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Keeping Freddie Kitchens looks like a default setting for the Browns: Bud Shaw’s Sports Spin

Making a list of how the Cleveland Browns have improved in 2019 isn’t easy.

CLEVELAND — Thoughts on the Browns with two games remaining. (I’ll let Browns fans supply the prayers)…

  • For a couple reasons, I don’t think Freddie Kitchens gets fired.

The Haslams couldn’t see their way clear to fire Hue Jackson after 1-15 and then 1-31. Back then in the midst of the doom and gloom, Jimmy Haslam even told us he believed Jackson was the coach who would take the Browns to the playoffs.

Firing Kitchens would bring more criticism (not from my direction) for being impatient, the kind they heard after canning first-year coach Rob Chudzinski.

Another reason: Kitchens was John Dorsey’s first coaching hire anywhere. Dorsey is probably not in a rush to look like he got it wrong.

So I expect Kitchens to keep his job this season.

And face the same questions next season when the same problems arise.

  • Fill in the blanks: Freddie Kitchens has improved the Browns in three important ways:




As they say in the sports talk radio biz, I’ll hang up and listen.

  • As for the NFL.com report that said the Browns will keep Kitchens barring a “horrific collapse,” you hope the players didn’t see it before Sunday’s game.

That would make Arizona 38, Browns 24 — and that 90-yard opening Arizona TD drive — look like their response.

RELATED: Report: Browns plan to retain Freddie Kitchens 'barring a horrific collapse'

  • Sunday was horrific when you consider Arizona was 3-8-1 overall, 1-5 at home and had lost six in a row.

And I’m not even including the Browns taking a delay of game on the first play after an Arizona kickoff.

But I’ll save the term “collapse” for if/when the Browns lose at Cincinnati in the final game of the season.

  • The notion that an easier second-half schedule would be all the Browns needed to make a playoff run never took into account Baker Mayfield’s regression or the defense allowing bad teams to push them around.

The but-Baker-played-against-good-defenses-early argument shouldn’t ever be a mitigating factor for a No. 1 overall pick.

Let alone a No. 1 overall pick surrounded by Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. and Nick Chubb.

  • Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been sacked a league-leading 46 times. The Browns didn’t sack him at all.

Surely, Myles Garrett’s presence could’ve changed that, if not the outcome of Sunday’s loss to a bad Arizona team.

Hey, but at least ownership and the head coach have expressed their support for a player who jeopardized the season by getting suspended. So there’s that.

  • Meanwhile, Freddie Kitchens said he “loves Jarvis Landry” after the Browns receiver confronted Kitchens during Sunday’s game to heatedly tell him he wanted to be more involved in the offense.

“Jarvis is my kind of player as far as being fiery,” Kitchens said, “and this happens. It’s no big deal.”

RELATED: 'I just went and asked for the ball' | Cleveland Browns' Jarvis Landry explains heated exchange with Freddie Kitchens

So much gets excused with the tired refrain that a player “just wants to win.”

You know who wants to win?

Nick Chubb wants to win.

J.C. Tretter wants to win.

And dozens of other guys who don’t scream at the coach.

  • Odell Beckham Jr. said of Landry, “I just know he wants to be great.”

Last week, Landry assured everyone Beckham Jr. wants to be in Cleveland despite national reports to the contrary.

"It's not even about trying to go somewhere else, for him," Landry told the media. "He's been a leader. “

This is what is called co-enabling.

  • In case you missed it, Fox’s Jay Glazer doubled down on last week’s report about Beckham.

RELATED: Report: Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't plan to ask for trade, unhappy with Browns offense

  • Was David Njoku inactive Sunday in Arizona because he screamed at the coach last week?

Or had a bad week of practice?

Or doesn’t figure into the plans next season?

Asking for a fan base.

  • Via Jake Trotter of espncleveland.com, the Cardinals had the third worst red zone offense before scoring TDs in their first four trips there Sunday.
  • Arizona finished with 226 yards rushing and had almost 300 yards in the first half alone.

When defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was asked about returning to Arizona one season after being fired there as a first-year head coach, he said it was just another game.

His defense verified that and took it one step further. It played like it was just another exhibition game.

  • If this team actually plays for each other, it has kept that motive well disguised in this 6-8 season.
  • Wish I could remember where I saw it, but someone posted about the Browns being the only team in the NFL without a single winning season in the decade that ends Dec. 31.

I’d look it up to confirm if it didn’t already sound so right.

  • My guess is the Browns will lose to Baltimore, then beat Cincinnati on talent alone to finish 7-9.

Merry Christmas?

RELATED: 'I don’t care about my future' | Freddie Kitchens focused on bettering Cleveland Browns

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