Taking shots or talking truth? Jarvis Landry on respect, leadership after Freddie Kitchens' firing

Jarvis Landry had a lot to say the morning after the Cleveland Browns put themselves back on the decades-long coaching carousel by firing Freddie Kitchens after one season.

The Browns (6-10) were supposed to finally be good this season with a cast of superstars, but 2019 was one issue after another. Landry answered questions with the media Monday morning and was either taking shots at the former coach, or simply telling the truth depending on how you look at it.

Landry: Browns need respect, leadership

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Kitchens’ short tenure was filled with missteps both on and off the field. Landry’s comments about respect, via Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, indicate concerns it was never present.

In December alone, Kitchens got into it with Landry on the sidelines and the following week did the same with Odell Beckham Jr.

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Then there’s the “Pittsburgh Started It” T-shirt he wore out to the movies after defensive end Myles Garrett hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet. Kitchens defended wearing it, saying his daughter got it for him, but he also proudly stood for at least one photo with a fan.

All of this was while the Browns were still in the hunt for a playoff spot; a second win against the rival Steelers would have put them in an even better spot. The organization stood by the coach, even saying on the final weekend that a win over the Cincinnati Bengals might save Kitchens his job. That never came to fruition.

Landry also told reporters the team needs leadership, which could be a reference to any of the above, or even quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield was brought back to earth his sophomore campaign with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, second to only Jameis Winston. His quarterback rating took a hit and he found out that venting frustrations at the post-game podium isn’t the way to handle business. On the final day of the season, he got into with a fan before losing to a one-win team. And he’s already stated he won’t work with a private coach, as some of the best in the NFL do during the offseason.

Cardinals loss showed it wouldn’t work

The Browns woes started early with a season opening 30-point loss to the Tennessee Titans. But it wasn’t until the Week 15 game against the Arizona Cardinals that Landry said he realized Kitchens time might have run out, per Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan.

At that point the Browns were 6-7 and alive in the playoff race. But a 38-24 loss dimmed that light, and made the franchise the only team in the decade to have a losing season every year. It was also the game that Landry got into with Kitchens on the sidelines, though he downplayed the fourth-quarter yelling after the game.

Landry could be out 6-8 months

The 2019 issues that arose for the Browns are lengthy. Part of that is how the franchise has handled medical issues. Mayfield publicly ripped the medical staff in Week 14 when asked about a report that Beckham needs offseason surgery. The struggling star receiver reportedly played through a sports hernia.

Landry has also dealt with an injury all year. Late last week he divulged a hip injury that started with a fractured bone at the base of his spine last summer.

Via the Associated Press:

''Just talking to the doctors and the early scans from OTAs, I began with a fractured sacrum and then, from there, everything else just kind of started going bad,'' the 27-year-old said.

''My hip has been bothering me since then and it's definitely been a battle. I wouldn't say it's gotten worse — I'd call it nagging — but it definitely is not getting better.''

He didn’t skip a game, but if he needs surgery it might put the start of 2020 into question. He said he would be out 6 to 8 months if he needed surgery, per Britton. If he had it now, eight months would be the start of August if all went well. Beckham will reportedly also undergo surgery for his hernia.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry had a lot to say during locker clean-outs. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry had a lot to say during locker clean-outs. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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