Freddie Kitchens not considering giving up play-calling

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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Freddie Kitchens came out of Sunday night's loss to the Rams second-guessing his play-calls. He's not here for those suggesting he shouldn't be the Browns' play-caller.

"You can write that if you want to. But that's not even feasible," Kitchens told reporters Monday. "That's not even, that's not being considered. No, it's not."

It likely crossed the minds of many upon seeing Cleveland run a draw on fourth-and-9 while trailing by four points in the fourth quarter. The play went for two yards and gave the Rams a short field to set up a field goal. The Browns still had a chance to either tie or go ahead late in the game, advancing to L.A.'s 4-yard-line in the final minute. But four consecutive pass plays, none of which went to Odell Beckham, resulted in three incompletions and a game-clinching interception.

Kitchens admitted he's still feeling his way out with his current personnel.

"When you start talking about specifics like that, I just know how the guys around me are," Kitchens said. "I think you take the sense of, you get a better feel for what people can do and what people can't do. Or the better situations that they can be in in relation to the situation that you're putting them in currently. And that's what you do. You do your work during the course of the week and you call it on Sunday. If they do things differently, you make adjustments accordingly. I think we've been doing a good job of that. Now it just needs to get more consistent."

Kitchens, of course, was tabbed as the head coach in January on the strength of his stint as the interim offensive coordinator and play-caller under Gregg Williams for the final eight games of 2018. It marked his first chance as an OC after 13 years in the NFL, nearly all of which was spent with the Arizona Cardinals. Baker Mayfield set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes and the Browns closed out the season 5-3, with all three defeats coming to division winners.

But after three unremarkable offensive showings to open the 2019 campaign -- Cleveland (1-2) is averaging 16.3 points per game -- Kitchens' credentials have come into question. In a presser that spanned more than 27 minutes, the first-year head coach was asked in various ways about the possibility of veteran offensive coordinator Todd Monken taking over play-calling. Monken was the Buccaneers' OC the past three years after a three-year term as the head coach of Southern Miss.

Kitchens refuted the notion that being the head coach and making the offensive calls were too much to juggle and he therefore might need to call upon Monken.

"Not going to happen," Kitchens said. "It's me. It's my fault. Todd does a great job. Todd does a great job during the course of the week of making sure we stay on task. We stay organized and all that kind of stuff. But when things mess up it's going to be me."

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