HC Freddie Kitchens (11.7.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“We continued our preparation for Buffalo, of course. I thought we had a good day.”


On if there is a need to have a talk with RB Kareem Hunt about staying within himself in his first game in nearly a year:

“I think the excitement for him to get back out on the field is warranted. He has gone through a lot since he has been out since his last game. As a person, he has grown. As a player, he has grown, especially in our system. I expect good things from him. Always when you play a game, you are always borderline trying to keep your emotions intact and make sure it is passion instead of emotion. That is what we are going to try to do.”


On expectations for Hunt in his first game back or if there is part of him that thinks Hunt will come back a little slow, specifically in reference to WR Antonio Callaway’s performance in his first game back earlier this season:

“I do not worry about tempering the expectations. I think Kareem is the type guy that puts a lot of expectations on himself on how he performs and how he prepares. The one thing that you have to realize though, sometimes is, as in Callaway, he went through training camp but he also suffered a high ankle sprain so he missed two or three weeks there of training camp toward the end of training camp. Then he left for the four weeks and came back so he really did not have the training camp, and the same with Kareem with the injury that he had during the course of training camp. The good thing about Kareem is that he been with us for the last couple of weeks and he has built some endurance up and stuff like that.”


On how S Damarious Randall looked the past couple of days and if Randall will be ready to return:

“I think he is getting close. I think he has been doing good. I think he is listed as limited on the (injury) report and I think that is what we will probably go with right now.”


On if Hunt is different from most RBs as a natural route runner:

“Some of route running is just having a feel, especially out of the backfield of timing, a sense of timing and when the ball has to be released. I think he does a good job of that. He knows how to attack defenders in man coverage and has a good sense of awareness with zone-type coverages. That is definitely a strong suit of his, but he is pretty good with the ball in his hands, as well. I like Kareem a lot.”


On how the wishbone is coming along:

“It is perfect. I can’t decide if it the inside or outside veer yet, but it is perfect. The triple option may be a little bit too much after one week back, but we will see about that down the road. You guys are laughing but you guys were laughing last year, too (laughter).”


On what makes the Bills defense so good:

“They play with great passion and energy. Very tough and physical. Very active. The one thing that separates them from other people is I do not think that they make very many mistakes. They are conscientiousness of everything they are doing. They play with great passion and do not make mistakes. Everybody seems to do their job on a regular basis.”


On challenges Bills QB Josh Allen presents:

“Josh is second in the league in scrambles by a quarterback – second in yardage. He is good outside the pocket and he continues to look down the field, but he can tuck the ball and run it and that makes him very dangerous from the standpoint of that. He has four game-winning drives – two of them sort of at the end, and I am talking his career now, but two of them at the end of the game and two somewhat earlier in the fourth quarter, but they were still game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. He never gives up. He is always trying to attack. He has gotten better as a passer and continues to get better as a passer. When you win with your feet also, that is always an advantage.”


On the potential loss if DE Olivier Vernon is unable to play:

“Olivier, his best games have come as of late. He was really coming on and really being a force. If we in fact end up losing him for a little bit or whatever, it is definitely a blow to the defense. He is a good player, a really good player.”


On if the Browns know yet if Vernon will miss time:

“I do not think we know anything affirmative yet, no.”


On the level of hope that is important for the team to keep at 2-6:

“We are trying to go 1-0 this week, and we are trying to stay focused on the moment and continue to try to get better and start at 1-0. That is how you start. You have to win one before you can win anymore. We just want to stay focused and in the moment this week of this game. This is an excellent football team that is coming in at 6-2 and had a chance to win one of those others so we have our work cut out for us.”


On offensive coordinator Todd Monken discussing not changing too much on the offense with Hunt coming back:

“I think you always want to try to incorporate guys that can make plays into your offense and we will definitely do that, whether it is spelling Nick or whatever. At the end of the day, we have two very good running backs. It is good to have that. I do not know if you will see the wishbone this week – that may have been what he was talking about. It may be a couple of weeks down the road.”


On why the Browns defense has not been able to get off the field in critical moments:

“It comes times in the critical moments in the game that somebody has to make a play, and we just have not made that play yet. We have at times, and we have not at times. We just have to be more consistent on how we are playing and how we are attacking the football, having responsibility and depending on each other to have our gaps covered, our coverages tight and just make those plays. Same as offense. In critical moments, we have to make those plays.”


On the frustration when the offense cuts into the lead and the defense is not able to get a stop to help a comeback:

“I truly feel like we have a great group of guys that believe in the team concept. The defense has bailed the offense out several of times, and the offense has bailed the defense out some from the standpoint of keeping us in games, and the special teams has been pretty solid all year. We do not do any pointing fingers or anything like that around here.”


On the Browns TEs this season, particularly given injuries:

“I think those guys have continued to try to get better. Each and every one of them plays good in certain instances. They are just like kind of our team – they are trying to find consistency. We have to have consistency at every position, and then when we start having consistency and execution at every position, they would feel better about themselves and we would feel better offensively.”


On if DT Sheldon Richardson’s hand was by the QBs’ helmet that resulted in the personal foul:

“Anytime your hand, helmet or should pad or anything gets around the helmet, you have the chance of getting a penalty called. I would I refer to any explanation to someone else not in Berea.”


On Bills RB Devin Singletary changing the Bills’ offensive dynamic after returning to play:

“He does. He brings energy level there. (Bills RB) Frank (Gore) has played a lot of games in this league and he has a lot of experience. He has been to the circus before and he knows what is going on. They are not going to sit him down anytime soon, but when Singletary comes in, he definitely adds a jolt of energy, so of speak, a change of pace and all that kind of stuff.”


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