NFL Teams
ESPN 22d

Ex-Browns OC Todd Haley: Melee 'falls squarely' on Freddie Kitchens

NFL, Cleveland Browns

Following Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension, former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley expressed his belief that the incident was a reflection of coach Freddie Kitchens' leadership.

"This to me, this comes back to coaching," Haley told SiriusXM Radio on Friday. "This falls squarely right on the head coach. Because the head coach talks to every assistant coach, who then talk to their groups of players. And there's an old saying in coaching: 'You're either coaching it or you're allowing it to happen.'"

Garrett was suspended following Thursday's melee in which he ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph before swinging and hitting him in the head with it. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended one game for shoving Rudolph in the back and to the ground.

A source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that Garrett will appeal the suspension.

Haley said he didn't view what happened Thursday as a "fluke" incident.

"If you're not coaching it, you're allowing it to happen, and when I watch the Cleveland Browns, I see a lot of stuff being allowed to happen, whether it's clown shoes, visors, whatever it may be," Haley told SiriusXM. "Myles Garrett hitting the quarterback low, hitting the quarterback in the head, it's happening too much."

Haley said the discipline problem has existed with the Browns for a few years.

Haley's comments also come with some baggage. He was fired as Browns offensive coordinator in October 2018 after less than one year on the job, with Kitchens taking over the role before being hired as head coach after the season.

Asked about Haley's comments Friday, Kitchens declined to engage.

"I don't really give much thought into what Todd says," Kitchens said. "I'm not even gonna respond to it. I know the way we continue to talk about maintaining our composure, and we have to do a better job of maintaining our composure -- everybody."

Shortly after the NFL's ruling, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam issued a statement saying that what happened Thursday was "not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization."

Kitchens said the team will continue to support Garrett.

"He understands the magnitude of what occurred last night, and he's very remorseful, he's very sorry for his actions," Kitchens said. "He understands that he let himself down, that he let his teammates down, he let his organization down.

"We look at our team as a family. And in a family, sometimes family members make mistakes. You support them in every way that you can, even if it's an egregious mistake."

Information from ESPN's Jake Trotter and Brooke Pryor was used in this report.

^ Back to Top ^