HC Freddie Kitchens (11.11.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“It was good to get a win last night over a tough, good, smart football team at home. It is always good to win at home. We had not done that this year so that was good. We gave ourselves an opportunity to be successful because we eliminated some of the pre-snap penalties. That is two weeks in a row, and that trend needs to continue to continue to give us a good chance to win and our best chance to win. Did not have any turnovers, which is a good thing. That is always a positive. We need to strive to create more turnovers on defense. All three units for the most part did their job. We still have execution that can get better. We will continue to work this week to improve that. It was good to get the win.”


On the team’s schedule this week to prepare for Thursday Night Football on a short week and if the Browns started looking at film last night:

“Yeah, we started last night. Just trying to get a plan together for Pittsburgh who of course is a huge division opponent. Passion and energy will not be a problem. We have to prepare to control our emotions, stay in the moment and play the game and play the play.”


On challenges the Steelers defense presents:
“They are one of the best defenses in the National Football League. They have always been good on defense. They continue to hold that torch kind of of playing good defense. They are sound. They know what they are doing. They are smart. They are tough. They are physical. There are not many weaknesses over there.”


On if there was anything noticeable with the lack of execution in the goal line offense against the Bills:

“Yeah, we have to do a better job of maintaining our blocks. We were on the right people for the most part. We just have to win our one-on-one matchups a lot of times down there. When you get down in goal-to-go situations, you would like to be able to run the ball in. To do that, you have to win your one-on-one matchups.”


On the differences between analyzing goal line offense and overall red zone struggles:

“This is just my personal belief – you are dealing with different types of scenarios when you are at the 1-yard line as opposed to the 12. It is a lot more about being precise in landmarks, execution, timing and things like that when you are in red zone offense because the field diminishes. When you are down there at the 1, it is almost like being in a phone booth. It is more of a mentality thing.”


On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance yesterday and improvements in recent weeks:

“First and foremost, you have to mention that he took care of the football. He made good decisions on where to go to the ball. He was seeing the field well from the standpoint of going through his progressions, and the ball came out of his hands for the most part. A lot of that had to do with the receiving group was pretty precise on where they were supposed to be. Like I have told you before, it is not all on the quarterback when he is playing bad, and it is not all on the quarterback when he is playing good. I think Baker would be the first to tell you that. Those guys did a good job outside, the protection held up for the most part for most of the night and he was able to complete the ball with accuracy.”


On WR Jarvis Landry’s performance:

“Jarvis played with a lot of passion, energy and toughness. He caught the balls that were there. Made a hell of a play at the end of the game on a ball where we did get a little pressure there and the ball had to come out a little quicker than it was supposed to. Baker did a nice job of getting it up and giving him a chance, and he did a nice job in making the play. Overall, we got better. The first touchdown was a better execution of a play that we struggled with earlier in the year so that was good. We got better in a couple of different areas last night. Jarvis played a big hand in that of being precise, being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there and then making the plays once he was there.”


On if RB Kareem Hunt’s role is expected to grow in upcoming weeks:

“Yeah, I think Kareem is a good football player. He did very well last night for his first time back, and he will continue to get opportunities, yes.”


On if WR Antonio Callaway situation and being inactive yesterday is a one-game scenario and if he is confident Callaway has received the desired message:

“I am not sure. I do not know if he had gotten the message or not, but I am not wavering. What Antonio and I talk about stays between Antonio and I.”


On clarifying if Callaway being inactive is specific to yesterday’s game:

“It was only for yesterday, yes.”


On if the Steelers are giving Steelers QB Mason Rudolph more as the season progresses:

“I think as a quarterback goes along you have to or you become one-dimensional. I do not think that any team wants to do that. Pittsburgh is well coached, and they understand the progression of a quarterback. They have done a good job with him. He is playing really at a high level right now – really good.”


On how disappointing it is to list Callaway as inactive after his past history, including the suspension to start the season:

“I always want our guys to make good choices. I am not going to talk anymore about that situation. I did what I felt like I needed to do, and it is over.”


On if it is accurate to say the Browns did not practice goal-line plays this past week with both Hunt and RB Nick Chubb on the field, given the two did not share many snaps in those situations yesterday:

“Yes, I guess would be accurate to say that. Although, we could have gotten in normal offense down there. Our playbook is still open down there. Of course, you are not going to throw a go-ball or anything like that down there and run out of the back of the end zone. For the most part, though, we can block our run game down there, most of it. It is kind of a two-edge sword there from the standpoint of we could have used them down there, but our goal line package did not include both of them down there, no.”


On an injury update and DE Olivier Vernon’s status:

“The guys came in today and got some treatment, rehab and stuff like that. I think we came out of the game pretty good for the most part. Olivier’s deal is still kind of day to day right now.”


On Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick and Fitzpatrick’s performance since joining Pittsburgh this year:

“Yes, the ball seems to find him. He is doing a good job of locating the ball, playing his assignments and he seems to be in the right place a lot of times. He is a very good player, one of many that they have.”


On rookie LB Sione Takitaki earning defensive snaps yesterday and his performance yesterday:
“I think he did pretty good in the situations that he was in there. He has been playing very well on special teams, and that earned him the chance to go out on defense. Special teams is very important to this team. He did his job at a pretty good success rate through the season up to this point, and he has gradually gotten better in special teams so he kind of earned some playing time on defense.”


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