By Shawn Shawn, Season Ticket Holder
How do they lose to the Titans by 100 points at home? That’s the only reason I’m writing this blog, if they take care of the Titans and are 2-1 right now then no one is freaking out. But instead we got our doors blown off in the home opener had to play the NFC champs and here they sit 1-2 with the entire world saying they were way overhyped, and maybe they were (I wrote a Browns blog a couple months ago saying they would go undefeated and was semi serious) but I don’t think anyone could have imagined a 30 point loss to the Titans to start the season. So here’s my thoughts after three weeks of mediocre football.
It’s all Freddie Kitchens fault. This mother fucker has acted like he was Vince Lombardi from the minute he was given the head coaching job and it drives me nuts. He’s an offensive minded Mike Pettine, that’s it and that’s all friends. His corny quotes like “if you don’t wear brown and orange you don’t matter” and this out of nowhere tough guy persona is taking years off my life. This isn’t pro wrestling hot shot, stop talking in slogans. Freddie Kitchens did not talk or act like this last year when he was the OC. Its forced, its fake, and it’s annoying the hell out of me. Not only has he been kind of a douchebag he’s also been complete ass as a play caller. I actually hope Monken is the one calling this trash because that might give us some hope – that is, hope that Freddie hasn’t forgot how to call plays that actually work for our team. This is exactly what I was worried about when we traded for Odell ( I wasn’t actually worried about anything, he’s the best) that Cleveland would get small minded and look for the deep play too often. Bakers holding the ball too long with the worst offensive line Cleveland has had in the last 5 years, and it’s a formula that isn’t going to work. Take Sunday nights game against LA for example. Baker was the Baker we remembered from last year when he got rid of the ball in under 2 seconds, and he looked like Brandon Weeden when he was holding it. I don’t think Baker has regressed at all, I think the play calling has gotten too bland.
Listen Freddie when I played with Odell in Madden I just wanted to throw deep too I get it, but we all saw what he can do when he gets the ball on a simple slant route. Let’s get back to that. I’m also not going to be the guy that complains we aren’t running the ball enough, I understand Nick Chubb is fantastic but the NFL is a passing league, if he’s getting between 18-22 touches a game I’m okay with that. I would love if we ran him 30 times but that’s just not how the league works. The defense has been dominant if you take away stupid penalties, which are also Freddie’s fault, and then this team would be one that can run the football because it’s a team that should be up early on most opponents.
I’ve complained enough, so how would I fix it? It seems simple but clearly it’s not, teams have a year on Baker, they realize last year he was a 1 maybe 2 read and let it rip QB only accounting for half the field so they have adjusted. Teams have been showing man and switching to zone just before the snap to throw him off, something defenses do to all good QBs, and I think hes good enough and smart enough to figure this out. The problem I think the browns are having is that if Bakers first read is covered up, his second read is running a fucking go route on the opposite side of the field. Basically his progressions are taking too long and with the offensive line the Browns have this year that’s not going to cut it. I’m no NFL coach but if I had OBJ and Jarvis I would most likely make them my 1 and 2 options on every play and have a check down for the 3rd. The reads need to be faster, Odell double covered, check to landry, covered, check down. When Higgins gets back he’s the third read.
Honestly I think it can be that simple, the routes need to be tighter, if Odell is running a 15 yard out then Jarvis can’t be running a go route anymore, it’s not working. Tighten it up, keep the field smaller for Baker until he gets comfortable seeing the entire field with the guys he has now. If I was a real sports blogger I would probably look up what Tom Brady’s receivers average route is, just watching I would say maybe only one of his reads runs a route longer than 15 yards, ever. I know I blamed Freddie Kitchens and I still do because everything actually is his fault, but Todd Monken is putting the air raid offense into effect right now and I just don’t know if that’s the system that’s perfect for our personnel, at least not now, especially not with a sophomore QB in the NFL. Baker has to learn how to break down defenses pre-snap to run this offense, and he hasn’t done that yet. In time maybe but right now we don’t have time.
The Browns are heading into a stretch where they could easily be 2-5 heading into week 8 and that’s terrifying given the hype this team had behind them. I fucking really really really don’t want Colin Cowherd to be right so for the love of God someone fix this offense. I’m not saying fire Freddie just yet but if we lose to the Ravens for fuck sake fire Freddie.
If we beat Baltimore extend Freddie for another 3 years, love you man Go Browns.