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Former coach joins the anti-Kitchens bandwagon

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Todd Haley, fired as offensive coordinator in 2018, blames Freddie Kitchens for brawl against the Steelers.

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Todd Haley’s tenure as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns was a short one.

Fired after just eight games into the 2018 season, only to see Cleveland’s offense take off without him, Haley has been out of the game for the past year. That hasn’t stopped Haley from being his usual outspoken self, and he was back at again on Friday.

Appearing on Sirius/XM NFL Radio in his weekly spot as a morning show co-host, Haley weighed in on the events of Thursday night’s game and placed the blame for everything that went wrong at the feet of head coach Freddie Kitchens.

According to Haley, everything that has gone wrong this season is the fault of the head coach (quotes via beaconjournal.com):

“Just total lack of self-control. The Browns won the game, but it’s kind of what’s been biting them in the backside throughout this year and throughout the last few years is just lack of self-control and discipline. This to me, this comes back to coaching. This falls squarely right on the head coach, because the head coach talks to every assistant coach, who then talks to their group of players. There’s an old saying in coaching, ‘You’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it to happen.’

“When you allow stuff like this to go on — I’m not saying taking somebody’s helmet off and hitting them with it is going on — but I’ve been on those fields in Cleveland. Part of the frustration is you see things happening and going on that you shouldn’t be allowed to be going on because you’re practicing bad habits, you’re practicing lack of discipline, you’re practicing lack of self-control. That’s what practice is for — to continue to press the players of how they need to play and practice, showing up on time, all those little things that add up to discipline are what needs to be going on full time. Because if you’re not coaching it, you’re allowing it to happen.

“And when I watch the Cleveland Browns, I see a lot of stuff being allowed to happen, whether it’s clown shoes, visors, whatever it may be, Myles Garrett hitting the quarterback low, hitting the quarterback in the head, it’s happening too much. It’s not just a fluke.”

It is interesting that while Haley was quick to criticize Kitchens, he did not have similar words for the role the Pittsburgh Steelers played in Thursday night’s events. Haley was offensive coordinator with the Steelers from 2012 through 2017 and did not leave on the best of terms, but that is apparently all water under the bridge.

With enough on his plate dealing with the suspensions of defensive end Myles Garrett and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, Kitchens did not want to waste time reflecting on Haley’s comments, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“I do not really give much thought into what Todd says. I am not even going to respond to it. I know the way we continue to talk about maintaining our composure, and we have to do a better job of maintaining our composure, everybody.”

The Browns have a few days off to reflect before they begin preparations for their next game on November 24 against the Miami Dolphins.

Given the events of the past few days, it is safe to say they can use it.