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Steelers blast Freddie Kitchens for controversial shirt

12/2/2019 6:54:16 AM
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Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens downplayed his "Pittsburgh started it" T-shirt in the aftermath of his team's 20-13 loss Sunday, but Steelers players blasted the coach for putting his team in a bad position, Brooke Pryor of ESPN reports.

"I know that our coach never would have done anything like that," left guard Ramon Foster said. "Why throw gas? When you do something like that, you throw your players in harm's way. He's not on the field. You throw your players in harm's way when you do stuff like that with a vengeance. And I hate that for them."

Foster added: "You just don't see that from upper management. We all got to grow as professionals in some sense. I'm glad Coach T [Mike Tomlin] doesn't do anything like that."

The two coaches have traded their share of barbs in the rivalry. During an ESPN interview over the summer, Tomlin made a yawning motion when asked about facing Odell Beckham Jr. twice per season after the wide receiver was traded to the Browns from the Giants.

Kitchens, whose birthday was Friday, was photographed wearing a "Pittsburgh started it" shirt to see the Mr. Rogers biopic "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" on Friday night.

The shirt referenced the brawl between the teams two weeks ago, when Browns defensive end Myles Garrett hit Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet, setting off a melee and earning himself an indefinite suspension.

"I thought it was pretty stupid," Steelers offensive 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."

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