It is safe to say that the first eight games of the 2019 NFL season have not gone as planned for the Cleveland Browns.
But those fans hoping for a change on the sidelines could be in for a disappointment.
That is because general manager John Dorsey has no desire, at least at the moment, to move on from head coach Freddie Kitchens, the man that Dorsey himself chose for the job.
NFL Network’s Steve Wyche spoke with people in the Browns organization on Monday and said that it will be status quo through the end of the season (quotes via wkyc.com):
“I spoke to some people in the organization and they say that general manager John Dorsey is committed to Freddie through the season. This was his hire, he sung his praises. I think the fact that as bad as it’s gone, the Browns are still within striking distance of winning this division. They are going to stick with him.
“The fanbase is not happy. You can tell more and more that the players are like, ‘What is going on right here? The people I spoke to said the player execution is also an issue. To me, that comes back to coaching, as does Baker Mayfield’s regression, and I think a lot of the stuff lays at Freddie’s feet. But everything I’m hearing is he’s going to make it through the season. But from there it’s going to be a real tough call -- it probably all depends on who’s going to be available. But I would think that would be a really attractive job.”
It’s not all together unsurprising that the Browns are sticking with Kitchens. If they were going to make a move it would have likely come sometime early this morning. Once Kitchens had his regular Monday press conference, it was clear that he was not going anywhere.
In addition, it is not as if the Browns have many options on the current coaching staff to take on an interim role if they were to fire Kitchens. Unless people think that rewarding defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who has guided the Browns defense into one of the league’s worst, with eight games in charge of the entire team is a good idea. (It’s not.)
Wyche hit on what may be the biggest point, however, by highlighting that Kitchens was Dorsey’s choice. Dorsey had never run a head coaching search before in his NFL career, and to fire his hand-picked head coach just eight games into his tenure would be a major mark against Dorsey.
It may not be easy to take, but it appears that the Browns will remain who they are at least until the end of the current season. It is up to everyone associated with the team to figure out how to make the most of the situation.