The Cleveland Browns tried to downplay the significance of head coach Freddie Kitchens wearing an anti-Pittsburgh T-shirt days before this weekend’s pivotal AFC North rematch.
Kitchens and his Browns players said they didn’t think the shirt was that big of a deal following Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Steelers.
“I wore a T-shirt,” Kitchens said after the loss. “I wore a jacket with it. My daughters wanted me to wear the shirt, and I’d wear it again. I put a jacket on, I covered it up, and I took a picture with a fan. That was as simple as that.”
A fan spotted Kitchens wearing the “Pittsburgh started it” shirt earlier this week:
The Steelers felt differently, it appears.
“I thought it was pretty stupid,” veteran Steelers lineman David DeCastro said. “That’s a lot of bulletin board material. I don’t know why you do that as a coach. I just don’t get that. Of course it’s going to motivate us. What are you thinking? It’s just not smart.”
Steelers OL David DeCastro on Freddie Kitchens shirt: "I thought it was pretty stupid. That's a lot of bulletin board material. I don't know why you do that as a coach. I just don't get that. Of course it's going to motivate us. What are you thinking? It's just not smart."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 1, 2019
Browns fans seem to be more on DeCastro’s side.
Cleveland fell to 5-7 on the season with Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh. The Browns are now multiple games out of the playoff race.