Last year Freddie Kitchens had an expansive dog house inhabited by several Cleveland Browns players. These 4 are talented enough to re-establish themselves
Several talented Cleveland Browns players were in the dog house of coach Freddie Kitchens last year, but this is a new year and a new coach. Remember, good Dawgs get to stay in the house to play with the kids and they get fed from the dinner table.
However, in the dog house, you get tied to a stake in the ground and you have to sleep in the freezing cold and life just really sucks. That is pretty much the way it worked for the Browns last year.
Kitchens will probably say that he had no dog house, but to many observers, it looked like there were several players whose playing time was inexplicably reduced. In this article, there are four players who are particularly singled out, although probably the entire team was in the dog house at some point.
In many cases, it might be that the coach was right, and the players deserved to be in the doghouse. Readers are invited to comment below on whose side you would like to take.
Honorable Mention: Rashard Higgins
First of all, Honorable Mention goes to Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, the wide receiver who was one of Baker Mayfield‘s favorite targets in 2018. Higgins did not do much his first two years with the team, with paltry receiving yard totals of only 77 and 312 yards. If it sounds bad, it was actually worse. The Browns had no star receiver in his way. A starting job was his for the taking, but he could not get snaps with the likes of Corey Coleman and Ricardo Louis in his way.
Yet when DeShone Kizer or the other quarterbacks threw him the ball, he usually caught it. The problem was that he had to get “college open” for Kizer and achieve significant separation or else Kizer couldn’t hit him. But he established good chemistry with Baker Mayfield on the second team in 2018, and Mayfield was able to spot the ball in tight windows to places where only Higgins could catch it and he did.
When Mayfield took over as first string, suddenly Higgins was a threat. He caught 73.6 percent of the balls thrown his way and had 572 yards while playing in only 44.3 percent of the snaps. In other words, if he had played full-time he would have eclipsed 1,000 yards. He was that good in 2018.
So, what do you do with a 1,000-yard talent? Bench him, of course.
Higgins fought with coach Kitchens and complained about the preferential treatment given to Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Things boiled over in the Seattle game when Higgins reportedly refused to take the field when ordered to do so. Higgins was definitely in the wrong at that point, although the events leading up to the meltdown are debatable. Higgins was already in the dog house, and never came out. For the season, Higgins had only four catches for 55 yards.
Higgins is now a free agent, which is why he can only receive honorable mention. It doesn’t appear to be very likely but there is at least a slight chance that the Browns could invite him back. No question his career was damaged by the Seattle fiasco, but in his case, the feud with Kitchens may not be the decisive factor in his employability.
Kitchens doesn’t matter anymore, so Higgins should get a chance to earn his way back into the club’s good graces.