Cleveland Browns: Odell Beckham, Jr. questions Freddie Kitchens’ play-calling
Freddie Kitchens seems to have hurt Odell Beckham, Jr.’s feelings after he questioned some of the play-calls in the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Patriots.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens refused to respond to remarks by Odell Beckham, Jr., which seem to have questioned some of the play-calls in the loss to the New England Patriots. Beckham felt that the Browns could have challenged Patriots No. 1 cornerback Stephon Gilmore more than they did.
“Odell had seven balls thrown to him. He caught five of them,” replied a defensive Kitchens after being told of the remarks. “I am not responding to that.”
What do you mean you are not responding to that? Actually, coach, you did respond to that and you rightfully defended your case that the team throws about the right mix of passes to OBJ, even though he is often double covered and/or gets the best cover guy from each defense he faces.
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However, despite the horrific pressure that comes with the position of head coach, you cannot say “I am not responding to that” when your star wide receiver acts like a star wide receiver and says some things that hurt your pride.
All wide receivers think they are open on every play and think that they can make every catch. OBJ is a great conversationalist, and those of us in the media love the guy for it. But coach better come prepared with what to say in those situations. There ain’t no whining in football, coach.
And by the way, you might as well know the horrible truth. A number of people have some problems with the plays that you have called this year. It is not just OBJ.
There is a scene in the movie Bull Durham in which Crash Davis gets rookie Nuke LaLoosh to memorize the boring answers to stock questions that he would surely have to face in his big league career.
A football version might contain a quote similar to the following: “I’ve never had a receiver who doesn’t want the ball more and doesn’t want the ball thrown to him down the field and scoring touchdowns. With social media and everything now and the ability you have to kind of reach the crowd, then you can express your opinions about everything on a whim. It can cause more drama, so that’s just the world we’re living in and how you deal with it.” Okay, so write that down, coach. And if you are wondering where that quote came from, you may thank Eli Manning for it, courtesy of Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
Star wide receivers, more than any other position group, seem to enjoy a little drama and they love to complain. In particular, it was well known that OBJ was a very vocal presence in the Giants’ locker room, and famously complained about the city of New York almost immediately after signing a $95 million contract! Kitchens has to be aware that OBJ is not going to change and become a Boy Scout overnight.
OBJ also targeted his former coach Pat Shurmur with some pointed comments in an ESPN interview.
"“I feel like I’m being out-schemed, and then I also don’t have a chance to, like, do something where I’ve got to take a slant and go 60. And not to say that’s not fun, but it’s like I want some easy touchdowns too…All the top receivers get the ball the way that they should. And if they don’t, they say something about it.” – Odell Beckham via ESPN"
Well, Shurmur did not feel the same way.
Nevertheless, OBJ has not done anything really bad or unlawful and has not hurt anyone. It does not come as a surprise that OBJ has a tendency to express his opinion and to offer some pointed, undiplomatic criticism. That is not likely to change, so Kitchens better have some Manningesque words to calm things down when it happens again, because it absolutely will happen again, sooner or later.