Geoff Schwartz: Freddie Kitchens needs to grow up


Wearing the “Pittsburgh Started It” shirt isn’t why the Cleveland Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but head coach Freddie Kitchens needs to grow up.

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The Cleveland Browns are 5-7 through their first 12 games of the regular season. Many thought that this would be the year that they finally got through and into the AFC playoffs. Well, they can still technically do that but have to win their final four games to get in. We have to wonder why this team has underachieved so much and how much of this falls on Freddie Kitchens?

On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, discuss Kitchens’ decision to where a “Pittsburgh Started It” shirt and if it contributed to the Browns losing on the road to Pittsburgh last week in their rematch with their AFC North division rival (40:50).

Schwartz does not believe that Kitchens wearing the shirt was the sole reason Cleveland lost the game to the Steelers but revealed that it is a microcosm of why the Browns aren’t playing up to lofty expectations. That would be culture.

You would never see a Steelers player wear a shirt like that in public, much less Mike Tomlin rocking a shirt that mocks an opponent quite like that. It essentially tells us that Kitchens is over his skis and that he’s not long for being an NFL head coach. He just doesn’t get that he doesn’t get it.

As for if Kitchens is back with the Browns in 2020, that’s really all up to ownership. The Haslams have been quick to fire head coaches before but allowed Hue Jackson to keep coaching after a 1-31 start to his Browns tenure that ultimately ended with him getting fired before the end of year three in Cleveland.

Overall, the shirt isn’t the problem, but a symptom of something much bigger than deep down, you already knew. Cleveland will continue to get in its own way until it learns from its past mistakes and figures out who to get out of its own way. Schwartz says it’s time for Kitchens and the Browns to grow up. Better late than never, I suppose.

Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:

  • Russell Wilson is the difference-maker – 4:45
  • NFL won’t clear Antonio Brown because he’ll sign with the Patriots – 16:11
  • Josh Allen proved he’s not a bust – 36:35
  • No one will want the Cleveland Browns job – 43:24

All this and more!

Next. Myles Garrett wasn't going to win his appeal anyway. dark

Subscribe to Stacking The Box and follow Geoff Schwartz, Matt Verderame and Mark Carman on Twitter.