Cleveland Browns Players Reactions Mixed On Coaching Changes

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Cleveland Browns offense
Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com

It’s back to work for the Cleveland Browns players Wednesday. It isn’t like the eight previous Wednesdays in 2018. Plenty of changes in the coaching staff took place since they walked off the field in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Hue Jackson and Todd Haley have been fired as head coach and offensive coordinator respectively. Gregg Williams in the interim head coach in addition to remaining as defensive coordinator. Freddie Kitchens is promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator. In addition, Ryan Lindley has been hired as the new running backs coach.

Players addressed the moves publicly for the first time Wednesday. Reactions are mixed.

“Blindsided, I would say,” left guard Joel Bitonio said. “It is unfortunate any time someone that you have been working with for the last few years gets fired or gets let go. As an organization, it is a tough decision. As players now, we have to move on get ready to play this week. You never expect something like that to happen. It just kind of happens. So now, we have to regroup. It is adversity. How do we respond to it? Do we improve? How do we attack this week of practice? So far, all signs have been good. We just have to keep growing and try to finish out the year strong.”

“I do not have a reaction,” running back Duke Johnson said. “I’m a player. I come here to play regardless of the coach and regardless of anything.”

“This is my third head coach in five years,” linebacker Christian Kirksey said. “I believe everything that is going on in the building will be for good. Hue was a friend of mine. I have nothing but respect for Hue. Just knowing him, he will be alright.”

“New experience,” right guard Kevin Zeitler said. “It is the first time it has ever happened to me. Just a challenge and we have to work through it.”

“For me, it is definitely something new,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “It caught me off guard but have to roll with the punches. So whatever happens, happens. We have to stick together as a team. We have to use this as something to make us come together. Obviously, it could be a huge distraction or it could be something that could bring this locker room even closer.”

Now that the changes have taken place, it’s time to move forward and focus on the remaining eight games of the season. It starts with the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.

Scott Piker is the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage.com. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport

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