Kitchens downplays sideline spat with Jarvis Landry

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The Cleveland Browns lost to the struggling Arizona Cardinals in resounding fashion Sunday, and it understandably came with plenty of frustration.

It also produced a fiery interaction between star receiver and his coach.

Trailing by 11 early in the fourth quarter, the Browns failed to convert a third down. Facing fourth-and-3, Freddie Kitchens elected to send Austin Seibert out for a 45-yard field goal attempt. An upset Landry arrived at the sideline and gave Kitchens a piece of his mind before continuing to the bench, where he sat next to Odell Beckham Jr. with his head hung low and hands together as if he were saying a frustrated prayer.

The exchange was caught and replayed by the CBS broadcast and shined a very bright light on the frustrations surrounding this failure-to-launch Browns season. Kitchens downplayed its significance afterward.

"Listen, I love Jarvis Landry," Kitchens said after the 38-24 loss that dropped Cleveland to 6-8 on the season. "Jarvis is my kind of player, as far as fiery, and things happen. I mean, it's no big deal. Pretty sure it's not a big deal if you ask him. It's an emotional game. I love Jarvis."

Landry is one of the important faces of a franchise that brought him in to help turn it around in 2018, and while his passion can sometimes hurt him in front of microphones after difficult losses, it also powers his excellent play. He's a guy who you want -- need -- backing you as a coach.

A conflict with him amid an embarrassing loss to a team the Browns were expected to beat is not a good look for anyone involved, but especially Kitchens. It also adds to the increasing scrutiny surrounding the first-year coach, who was placed in a difficult situation to begin with when hired to coach a team filled with talent and resulting expectations.

As calls for change get louder with each disappointing loss, Kitchens said Sunday he can only afford to keep the earmuffs on and eyes trained on his duties inside the team's Berea facility.

"I don't care about my future as Browns coach," Kitchens said when asked about his job security. "I'm going to show up Monday and I'm going to do the best job that I can do Monday. That's tomorrow. That's the only thing I can control.

"I'm pretty sure that ownership and John Dorsey would like for me to do my job and keep my head down and keep working and that's what I'm going to do. I'm not worried about anything else other than that."

While the Browns' offensive frustrations surfaced at a variety of points in Sunday's loss, it was the defense that truly failed to hold up its end of the bargain. With their playoff hopes nearly dashed, how Landry and his teammates approach these final two weeks will be very telling about Kitchens' standing with the organization.

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