HC Freddie Kitchens (11.6.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“It will be good to be back home facing a very good Buffalo Bills team that is playing good football. (Bills Head Coach) Sean (McDermott) is doing a great job with those guys. They are playing good defense. They run the ball very effectively. They play smart. They play tough. They are physical. Their defense keeps them in every game, and then their offense kind of tries to impose the will on you. From an injury perspective, we have a few guys that are day to day. (S) Damarious (Randall) will be back out there today. We will see where he is – not really sure yet about him. The other guys are just kind of day to day – the two tight ends (Pharaoh Brown and Ricky Seals-Jones) are kind of day to day.”


On DE Olivier Vernon’s status:

“Still waiting to see how he responds so day to day, I guess.”


On the Bills ranking first in the NFL in red zone offense:

“They are able to run the ball down there. Their quarterback is about to scramble. They get first downs down there. Sometimes it is just about picking up first downs down in the red zone, and they have done an excellent job of that.”


On if Brown is still in concussion protocol:

“He is at the present time.”


On if the Browns need to make a transaction to provide more depth at S:

“I think we still have some guys back there that we have a lot of confidence in. Getting Damarious back will definitely help so hopefully, we will see how he is this week.”


On if he can explain why teams have trended away from two RB systems and formations that were successful in previous eras of pro football:

“I do not really know the answer to that. I think it probably has to do with so much sub-personnel being played from the standpoint of one tight end, three wide receivers. It probably has just as much to do with that as anything.”


On if the Browns have plays with RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield together:

“We are still trying to find out what we can draw up.”


On if he sees it as a creative opportunity to not only have the chance to play a two RB formation but also do so with two versatile RBs as runners and receivers:

“I definitely think that both of their skillsets offer you plenty of opportunities to do a lot with those guys. They are both excellent runners, and they both catch the ball very well out of the backfield. They are good protectors. That makes them good all-around running backs.”


On how does he help frustration from affecting a young QB like QB Baker Mayfield:

“He has to have the mindset of… The game of football is tough, and it is a tough game played by tough people. Baker is a tough individual mentally and physically. Baker will be fine. He just has to understand to stay in the moment, and I think he does. You come out of bad situations a lot of times better off personally and professionally. He just has to keep his focus on the day and what he is doing in that day.”


On if Mayfield’s positioning and eye placement improved against the Broncos:

“I thought for the most part Baker played a really solid game against Denver.”


On if he has noticed Mayfield being more reluctant to make throws down the field or into coverage:

“I think Baker has a unique ability that a lot of good quarterbacks have – they have short memories, just like corners have to have short memories. They do not worry about the last play. They are just worried about the current one.”


On expectations for Hunt’s workload in his season debut after not playing for a significant amount of time:

“Some of that is dictated by the game, but I think Kareem is ready to play.”


On how Hunt has been on and off the field with the Browns:

“I think Kareem fits into our locker room very well from a standpoint of personally. Professionally, everyone knows what he can do. Kareem has been a good person since he has been here, and I know it is important for him to continue to make strides in that area. Football will take care of itself.”


On what it takes for an OL to gel during the season and improve:

“I think you are always trying to find different roles for people. I think these guys have done a good job of adjusting to their role and being willing to change that role at any given moment. I think that makes a good offensive line. I think you always want continuity, but sometimes your needs change during the course of a season or during the course of a game, and I think these guys have that innate ability to change those and never look back.”


On balancing Chubb and his high level of production this season while incorporating Hunt into the backfield:

“I think Nick is about one thing and one thing only: winning. Nick gives us a great opportunity to win. I think we are adding another chip to the puzzle to increase those chances, too. I do not think either of those are very selfish at all so whatever gives us the best chance to win.”


On how much it helps that Hunt has been able to practice with the team the past two weeks:
“It has helped us tremendously from the standpoint of feeling confident he knows what to do and how to do it, and it has helped him from the standpoint of being in physical condition. It is a lot different being in shape than having endurance. The difference between having endurance and being in shape is being in shape, you can go out and run a bunch of wind sprints. Having endurance is what you need for football, and that is to play play after play after play and never coming off the field. He is building his endurance during the course of these last couple of weeks.”


On if it can be tiring for opposing defenses when having to face two elite RBs throughout an offensive series and games:

“I certainly hope so because we need them to drain some energy or whatever word you used for that. They are very good on defense. They are very active. They are tough. They are physical. They play hard. Anytime somebody plays hard, you take all of the help you can get.”


On TE David Njoku getting his cast removed and how close he is to being able to return:
“We are really just taking that day to day and will judge that down the road when he is eligible.”


On G Wyatt Teller’s performance against the Broncos:
“I thought he was solid. There are definitely some things in the running game he could get better at. He would be the first to admit that, but that is his first significant action since he has been with us. He has spotted here and there, but that is his first significant action and I think he will continue to get better.”


On if Teller will remain at RG:


On if T Drew Forbes has a chance to return from injury and be placed into the starting rotation:

“I guess there is always a chance.”


On if T Chris Hubbard has been more consistent:
“I think everybody up front is looking for more consistency. We are looking for more consistency outside and from every area – defensively, offensively, special teams, just everything. We are always searching for consistency. I think Hub would be the first to tell you that he is not as consistent as he wants to be, but he gets in the fight, he fights and battles and does a pretty good job.”


On Mayfield shaving twice on Sunday in Denver:

“I will hold that opinion to myself.”


On if there is an ‘inside story’ behind Mayfield shaving his facial hair:

“I think they have the shave for November thing. I am not really sure, I did not know he shaved the day of the game. I do not really know. I do not look at faces that much as far as facial hair. I do not know how to answer that. How did you know when he shaved?”


On the social media coverage of Mayfield’s facial hair showing Mayfield entering with a beard, later having a Fu Manchu and then a mustache:

“I did not know. I thought he had a mustache. Fu Manchu? I appreciate the heads up on that, though. (laughter)”


On if Mayfield is trying to prevent interceptions too much and not taking as many chances, in reference to comments about Mayfield’s strength of playing without fear:

“I think protecting the football is the No. 1 job of the quarterback. The  No. 2 job is to continue to play fearlessly because you are never going to make those plays until you do. I think he does a good job of putting things behind him and moving forward. Listen, all the interceptions are not on him. There is a lot that goes into that. I have told you guys that before. I do not think he bats an eye. H he is not thinking about the last throw. He only thinks about the current one. Some of those situations you may be talking about are dictated by the situation. I think everybody needs to just be more consistent. I think everybody realizes that. We need to execute better. We need to be where we are supposed to be. We need to throw the ball where we are supposed to throw it. We need run and block the way we are supposed to run and block. We need to have gap responsibility on defense, we need to have coverage responsibility on defense and we need to hold each other accountable for doing that.”


On how hard is it for a young QB to balance protecting the ball and playing fearlessly:

“I think playing quarterback in the National Football League is one of the most difficult things there are to do, especially in this business of course. I think he is going to continue to work. He is always evolving. He is going to be better this week than he was last week and just continue to grow.”


On if there was hesitation from Mayfield throwing on fourth-and-4 in the fourth quarter at Denver:

“I think there is a lot that went into that play. I would rather just talk about Buffalo really.”


On if that play was a huge learning moment for Mayfield:

“I think he learned tremendously from that situation. I think all of us did.”


On if the drop off of statistical success for Mayfield, not simply interceptions, is more of an indication of the entire team’s play than just Mayfield’s play:

“I think definitely. Stats causing controversy or causes raising of the person, per se. You can’t just look at stats and tell the whole story. I know that is a lot of times all anybody has to look at. I understand that and recognize that fact, but that does not tell the whole story. I said from Day 1, no two teams are ever the same. This group of guys has to continue to try to get better and try to increase the level of execution and the consistency of execution. When we do that, we will play better. There is no secret about that. You execute, you play good. You do not execute, you do not play good.”


On Mayfield being last in the NFL in completion percentage this year when Mayfield is generally accurate:

“There are a lot of factors that go into that. I do not think he is just wildly missing passes. I do not know. I do not really look at that. I just want him to get better today, just like I want him to get better this week more than last week. I truly do not look at stats.”


On if Mayfield ‘throwing the ball 900 mph’ is a factor into why he and WR Odell Beckham Jr. haven’t perfected their chemistry:

“We are going to go out today and try to improve that.”


On if he had a problem with Mayfield walking out of his media availability last Wednesday:

“What Baker and I talk about will always stay between us – with anybody I talk to in our organization.”


On if he talked to Mayfield about the press conference:

“I do not want to answer that. Baker and I talk every day.”


On if he gave Beckham a birthday present:

“I did not.”


On if he signed the scooter that WR Jarvis Landry gave to Beckham:

“I did not.”


On if rode Beckham’s scooter:

“I did not. There has to be a weight limit on that, right (laughter)?”


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