CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two days after former Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie criticized him during a national radio interview, head coach Freddie Kitchens fired back by saying he would fire any staffer who leaked information.
Wylie, during an appearance on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio, said former Cleveland quarterback coach Kenny Zampese, not Kitchens, was mostly responsible for the Browns’ strong finish to the 2018 season. Cleveland finished the season with a 7-8-1 record after going 2-5-1 under Hue Jackson.
Wylie also said he heard about his firing from his daughter while he was in the hospital recovering from a serious ankle and knee injury.
“My daughter called me and said, ‘Hey, dad, you just got fired today,’’ Wylie said. “That’s the first time I heard about it. I was laying in hospital bed. They packed up my office and they put my office in storage because I was still in the hospital. So that’s how it all kind of went down. That stuff happens in the National Football League.''
Kitchen said initially he wasn’t going to comment on Wylie’s radio remarks out of respect for his family, but then said things have changed in Berea, and if there are any more internal leaks, heads will roll.
Wylie expressed shock during the Saturday interview on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio that Kitchens got the head coaching job.
“Baker likes Freddie. There’s a good relationship there even though Kenny Zampese did all the coaching there," he said.
Kitchens reminded reporters on Monday that Wylie’s contract was up, and that the longtime NFL assistant had frequently talked of retiring.
Here’s Kitchens entire statement:
“I know Bob Wiley to be a good person, and out of respect for his family, I will not get into any of that because he is a father, he is a husband and he is a granddad. I would just say this about that whole situation: Bob knows what happened, Bob knows what was going on, and when he was here, he knew everything about it. That was last year. Listen, Bob was not under contract. He forgot to tell everybody that. He was not under contract. He had talked about retiring forever. Sometimes when a person says something, they have to be made to feel relevant, OK? Bob is a good person, and I do not want to lose sight of that. I have too much respect for him as a person. What I would say, though, is what got lost in the shuffle is what really mattered into what we are doing right now. For whatever reason it got lost in the shuffle, we just had 40,000 people at a stadium for a practice, where all the proceeds went to the ‘Get 2 School’ initiative that the Browns have done. That got lost into the shuffle of all this stuff that happened last year. The days of inside information and the days of unnamed sources and stuff like that have ended. You are not going to get any information like that ever – anybody. If I ever see it, they are fired immediately. That is the way we are running this organization. I can take it. [General Manager] John Dorsey can take it. We will not crack. I promise you.”