HC Freddie Kitchens (7.29.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

On if the Browns create disadvantages for the offense or defense in training camp when the first teams match up:

“No, I would not say that anybody is at a disadvantage. We have one competitive period that we do a day. The defense knows we are going to run the ball, and we have three times to get the first down, which is 10 yards. They know we are going to run it because at the end of games we want to be in a situation where we want to keep the ball on the ground and run the football. We try to illustrate that situation for them. Other than that, no. Everybody has a fair shake at doing what is best for them. Each side of the ball is trying to get better. We are trying to compete against each other and get better. I think we are doing a good job of that right now.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr. not participating in team periods today:

“Yeah, he got his reps in individual. I told you guys the other day, as science gets better and everything we start understanding the human body more and athletes get more prepared from the standpoint of being able to study them and knowing what is going on with their body, all that data is good from the standpoint of you can predict potential dangers. The fifth day of a five-day stretch when you first start out is the most critical day. We just wanted to limit some of his work and get his work done during the individual period and a couple other team periods. That was my thought.”


On the status of RBs Kareem Hunt and Duke Johnson Jr.:
“I do not have an update on them. They are getting better. Kareem is getting close. Duke is two or three days out so he is probably out of the injury. He is going to be a few more days.”


On QB Baker Mayfield’s improvements:

“I think he has a better grasp of the offense. Baker is just like everybody else. He needs to keep his head down and keep working. Last year does not have any impact on this year. Today is not going to have any impact on tomorrow. Nothing we have done these past five days is going to dictate Wednesday when we go back to practice. Baker needs to stay in the moment just like everybody else. He has a better grasp of the offense.”


On the biggest area of confidence following the first five days of training camp:

“I feel like our guys have bought in. They are willing to compete. We are going to continue to see if they are willing to pay the price.”


On deciding to host morning practices, given the Browns have had afternoon practices the past few years:

“I do not know if studies have shown it or not, but my belief is the more recovery time you can give them with the sleep added to it at night – of course, you are going to sleep every night – but when you practice in the morning you have all day to recover. You can get treatment and stuff. You can get in the hot tub. You can get in the saunas. You can get treatment in the training rooms. Then you can go back to meetings and start preparing for the next day. Then you can go home and sleep or you can get treatment after the meetings. We have plenty of opportunities to get treatment and get our bodies back in shape before we practice the next morning. It was just the simple fact that you have the ability to eat three meals before we practice again. To me, that is a big thing.”


On if he has participated in training camps with morning practices and afternoon practices:

“I have done it both ways. I tend to like this better right now. Not to say that we are not going to practice in the afternoon. We have some practices in a week or so. We go to the afternoon just because you start putting the schedule together you have to use some foresight to see we may be getting finished at 7 p.m. one night and you do not want to come back the next day so we will have a two or three-day stretch that way we are practicing in the afternoon.”


On if anyone has solidified the RG position:

“No. There is not.”


On if he wishes someone had solidified the RG position:

“Yeah, I wish one was but I want them all three to compete. They have all had some good plays. They have all had some bad plays. Under no circumstances are we ready to name the starting guard, which that is what you guys are asking.”


On if he feels more often that he likes what he sees or that the teams needs to improve when watching practice:

“I am going off a play-by-play basis. You would have to ask me on a specific play what I thought about it. I do not know how hard this is to believe, but I truly worry about what play we are running right then. That is it. Then if they do not do it right, they are told about it right then. Then we will still go over it later on in the film, but hell, I know what I am seeing. I know when it is right and when it is wrong, and it has nothing to do with the results. All I want is for everybody to do their job, to do it right and do it the way we are teaching it. I know what that is. I know what that looks like because I know what the guys are teaching them to do. That would be a play-by-play basis, and they are getting corrected right then on most of it. Then of course, everybody watches tape afterwards, but we know whether you did right or wrong. Hell, it is not rocket science. Or maybe it is.”


On if tomorrow’s player day off factored into deciding to tackle to the ground in practice today:

“I do not care about the day off. I do not care. There are going to be certain days and certain periods of the day where that is already planned out that are going to be live. I do not care if tomorrow is off or not. Yesterday, we had a tackling day, too. It just so happened that we did not stop it. You had two runs in the period where there is supposed to be 2-3 play sets and both runs broke out for past 10 yards, and we were trying to get a first down so they didn’t get tackled.”


On if LB Sione Takitaki really showed up during 7-on-7 drills with three consecutive stops:

“Oh, yeah. He showed up to you. He is going to show up to me.”


On if Takitaki got his attention today:

“Yeah, he did in a positive way, and the offensive line going to the wrong linebacker showed up in a negative way. In the course of training camp, you are going to have the ebbs and flows. The defense is going to win some and the offense is going to win some. That is what we are looking for. We are looking for the offense to make the defense better and vice versa. That is what you saw today. Yesterday, you saw the opposite. We don’t want to be a rollercoaster. We want to get to where we are consistent and I know what I am going to get when we go out there. That is where we have to get to.”


On run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell yelling at practice and if that is typical for him:

“Yeah, that is typical Stump. That is why he is here.”


On some pro sports coaches not being honest and critical of players during press conferences:

“I don’t know. I just believe in speaking the truth. If you do not want me to say anything negative about you, don’t do those negative things. I do not think I have been too critical of anybody, though. I would say that they would not say I was critical. I have been very honest, I would hope, but I don’t think I am critical. Ask them how I am on the field. See if that is critical or being very honest. Hell, it could be either one. I don’t know. I am trying to be funny with your question. I just do not feel like I am critical with them in the media. If I am, I need to change because I do not believe in that, but I am honest.”


On if tackling has improved in practice:

“Yeah, I think so. We are putting the time in to do it. I think we were a better tackling team today as far as guys are continuing to learn how to practice. In this league, sometimes you go a long time without knowing how to practice. Everybody likes to run plays and everybody likes to make their checks and make their calls and make their alignments. A bunch of that stuff is to make the coaches feel like they are doing something, but at the end of the day, the game is about blocking and tackling. If you can do the blocking but you can’t do the tackling, you are going to beat. If you can do the tackling but not the blocking, you are going to get beat. We are going to be a better blocking and tackling team. That is what we are stressing in our individual periods. That is what we are stressing on tape. That is what we expect to get on the field.”


On DE Myles Garrett’s strong performance in practice and how much of that is attributed to Garrett as opposed to T Greg Robinson needing to do better:

“I think Myles is a pretty good player, and I think Greg is a pretty good player. I think that is a good competition. When Myles is in the backfield, I would say he is supposed to be there and that is where I want him most of the game.”


On how Robinson benefits from competing against Garrett and Garrett’s current level of play:

“I think Myles is good, but Myles has aspirations to be more and I want him to be more because he can be more. I want him to be the best that he can be. Greg has stiff competition. Hell, I do too. Every day I walk in here with you guys, it is stiff competition. That is going to make us all better. Iron sharpens iron, I know everybody has heard that. I do not care about all of that. I just want them to compete. I do not want them to worry about the play. I just want them to compete. I do not want them to worry about the next play or the play before – just that play that they are playing right then. Do not worry about anything else because that is not your job on that play.”


On the balance of TE David Njoku running routes and pass blocking:

“I think David Njoku needs to get better at both of them. I do not see a finished product there. I do not know what that means. If David flexes out, he is expected to catch the ball. When he is in line, he is expected to block. He is a tight end. He need to get better at both of them.”


On LB Genard Avery’s absence from practice:

“Genard is injured. He is not out there. You guys ask a lot of questions about injuries, and we do not have an injury report. Hell, he may have just been in the hot tub.”


On TE Seth DeValve’s status after taking a hit late in practice:

“I have not talked to him yet. I do not know what it is.”


On if he spends a lot of time after practice working with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks:

“As far as me with the defense? Yes, there is. I think that is the beauty of being the head coach, you can be involved in both sides of the ball. Of course, that is his forte and I lean on him. He is the leader of that side of the ball.”


On WR Antonio Callaway during training camp:

“Callaway is doing good. He is doing good. He is doing what is expected of him. He is going to continue to get better.


On if Callaway will be the Browns punt returner:

“We are a long way. He is going to be one of them.”


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