HC Freddie Kitchens (7.26.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“It was better today from the standpoint of how we go about practicing. It is the second day so we still have a lot of work to do on a day-in, day-out basis, drill-to-drill basis and play-to-play basis. We practiced better from the standpoint of getting drill to drill, a higher tempo during practice and the ability to take care of each other during practice, which we have to do to continue to get better during the season.”


On CB Greedy Williams’ interception at the end of practice:

“It was a good play. I think that we need to learn what we are going to do with the ball after we make an interception.”


On getting after the defense during one of the periods today:

“We have to defend every blade of grass. It is the second day of practice. We will learn that. We will learn how to practice. We will learn how to play. Just because they are in the red zone does not mean that they have to score. I think everybody on that side of the ball understands that.”


On if it is different for players to learn how to hold the ball on placekicks:

“There is definitely a technique to holding, just like everything else in football. You do not want to be kicking the laces. Sometimes with a good snapper, you do not have to worry about that, but there are always little things, the little intricacies that those guys are working on. Sometimes they do not get credit for enough of those little things to have a big impact on the game. They are doing a good job of working on that, keeping their head down and working.”


On if P Jamie Gillan was instructed to work on holding this summer and if Gillan has improved:

“He is better at it now than he was in minicamp. I am sure that is one thing that he wanted to work on because that was definitely a problem in the spring.”


On excitement for players to be in pads on Saturday and if there are any surprised planned for the team with pads on tomorrow:

“That would be giving you an out by not showing up tomorrow so not going to tell you now (laughter). I am very excited about getting the pads on because the game of football is played with pads. We have not had the pads on in a long time. I am looking forward to it and all the things it brings with it.”


On QB Baker Mayfield as a leader:

“Everybody is trying to make sure that he is surrounded with the top of atmosphere to get better every play. The leadership stuff is either you have it or you do not. You can enable leaders to be leaders or you can diminish it. I am never going to diminish it. He is a natural leader. People follow him. We have several natural leaders that people follow. From a football player’s standpoint, we just want to keep our head down and continue to work. Baker wants to do the same thing, and that is what we are going to do.”


On if LB Joe Schobert’s missed tackles last total year were significant:

“I think anytime you have missed tackles it is a problem. The amount, I do not know if the amount matters, but when those missed tackles happens, it certainly do. They get paid on the other side of the ball, too. You are going to have good players on the other side of the ball, but we definitely need to eliminate some missed tackles.”


On Schobert:

“He is a very conscientious guy who wants to do well. He is an intense guy. I think a lot of his missed tackles falls on technique and you can get better at technique. I think he has put the effort in, and I think he will be a much better tackler this year.”


On if the defensive gassers at the end of practice were due to a lack of effort on the last play of practice: 

“It was. Yeah.”


On if he will coordinate an offense-defense competition to end practice each day:

“I will set it up when I see fit. Whether it be an everyday thing, I do not know. When we get these pads on ,some of that competition is going to take care of itself.”


On if yesterday’s practice ended with an offense-defense competition:

“We did not. I wanted to see how we came out of practice from a health standpoint and a conditioning standpoint. I just felt like we needed it today.”


On if there will be any tackling to the ground periods like the siren periods from the past three years:

“There will not be anything like the siren period, but we will have some tackling, I do not know if we will go to the ground. Our running backs will get hit. Our quarterbacks will not get hit, and if they do, then you see some more of that running. We will have some full contact.”


On if WR Jarvis Landry’s reps are being limited at all due to his return from injury:

“The NFL does a tremendous job of giving you information from the standpoint of when most injuries occur. Most [soft tissue] injuries occur in the first five days of training camp, and if you want to extend it even more, it is the first 8-10 days of training camp. We are trying to be conscientious of that. There is only one way to get in football condition and that is actually playing football. I do not really care what they have done until they put pads on and they start running routes on a consistent basis and getting in huddle and running more routes. They never build endurance. The difference between endurance and being in shape is continuing to play over and over and over again to continue to play plays and not coming out. That is how you build endurance. Once you have endurance, you can eliminate injuries. Yes, a bunch of our guys a kind of on kind quasi-pitch counts right now just from the standpoint of we understand that that is the most immediate threat to injury are these first five to eight days – soft tissue injuries.”


On Landry in the meeting rooms:

“Jarvis a very conscientious guy. He wants to do well. He wants to do exactly what he is being coached to do. Takes good notes. He does not sleep. He does not use his phone.”


On mentioning the use of phones in meetings two days in a row and that as an indication no Browns players are on their phones during meetings:

“I am telling you I do not and I will not. I know the phone is such a big part of peoples’ lives these days that you have to make sure that they are aware that they know they are not supposed to have phones. We are not going to have that. We do not have guys like that. We do not have guys that you have to get them off their phone. I am just saying it just in case you insinuated anything. I know you would not, though.”


On the Browns’ timeline for naming a starting RG:

“I do not know. I can’t answer that. I can’t not really answer that. I know the pads go on tomorrow. We will gather and continue to gather information, continue to evaluate and continue to try to get everybody up front better and we will see who comes out of it then.”


On OL competition only seeming apparent at RG due to the fact starters are returning at the other four positions, including T Greg Robinson:

“I think everybody is competing, and if they are not then we do not want them here. To say something about the latter part of your question, he is an incumbent. I do consider that last eight games. You can’t pick and choose what you use on somebody’s résumé. That is his résumé. It was the last eight games. That is all we have to off of right now.”


On how DT Sheldon Richardson’s and DE Olivier Vernon’s strengths complement DE Myles Garrett:

“I think it is very critical from the standpoint of you can’t double everybody at the line of scrimmage. The more good players we can have playing at one time on the line of scrimmage is advantageous to us, whether they are making a play or Myles is making a play because of them or Myles is just beating a double team or whatever needs to get done. I know we just have to get to the quarterback, whatever reason and they increase our chances of that happening.


On WR Rashard Higgins working with the first team often:

“I like guys that are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there and they do what they are supposed to do. Higgins is a very conscientious guy – I know I am using this work a lot. He is a very conscientious guy. I like conscientious  guys that want to do things the right way. HE falls into that mode. Usually, when the ball is in his direct, he catches the ball.”


On the chemistry between Mayfield and Higgins:

“I think there is definitely something to that. Remember, this time of last year that was kind of Baker’s No. 1 guy because that is who he was taking the reps with. I think there is definitely a relationship there from the standpoint of he kind of knows what he is going to do when he is going to do it.”


On CB Greedy Williams getting his hands on passes and how he can improve:

“I think he needs to continue to get better at everything. He is getting his hands on balls, and when you are getting your hands on balls, sometimes you come up with them. The more you get them on the ball, the more interceptions you are going to have, the more turnovers you are going to have and the better defense you are going to have to get the ball to the offense to get more opportunities. He just needs to keep getting better every day. I don’t know if there is any one thing I can point out. He just needs to get better.”


On Williams after his interception, given his reaction:

“He just threw it up, I was being facetious in saying that. In the National Football League, once you have a play out of bounds, you can do anything you want with the ball except throwing it into the stands, you get fined for that so I let the league take care of that part of it. If it is in the field of play and it delays the game at all, you open yourself up to a penalty and we are not going to practice penalties. To his credit, he was out of bounds and he did it.”


On if he is concerned with the number of Mayfield’s passes batted down at the line or if that is a credit to the defense:

“I am not at all concerned about the Baker part, but I am happy the defense is batting balls down. Sometimes in shorts, you have to deal with that. Offensive linemen have to have pads on before they can do anything about keeping hands down.”


On his relationship with former Browns QB Tim Couch and facing him in college:

“He won. Why would you bring it up (laughter)? He was out to training camp last year a couple times, but everyone knows Tim was a great player. We did have a battle one time, and he came out on top. I think it ended up in overtime. All that matters is that win and loss.”


On the players meeting with their friends and families after practice:

“When I first got into the league in 2006, you could still treat it like training camp so sometimes you still try to make it feel like training camp. In saying all of that, families are always going to be embraced around here as long as I am here because the sacrifices you put on your family are tremendous. Sometimes coaches are just lumped into that, but the players are, too. They are in training camp. (DE) Myles (Garrett) did not sleep at home last night so I am sure his dogs are missing him. Some of the other peoples’ kids did not sleep at home last night so I am sure the kids are missing them. We want families to come out and see practice. When they do, they have a little bit of a break between practice and when we pick meetings back up and they can spend time with their families.”


On WR Damion Ratley’s status and if he will miss practice time:

“I do not know if anything has been released or not. Ratley has a little setback, but he will be fine.”


On LB Sione Takitaki getting under teammates’ skin in practice:

“I do not like it when we are in shorts. Takitaki needs to learn how to practice, and he will. He did better today. He was one of the guys that I was talking about that was much better today. We had several guys that were on the fringe of not taking care of each other and understanding that we are in shorts. All of that stuff is good until you get somebody hurt. I do not want to get people hurt when we are in shorts.”


On embracing the family culture around training camp:

“Families are welcome around here, and you will see more of that when we get through training camp and stuff like that even during the season. We are inclusive. Families sacrifice a lot. Just like our fans – somebody asked a question yesterday about our fans – our fans deserve to come out and see us practice and our families do, too. Any moment we can get with them is pretty special.”


On other past coaches not always having the same approach towards families of coaches and players:

“I don’t care about the coaches you have had before.”


On where Kitchens’ family-oriented attitude comes from:

“I don’t know where it comes from. I just think that is the way you should do it. I do not mean to throw your question off, but we were in Oxnard, California for training camp [with Dallas]. We were in Flagstaff, Arizona [with Arizona] for the most part and on weekends sometimes families would come up and when families come up, that is what would happen. You would spend time with your family after practice. When we moved back to Glendale for training camp, when families came out, they were out there. I really was not trying to be funny. I just do not know how it has been in the past. I just know one way. Those families sacrifice, and they are going to be a part of this as much as possible.”


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