After the Browns 9th loss of the season on Sunday, falling to the Ravens, 31-15, I took some time to really think about who might be to blame for such a terrible season. 12 hours after kickoff, while at my day job, two men really stuck out to me.
In the brown corner, with a head coaching record of 6-9 with a team that was supposed to be a super bowl contender, Freddie Kitchens.
Kitchens was hired to coach the Browns after taking over the offensive coordinator roll in 2018, as a result of the firings of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. With his fearlessness to run trick plays, and go for it on 4th down, the city of Cleveland was beyond excited to hear this news, and had thought their beloved Browns had finally found their head coach of the future.
Obviously, that has not gone as planned. As the on paper super bowl champs stumble and gimp to the end of the season, it might already be the end of the line for the first year head coach. After a season of disastrous play from his undisciplined team, ugly play calling, and at some points simply stupid decisions, Browns fans are calling for his head.
And in the orange corner, the man that built what is now one of the most dominant franchises in football, the Kansas City Chiefs, John Dorsey.
Dorsey is an incredible general manager and some of the moves he made this season looked to be incredible, franchise changing moves. However, he did make some miscalculations before and during the season that hurt the team later on.
Before the season had started, Dorsey traded for Odell Beckham Jr. It was a move that stunned the NFL and had Browns fans going absolutely bonkers. He had also traded for Beckham’s teammate, Olivier Vernon. This move involved trading away right guard, Kevin Zeitler. This meant that Dorsey was relying heavily on Zeitler’s backup, first pick of the second round, Austin Corbett, Dorsey’s third pick in the 2018 draft.
Making Corbett the starter at right guard failed before the season even started. He was beat out by free agent addition, Eric Kush. Corbett would later be traded to the Los Angeles Rams, and both teams’ offensive lines would struggle all season.
Dorsey also traded outside linebacker Genard Avery to the Eagles after spending most of his tenure in Cleveland on the bench. In the rare moments he did see the field, he was incredibly productive. In another move that shocked many Browns fans, Dorsey released defensive tackle, Devaroe Lawrence, later in the season. Lawrence was also a backup with the Browns, but would have started on a majority of the leagues 31 other teams.
These moves would ultimately come back to bite the Browns in the posterior. Olivier Vernon has been hurt since week 10 with no Avery to take his spot. This led to defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson, to be moved out to the edge at times, with no Lawrence to take his spot on those plays.
Both Dorsey and Kitchens have made mistakes this season that have caused it to be the disaster that it is. So many that I’m fairly sure I didn’t include all of them in this blog. Hopefully next week I will be talking about a win on the final week of the season, but as of today, the Cleveland Browns still stink, and this season was a huge disappointment.