PITTSBURGH (WJW)-- Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens and quarterback Baker Mayfield dismissed the idea that outside distractions are interfering with the team's performance.
The Browns fell to the Steelers in a rematch of the Nov. 14, where Cleveland got the win, but lost star defensive end Myles Garrett to suspension for an on-field brawl. The fight sparked finger pointing among fans and produced a "Pittsburgh started it" shirt from Lakewood business GV Art and Design.
Kitchens was spotted wearing the shirt before Sunday's game. He was asked about it following the loss.
"The T-shirt didn't have anything to do with us at the minus 1 moving out. I wore a T-shirt, I wore a jacket with it. My daughters wanted me to wear the shirt and I'd wear it again," Kitchens said. "I put a jacket on, I covered it up, I took a picture with a fan. That was as simple as that."
"A T-shirt didn't cause us to give up 40-yard passes and we were ready to play. That's the only thing people need to be concerned about. We were ready to play."
The always-outspoken Mayfield kept his comments on the shirt simple: "Don’t really have a comment for that. It’s a T-shirt. I’ve done much worse."
Both were asked directly if the off-the-field noise is impacting the Browns during games.
"No, I do not. I do not think that at all," Kitchens said flatly.