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.