The Browns continue to be, well, the Browns. Despite the high expectations, dysfunction lingers. One specific form of it emerged on Sunday, when receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry were told by officials that, if they didn’t change their non-conforming cleats at halftime, they wouldn’t be permitted to take the field in the third quarter.
On Monday, coach Freddie Kitchens took issue with the notion that the cleats kerfuffle constitutes evidence of dysfunction.
“I asked the guys to take the cleats off, and they took the cleats off,” Kitchens said. “I didn’t recognize the cleats during the game. I don’t really look at their cleats, you know? It was brought to my attention that they need to take the cleats off. I asked them to take the cleats off, and they took the cleats off. There was no dysfunction there.”
Kitchens also pushed back against the idea that the issue undermined the team.
“I feel like any time they’ve potential to hurt the team than that is not a good thing, but they didn’t hurt the team,” Kitchens said. “They took their cleats off when they were told to take their cleats off.”
But it can be argued that they did hurt the team, because it created a distraction. And the last thing a 2-6 team needs is another distraction — especially regarding something as frivolous as footwear.