The calls for Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens to lose his job are getting louder off the shores of Lake Erie.
Kitchens insists the calls for his job don't bother him in the least.
"It really doesn't concern me," he said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It's not my decision. I've never worried about it before, I'm not worried about it now, I'm not going to worry about it in the future. I'll just do the best job I can do."
If the first half of his coaching career is his best, he won't keep the gig much longer.
The Browns have been a haphazard operation, plagued by penalties, missed tackles, inconsistent offense and a quarterback that has struggled in Year 2.
Kitchens was a breath of fresh air when he took over the offense last season. In 2019, the air got stale quickly. Cleveland's offense has no identity, is just a collection of plays with seemingly no plan, and the execution has been rotten.
Baker Mayfield, who for the first time this season didn't throw an interception, insisted the struggles are on the players, not the coaching staff.
"It's a topic for you guys," Mayfield said. "Within our building we know exactly what's wrong. We haven't executed. I think, like I said earlier, we had a good plan we just haven't executed it. We'll see how the guys handle it this week, but it's got to be a singular focus. The preparation the last few games has been unbelievable, so we need to continue that.
"The type of men that we have, I said it weeks ago, whenever it was, months ago, that we're going to stick together. We're going to keep pushing forward, so this is obviously very frustrating but we got to move forward."
It's fair to note that last year the Browns fired Hue Jackson after eight disappointing games with a record of 2-5-1 (including four overtime games -- three losses). Jackson, of course, had two previous seasons of ineptitude (1-31) to take into consideration. Yet, Kitchens' operation -- with all the talent on both sides of the ball -- somehow seems worse.
Cleveland lacks attention to detail, guidance, and cohesive leadership.
Despite the loss, Kitchens still believes the ship is pointing in the right direction.
"I think our guys are still fighting,'' he said. "I think they go out and played well for the most part. Got bogged down in the red zone offensively. Defensively, I think you make a few more tackles and they don't really have much. They scored 24 points on 21 minutes of possession, so that means that they were getting them off the field and giving up a few big plays and a couple tackles that extended drives for them. Offensively, we moved the ball pretty well until we got in the red zone. It just takes execution. I don't think we've got anyone here that's going to give up or throw in the towel.
"We've still got eight games left so we've got to do something with those eight games. It starts at one game. That's the only thing we can win is one game. I think these guys focused and concentrated this week. We didn't have any pre-snap penalties. We didn't turn the ball over. We've got to do a better job in the run game of staying on our blocks, especially when we have double teams. We've got to come off the ball and stay with those doubles. I don't think there's any quit in these guys."
The first part of the season the Browns faced a tough schedule. Sunday was supposed to represent an easier road to get back on track.
The train remains overturned in the ditch.
Losing to a first-time quarterback while squandering opportunity after opportunity is a bad loss for Kitchens and the Browns. A few more like it down the stretch, and GM John Dorsey will be looking for a mulligan for his coaching hire.