions on paper are useless.

The postseason will begin with a decision on the status of the Kitchens and move on from there. Maybe the Kitchens are right about the bullseye, but there is no doubt that a promoted team did not live up to expectations.

The Browns have been an easy target for quite some time. However, if they haven’t learned from this year’s series of parallel presentations, then this franchise will never meet those expectations no matter who the coach is.

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