General manager John Dorsey has not come across as someone driven by emotions or public opinion during his little more than a year in charge of the Cleveland Browns.
Dorsey clearly has a plan for how he wants to push the Browns to the next level. Sometimes he acts quickly — cutting wide receiver Kenny Britt shortly after taking over the general manager’s job, for example. Other times he lets the situation play out — for example, giving owner Jimmy Haslam time to come to the realization that he was employing the worst head coach in NFL history.
Knowing that, we were not expecting Dorsey to show up at his press conference on Monday wearing a bright orange Dawg Pound hoodie and singing the praises of offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
But, even for someone who keeps his information on lockdown, Dorsey came off as pretty neutral about the work that Kitchens did over the second half of the season.
While Dorsey said the Browns will give Kitchens an opportunity to interview for the vacant head coaching position, he also said it will happen “one day,” which could be interpreted as Dorsey believing he has more important items on his daily calendar.
There is also one comment from Dorsey that really stood out when he was asked about Kitchens’ achievements this season, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“He has moved the ball. He has gotten the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quicker. I think he has put some flair and different route combinations together that help out the quarterback. Overall, he has kind of moved the bar on the offensive side of the ball.”
Kitchens has “kind of moved the bar on the offensive side of the ball?” That is a bit of an understatement when you consider that:
- During the first half of the season, the offense struggled to get in gear as quarterback Baker Mayfield had eight touchdown passes, six interceptions, completed just 58.3 percent of his passes and posted a quarterback rating of 78.9. (Per cleveland.com)
- During the second half of the season, Mayfield had 19 touchdown passes, eight interceptions, completed 68.4 percent of his passes and posted a quarterback rating of 106.2. (Per cleveland.com)
- And, highlighting Dorsey’s comment about getting the ball out quicker, Mayfield was sacked just five times in the final eight games, compared to 20 in the first half of the season. (Per cleveland.com)
Some of that can be attributed to Mayfield’s growth as a quarterback during his rookie season, but Kitchens certainly played a part in it as well. Even without the numbers to back it up, it was easy for Browns fans to see the difference in the offense once Kitchens took over.
This could be all much ado about nothing since Dorsey and the Browns are still working through the evaluation process and setting up interviews. But it could also be Dorsey’s way of letting the fans know that they may not want to get to attached to everyone’s favorite offensive coordinator.
Either way, we should all know for sure sometime in the next few weeks.