The Browns entered the 2019 season considered to be among potential Super Bowl contenders. But after a 6-10 season, littered with inconsistent play and plenty of bad press, head coach Freddie Kitchens has been fired, the team announced Sunday.
"I would like to thank Freddie for his dedication and efforts this past season," general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "We are disappointed in our results and feel a change is necessary. Freddie is a good man and good football coach. We wish he and his family nothing but success."
Kitchens was in his first full season as the Browns' head coach after being promoted this past offseason.
On the field this year, the Browns' offense was in the bottom third of the league and second-year QB Baker Mayfield failed to develop the way that many expected.
Kitchens and his team also found themselves in the news throughout the year, for all the wrong reasons. Under the rookie head coach's watch, DE Myles Garrett was suspended indefinitely for striking Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with Rudolph's helmet. The coach was later spotted wearing a "Pittsburgh Started It" in the weeks following the incident. Safety Tahir Whitehead was released after directing death threats at fans on Twitter following a loss, reports surfaced that Odell Beckham Jr. was dealing with a "painful sports hernia injury since training camp and Mayfield got into a spat with a local reporter, among other notable moments.
After the team's Week 16 loss to the Ravens which eliminated Cleveland from playoff contention, Kitchens insisted that the Browns were on their way to becoming consistent winners.
"We’re really close, and sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle," he said. "But we know how close we are. Our players understand how close we are. Our players understand how they could do better. Coaches understand how they could do better, and whenever we get those things flipped, it will change."
But that change will not occur under Kitchens' watch.
After falling 33-23 to the Bengals in Week 17, the Browns will now look to hire their eighth full-time coach since 2008.