Kitchens on loss: 'Execution wasn't there' offensively

  • By Jelani Scott
More Columns >

In most cases, two out of three doesn't sound too bad. In the eyes of Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, that just sounds like a lack of effort.

Kitchens opted to sit several members of the first-team offense Friday night against the Buccaneers, leaving quarterback Baker Mayfield to make magic with the backups.

Once the clock struck midnight, there was no magic to be found as the Browns lost 13-12 and Mayfield's night finished with a 10-of-26 performance for 72 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in one half. All 12 points came by way of kicker Austin Seibert's foot, three of which came in the first half.

"We'll be able to look at the film and really learn from this and be able to use it,'' said Mayfield, per's Mary Kay Cabot. "Two weeks from now, it's the real thing."

The loss doesn't fall solely on the shoulders of the offense but, when evaluating the outcome of the game, Kitchens expressed his concern for that particular phase.

"The kicking game and defense were about the only things that were executed good tonight," said Kitchens. "Everything offensively, with the exception of maybe a couple of throws and a couple of run after catches, execution was very poor. I did a poor job of preparing them for this third preseason game."

With no Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry or Nick Chubb in the lineup, Cleveland trotted out receivers Rashard Higgins, who's been solid throughout preseason, and Jaelen Strong, as well as Kareem Hunt in the backfield. The result, obviously, wasn't a positive one.

When asked further about the offense's performance, Kitchens didn't pass the buck and reflected on the coaching staff's role in the outcome.

"Those guys are coached to do their job and we didn't do a very good job of preparing those guys to do their job and they didn't do a good job of doing their job," he said.

"The execution wasn't there and it had been before. Those guys have played in other games and they performed in practice and they're expected to perform."