Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield identify the problems with the Browns' offense in Week 1's blowout loss
Kitchens said Mayfield needs to get rid of the ball quicker than he did on Sunday
Freddie Kitchens ensured Cleveland Browns fans that the sky was not falling following his team's embarrassing Week 1 loss to the visiting Tennessee Titans during his postgame press conference. Kitchens said that despite the Browns' unsettling 43-13 defeat, he believes that Cleveland has the grit, fortitude, and belief to turn things around next Sunday against the New York Jets.
That isn't to say that Kitchens doesn't think that his team has to improve on several facets of its game following Sunday's 30-point loss. Along with his team's 18 penalties totaling 182 yards, Kitchens watched quarterback Baker Mayfield throw three second half interceptions that led to three Titans touchdowns.
While the Browns' makeshift offensive line didn't help, Kitchens said that Mayfield didn't help his cause.
"We've gotta get the ball out of his hands quicker," Kitchens said, via the team's official website. "We held the ball too long today. Sometimes [Tennessee's pass rushers] were back there pretty quick, but whatever it is, we gotta protect better, and I've gotta do a better job of calling plays where we can protect better and help us protect better."
While he completed 25 of his 38 throws for 285 yards and a touchdown, Mayfield's three interceptions turned a tight game into a runaway. He also sustained five sacks as Cleveland lost offensive tackle Greg Robinson to an ejection and backup Kendall Lamm to an injury.
"I just think everybody just needs to be more disciplined," a subdued Mayfield said during his postgame presser. "I think everybody knows what the problem is. We'll see if it's just bad technique or just see what it is. Dumb penalties hurting ourself and then penalties on my part. Just dumb stuff."
Both Mayfield and Kitchens each took ownership for the loss while vowing to do better moving forward. And while their promises may comfort some Browns fans, the fact remains that the Browns have to do a better job protecting Mayfield if they're going to live up to their preseason expectations. Cleveland will also have to do a significantly better job keeping their poise in later weeks.
"I'll do a better job moving forward, our guys coaching will do a better job moving forward and our players will do a better job moving forward," Kitchens said. "This only counts as one game, the world's not ending today, contrary to popular belief. Everybody's gonna keep believing in the locker room; that's the only the thing that matters, that's the only thing that's ever mattered, and we'll move forward and get better from here."
"They're a great football team, but anytime you hurt yourself, you're not going to win," Mayfield added in his presser. "A loss is always disappointing. I don't really care what's going on on the outside. We lost. We expected to win."
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