As Sunday Splash! reports go, it was more of a mangled tree stump dumped into the shallow end of a wading pool. And, after Sunday’s game between the Browns and the Cardinals, it quite possibly sets the table for the very outcome against which it was pushing back.
“[A]s of right now, barring a horrific collapse or circumstance to end the season, it appears the Browns will be moving forward with [Freddie] Kitchens,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Media wrote.
“Appears” gives the report plenty of wiggle room from the get go. “Barring a horrific collapse or circumstance” does even more of the same, with horror residing squarely in the eye of the beholder.
So does Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, a team that had lost six in a row, help or hurt Kitchens? It definitely doesn’t help.
Beyond the sideline spat between Kitchens and receiver Jarvis Landry, Mike Silver of NFL Media reported (citing two unnamed sources) that multiple Browns players yelled “come get me” to the Cardinals after the game, with the message being that the Browns players prefer playing for the Cardinals. One of the players, per the report, was Landry.
It’s one thing for Browns players to pine for a place like the Patriots. But Arizona? The worst team in the league a year ago? That’s a slap in the face.
Then there are the comments from Browns running back Kareem Hunt, who openly questioned the team’s effort and desire in the first half of the game. Hunt also questioned the players’ effort throughout the game.
Relative to the history of the resurrected Browns during their 20 years in Cleveland, recent events are far from the worst that has happened to the organization. But it’s precisely the kind of thing that fits within the clear exception to a half-hearted vote of confidence that, frankly, feels like the product of a direct request from Kitchens for some sort of clarity regarding his status.