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Former Browns offensive line coach and 2018

  • December 30, 2019
    star of Bob Wylie

    has been making the media rounds of
    late ,
    and he recently questioned the team’s decision to elevate Freddie Kitchens and
    to move on from Gregg Williams.“That shocked me because Gregg Williams turned
    the team around,” Wylie told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, via Mary Kay Cabot
    of “In the second half of the season, that’s his work that got it
    to where it is. My own personal feeling is Gregg was too strong a candidate for
    the seat. I don’t think [G.M. John] Dorsey wanted to go head-to-head with Gregg
    like he had to do with Andy Reid in Kansas City, so he kind of filtered Gregg
    out of the picture and he kept the search going.”That’s an intriguing take from
    a guy who was on the inside. From the outside, and given Williams’ history, it
    could be said that Williams was simply too much of a loose cannon to be
    entrusted with his own team again, especially given the bounty scandal from 2012
    — and plenty of evidence that Williams used bounties at other stops in his
    coaching career.Wylie had a separate reason for questioning the decision to go
    with Kitchens, beyond arguing that Williams would have been a better
    choice.“Baker [Mayfield] likes Freddie,” Wylie said. “There’s a good
    relationship there even though [former Browns quarterbacks coach] Kenny Zampese
    did all the coaching there. Baker likes Freddie, so that had to [factor] into
    the decision.”A year ago at this time, Kitchens simply wouldn’t have made any
    watch lists for coaching gigs in 2019. Regardless, he’s now got the job in
    Cleveland, and we’ll soon find out what he does with it. Just like the rest of
    the pigskin-loving
    world Joe Thomas
    , the Los Angeles Rams' secondary was dazzled by Odell Beckham
    Jr.'s latest feat of one-handed brilliance when they watched Monday night's
    game."I mean, we already know what (Beckham) can do, but that was crazy," Rams
    safety John Johnson said after watching Beckham's catch against the Jets. "I
    really liked the throw, too."When they get an in-person look at Beckham, Baker
    Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns (1-1) this weekend, the Rams' (2-0) defensive
    backs are hoping to keep up their strong start to the season with another
    shutdown game.And if they give up any big plays in Cleveland, they don't plan to
    let it distract them from their goal of another strong season for a relatively
    unsung section of the defending NFC champions' defense."Any cornerback will tell
    you, it's all about the next play, the next play," Nickell Robey-Coleman said.
    "We'll just play the best defense we can play, and at the end of the day, Odell
    Beckham is still going to do something like that. We just have to move on."Not
    many opponents have done something like that lately to the Rams. After capping
    three straight strong playoff games by holding Tom Brady to 262 yards and no
    touchdowns in an otherwise miserable Super Bowl for Los Angeles, the Rams are
    off to a superb start in passing defense again over the first two games of this
    season.Los Angeles has allowed an NFL-low one reception longer than 20
    yards Chris Hubbard
    Color Rush Jersey
    , and opponents are managing just 5.52 yards per
    reception — third fewest in the league. The Rams and Patriots are the only teams
    that haven't allowed a touchdown pass.The Rams are seventh in the league in
    yards passing allowed (201.5) even though they haven't trailed in a game, which
    means their opponents have been throwing the ball urgently while playing from
    behind in the second half. They've also got two interceptions and five sacks
    despite the offseason departures of nose tackle Ndamukong Suh and safety
    Lamarcus Joyner.The pass defense got an inadvertent boost last week when Drew
    Brees injured his thumb in a collision with Aaron Donald's hand on the second
    series of the Rams' 27-9 win over New Orleans. Capable backup Teddy Bridgewater
    couldn't get the Saints into Los Angeles' end zone despite throwing 30 passes to
    Michael Thomas and a solid group of receivers."We've got great players," safety
    Eric Weddle said, citing Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Robey-Coleman as "three
    of the best cornerbacks in the league. We all can cover. We all can manipulate
    the defense. We all can run. And I think we have A.D. (Donald), the best player
    on defense in the league, playing on our side. It's a complete team effort. As a
    secondary, we strive to be the best. We know the quickest way to lose in this
    league is giving up long plays."Weddle replaced Joyner in the secondary this
    season, and the veteran is calling the signals for the passing game. Weddle says
    there's no single reason for the Rams' solid start on defense, but his teammates
    are already giving him credit for keeping them organized and focused.Beckham and
    Mayfield have meant another long week of work for the Rams' secondary, but
    Weddle believes the Rams can hold their own."He's amazing, but every week the
    receivers are good," Weddle said. "If we sleep on a receiver, we're going to get
    torched. Odell is a special
    talent ,
    but we don't take anyone for granted. Obviously he draws a little more attention
    because of the type of player he is and the success he's had over his career.
    Schematically, yeah, you change a little bit of your stuff, but I'm not losing
    sleep at night thinking about how we're going to guard him. We've got great
    players and a great system. We'll go out and play. We present as much challenge
    as they present to us."NOTES: Two offensive starters missed practice, and their
    availability for Sunday is in serious doubt. Tight end Tyler Higbee has a chest
    bruise, and right guard Austin Blythe has a low left ankle sprain. Coach Sean
    McVay didn't completely rule out either player for Cleveland, however. Running
    back Malcolm Brown was limited in practice because of an ankle injury, and
    Donald also was limited with a back problem. ... McVay didn't confirm Jamil
    Demby would join the starting offensive line if Blythe can't play, as expected,
    although he said Demby "did a nice job" filling in against the Saints.