Browns coach Freddie Kitchens regrets giving Steelers extra ‘motivation’ – USA TODAY

BEREA, Ohio — Freddie Kitchens didn’t backtrack Monday from his comment that he would wear his “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt again, but the coach lamented supplying the Steelers with some degree of fuel before they triumphed 20-13 over the Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field.

After the game, Steelers guards Ramon Foster and David DeCastro verbally blasted Kitchens for donning the shirt that referenced the Nov. 14 fight between the AFC North foes. Kitchens wore the shirt, a gift from his family on his 45th birthday, to a movie theater on Friday night and posed for a photograph with a fan. The picture went viral online.

Foster said Kitchens put Browns players in harm’s way and he’s glad Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t do the same. DeCastro called Kitchens’ decision “pretty stupid” and insisted he motivated the Steelers with “a lot of bulletin-board material.”

Was Kitchens disappointed he gave the Steelers something to be fired up about?

“Yes, of course,” he replied. “If that’s what they take as motivation, of course, I’m disappointed. I know Mike [Tomlin] very well. They’re motivated by more than just a T-shirt. We had a lot on the line there for that game, and I don’t think that T-shirt put them over the top. Now that’s being strictly honest for you.”

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Kitchens is more disappointed about what he believes really put the Steelers (7-5) over the top and allowed them to reduce the playoff chances of the Browns (5-7) to 5.2 percent, according to the ESPN Football Power Index.

“I know this: We have a zero percent chance unless we take care of what we can take care of, and that’s just to go 1-0 this week,” Kitchens said with an eye toward Sunday’s home game against the Cincinnati Bengals (1-11).