Among the many responses to Thursday night’s fracas in Cleveland was former Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley opining that current Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens bears responsibility for Myles Garrett hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet.
Haley said “you’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it to happen” by way of assigning the blame to Kitchens for how Garrett responded on Thursday night. Kitchens was asked about Haley’s comments during a conference call on Friday.
“I do not really give much thought into what Todd says,” Kitchens said. “I am not even going to respond to it. I know the way we continue to talk about maintaining our composure, and we have to do a better job of maintaining our composure, everybody.”
Kitchens was then asked a followup question about why he thinks the team has struggled with maintaining their composure.
“I do not know that it has been a struggle all year that we maintain our composure. Sometimes I think it is a commitment to doing the right if you are referring to some of the penalties. We are going to continue to stress those things, and over the last three to four weeks, those things have gotten better and we are going to continue to try to get even better than that. Last night was an outlier of what we have had. We have not seen anything like that.”
While there hasn’t been anything like Garrett’s actions in the past, the Browns have been penalized more often than any team this season and, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, penalized more often through 10 games than any Browns team since 1978. The ejections of Garrett and safety Damarious Randall, who was kicked out for a hit on Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson, give the Browns a league-high four disqualifications this season as well.