‘Bulletin-board material’ for Steelers; Browns’ Freddie Kitchens: ‘I’d wear (T-shirt) again’
Of the “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt Freddie Kitchens wore in public less than 48 hours before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, guard David DeCastro had one question for the Cleveland Browns coach.
“What are you thinking?” DeCastro said after his team beat the Browns, 20-13, Sunday.
While DeCastro was asking that in the Steelers locker room at Heinz Field, Kitchens was down the tunnel answering the same query from Cleveland reporters.
Kitchens was unapologetic for wearing the shirt, which referenced the Myles Garrett/Mason Rudolph incident during the final seconds of the Nov. 14 meeting between the teams in Cleveland.
“I wore a T-shirt,” Kitchens said, with dismissive exasperation. “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.”
Some Steelers, such as outspoken linebacker Bud Dupree, said he wasn’t aware of the shirt until after the game. Others, such as DeCastro, certainly were.
The shirts are popular in Cleveland, but many in Pittsburgh — and some Steelers players — took offense.
“When you have certain people wearing certain shirts and they know they have them on,” veteran guard Ramon Foster said, “C’mon man, be professional.”
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) December 1, 2019
DeCastro called Kitchens wearing the shirt “pretty stupid.”
“That’s bulletin-board material,” DeCastro said. “I don’t know why you’d do that, as a coach. I just don’t get that. Of course, it’s going to motivate us. “
Kitchens, in his first season as the Browns coach, stood his ground, saying the shirt had nothing to do with his team’s loss.
“T-shirts didn’t cause us to give up 40-yard passes,” he said. “And we were ready to play — that’s the only thing people need to be concerned about. We were ready to play.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .