It is safe to say that the Cleveland Browns offense is not what everyone expected it to be.
Three games into the season and the Browns offense, which was being excessively hyped throughout the summer, is currently:
- 26th in scoring at 16.3 points per game
- has converted just 11-of-39 third downs
- has a long run of just 19 yards
- has just one pass play of more than 40 yards
Be it the excessive penalties - starting with 18 in Week 1 and currently sitting at 35 on the year - or the play calling - a draw play on fourth and nine? Not even Mo Carthon would have done that - or any of a number of other issues that have come up on a regular basis, something is wrong.
“It is me. It is my fault. No, it is me. (Offensive coordinator) Todd (Monken) does a great job during the course of the week of making sure we stay on task, we stay organized and all that kind of stuff. When things mess up, it is going to be me.”
It is certainly refreshing to have a head coach accept responsibility for the on-field product, rather than looking for personal victories and blaming everyone else, but it is also starting to grow a bit old.
Similar to how previous regimes would talk about needing to get the ball to certain players and then continually do the opposite, Kitchens talks about putting the players in a position to succeed, but then the next game rolls around and it is Groundhog Day once again.
While he admitted that he is still in the early stages of the learning curve, Kitchen also said that the idea of turing over the play calling to someone else on the staff is “not going to happen.” He is also not in panic mode, according to the team’s website:
“You can bring the same team back with the same players and have them play together for another year, and it will not be the same. I knew there were going to be growing pains. We have a lot of guys here that were not here last year so there are going to be growing pains. The only thing we have done is we continue to get better. I want to see that continue to happen, and we will be fine. Nobody is panicking. We are not panicking, but we also understand the shortcomings we have had. I understand the shortcomings that I have had. I am going to get it better. Our team is going to get better.”
It has only been three games and a month from now these early bumps may be a distant memory.
But if they are not, then Kitchens may need to come up with a better answer than just “blame me.”