1. Game Management as a whole
Since the Week 3 loss was official, head coach Freddie Kitchens has been under fire — as he should be. While he proved to be a great play-caller last season during his eight games as the interim offensive coordinator, he hasn’t been able to find that same success in the early stages of his rookie head coaching campaign.
He has been just as quick as anyone to say he needs to get better in this regard, which is 100 percent true. However, the play-calling is only a part of the problem with what Kitchens has been doing to this point as it’s his overall game management that’s been an issue.
One example is how slow they have been at getting the plays in. Whether it’s a communication issue, or simply the Browns trying to milk the clock, they are taking far too long to get things ready. This has been evident throughout the first three weeks as Baker Mayfield is repeatedly getting to the line and snapping the ball with roughly one second on the clock.
Doing this eliminates any possibility of making a pre-snap read and for a young quarterback, that’s a must. Kitchens and the offense need to make sure they get to the line quicker in Week 4 if they want to try and get Baker into a better rhythm.
On top of that, Kitchens also needs to make better use of his timeouts. He got the offense into a good spot to try and tie the game but he sat on his timeouts. There’s nothing wrong with calling one during that final drive just to make sure the offense is on the same page while also ensuring the quarterback doesn’t feel rushed.
These are all things the head coach will learn the more he’s on the sideline. It’s easy to sit at home and yell and scream, but things are more chaotic for the guys who are actually in the action.
Kitchens understands where he fell short and there’s no reason to doubt he won’t get it together. Hopefully, he can do that by Week 4 though, so that way the Browns can be right back in the mix.