Coach Freddie Kitchens challenges Browns to become a team: 'All this talent we've got, that's gotten us 2-4'

Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Football

BEREA, Ky. -- The bond supposedly built during the Browns' four-day trip to Indianapolis in August was a mirage.

With his underachieving team facing the harsh reality of a 2-4 start, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens pushed a "Do your job" motto and challenged his players to morph from a group into a team during their bye week.

"At some point, we have to become a team," Kitchens said Monday. "The difference between a group and a team is significant. To be a team, you have to do your job and then you bring it together collectively and you trust that the guy beside you is going to do their job. Until you get to that point, you are a group. The better team beat our group yesterday."

Self-destructing with four turnovers, a blocked punt and nine penalties for 83 yards, the Browns fell 32-28 to the Seahawks (5-1) Sunday at First Energy Stadium. The Browns are scheduled to practice Tuesday and Wednesday before their break, then visit the New England Patriots on Oct. 27.

"I think our guys are committed to doing what they're supposed to do -- coaches, players, everybody -- to becoming a team," Kitchens said. "We tried to do that during training camp. But you don't figure that out sometimes until you hit adversity. Hopefully when we go to New England, we will be a team.

"All this talent we've got, that's gotten us 2-4. OK? So now let's try something different and let's try to be a team and see if we can be better moving forward. ... I think you do not find that out until you get kind of at the crossroads. I think at 2-4 you are at the crossroads."


Browns receiver Jarvis Landry compared the situation to his final two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. In 2016, the Dolphins went 10-6, in 2017 the Dolphins finished 6-10.

"The phrase that talent wins games, teams win championships, that's always stuck with me," Landry said. "I've always understood that it's not about talent. I've played on talented teams and we've won nothing, and I've played on teams that we were disciplined, accountable, we had a team full of leaders -- my only playoff team.

"The following year pretty much the same team, but we lacked all of those traits that got us to where we were before. We started feeling entitled, we started feeling like we deserved this and that and we ended up going 6-10. The same talented team that we had, but the year before we had accountability, we had leadership, we had trust."

Asked what gives him confidence the Browns can come together, Landry said, "We're trying really hard. No one necessarily has all the answers, and some of the things that we have to figure out, we've got to go through stuff to figure them out. It's not an easy road. Sometimes it's painful, and it hurts. Some of the losses that we've taken this year, it hurts. You don't want these things to come back on you at the end of the season and say, 'Man, I wish we would've had that game or (made) that play in the beginning of the season.'


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