Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens wasn’t mincing words when he met with the media Thursday and addressed Baker Mayfield’s recent comments about former head coach Hue Jackson.
“I promise you this, Baker’s not going to blow smoke up anybody’s a—,’’ Kitchens said, per cleveland.com. “So, if he said it, that’s what he feels, and I’m standing behind Baker Mayfield. I don’t care about anybody that doesn’t work in this building and what they think about what he said, alright? That’s what I stand behind is him and these players in this locker room.”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 29, 2018
Kitchens went on to say Mayfield shouldn’t be criticized for speaking the truth.
“First of all, I don’t have a problem with Baker saying anything like that (his remarks after the game),’’ Kitchens said. “The guy spoke what he felt to be true and I don’t know when it became big news to speak the truth. And if that’s what he feels then, he should voice it. I mean, Hard Knocks is in here, everybody’s looking for a story. Well, he’s giving you a story. He’s telling you the truth. Everybody’s wanting an inside look at the truth, well hell, that’s the truth.
“I don’t think Baker disrespected anybody with what he said. He spoke what he felt and…I don’t have a problem with it. At some point, at some point, everybody’s going to realize what anybody else says, it doesn’t matter what anybody says in Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh. Nowhere. It’s about what’s said here. And more importantly it’s about our fans, our organization and our locker room most importantly. It’s about what those guys feel in there. And when they start believing that — which they do — then you have something. And that’s the point we’re getting to.”
The Browns quarterback initially came under fire when he appeared to snub Jackson, now an assistant coach with the Bengals, after Cleveland’s 35-20 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. Mayfield rebuffed Jackson’s attempt to hug him after the game and they shook hands instead. He also said he didn’t appreciate Jackson taking the job with the Bengals so soon after being fired by the Browns.
Monday, ESPN’s “First Take” analyst Damien Woody said, “Baker Mayfield needs to grow up.” That prompted Mayfield to respond on the “First Take” Instagram page, where he posted, “I didn’t lose 30+ games (and) be fake …”
Kitchens said Thursday it shouldn’t be “big news” just because Mayfield spoke how he felt.
“Suddenly it’s big news if we don’t want to turn it into a kumbaya after the game and turn it into fist bumps and hugs,” Kitchens said. “I don’t think Baker disrespected anybody in what he said. He spoke what he felt.”