Jarvis Landry was on set with Skip Bayless and Co. down in Miami for the Super Bowl. Bayless asked Landry what he thought went wrong with this year's Browns team, picked by many a preseason pundit to impress and make a playoff appearance, if not more. Landry pointed to communication and the trouble a football team will have on the field if they aren't on the same page:
"Communication, you know. It's the biggest thing... When you don't have everybody on the same page at all times, it can definiitely screw a lot things up. And I was a part of it. I was a part of it, and you guys saw," said Landry.
When asked by Bayless if the beginning of the end was hiring Freddie Kitchens after only a half-year as a coordinator, Landry disagreed.
"I wouldn't say that. I think the transition that I believe the organization was trying to make from the first year was, I think it was the right thing to do. The relationship he had formed with Baker. But running a team, it's a lot more than being personal with one guy, and coaching one guy," Landry said. "Not that he was in over his head or anything like that, but we just couldn't find a way to get on the same page and figure out what our identity was."
While many Browns players were visibly frustrated over the course of the year (and several, including Landry, were rumored to tell teams to trade for them before games), nobody has had a bad thing to say about Kitchens after he was fired. But getting every player on the team aligned for one goal and on the same page comes from the top down. That might not fall entirely on Kitchens, given how convoluted the top of the organization is structured, but he has a good chunk of the blame to shoulder.
Something was fundamentally wrong with this team in 2019. But perhaps Kevin Stefanski can improve the communication and allow them to live up to their potential.