HC Freddie Kitchens (8.17.19)



Did that kind of end a pretty good week for you and your team?

“It ended the week. That’s about all it did.”


Why wouldn’t you say it was a good week?

“I think we made too many mistakes. You’re not going to win football games with the amount of mistakes that we made, the penalties that we made, the missed tackles that we had and the missed opportunities because of the penalties. You’re not going to win very many games like that.”


Which of the penalties?

“Every one of them.”


You mentioned the missed tackling. Was it kind of throughout the whole game or did it happen later in the game?


“No, it happened. I mean their first scoring drive we had three missed tackles on that drive alone. We just have to do better. We have to do a better job of making the plays that are just there to be made. I think our expectation for ourselves is a lot higher than what we demonstrated today.”


Can you talk about Garrett Gilbert’s performance and what you liked from him?

“I was very happy for Garrett (Gilbert). He came in and had control of the huddle, got the guys lined up and made some plays – made the plays that he was supposed to make and eliminated the mistakes. So, I thought he performed very well. And I think given the circumstances, David Blough did also. He made some plays. Over time, protection started wearing down a little bit and it’s hard for anybody like that. Both of those guys have been getting better – constantly getting better throughout the course of training camp. And we’ve got a lot of guys that are getting better. It’s just the penalties are very disappointing.”


What went into resting Baker Mayfield and some of the others?

“We got our work done during the week. That’s it.”


The first three series you had three different offensive line combinations out there, was there one in particular that you liked without looking at the film?

“It was strictly – we wanted to get some of our starters out after the first series. It just so happened that it was a short drive. Then we put the next wave in there. Then we wanted to get our tackle out. It just ended up like that.


Did you feel good about what you accomplished as a team in the joint practices and then if so, was tonight a little disappointing?

“It was not disappointing from a competitive standpoint. I thought they competed and I thought they were tough and physical. I think we could’ve played smarter. We want a smart, tough football team. That’s what I said from the beginning. We were not smart tonight.”

What did you think of D.J. Montgomery?

“I thought he had a couple of nice plays there and had a missed opportunity on another one. So that’s a big third-down play. I think it was third down, I’m not sure. But that’s a big play. He’s coming on now. He has had a pretty good week and he’s starting to show up more. But again, I want to know what I’m getting. I’ve said this before, I want to know what I’m getting when they cross that white line, alright? And if that’s – yeah I just want to know what I’m getting.”


Derrick Willies didn’t seem to play on offense until the second half of the game. Is there some reason why he was not in there until the second half?

“We were in a rotation. He just ended up not being in there until then.”


How concerned are you about the two field goal misses?

“I want them through the uprights. I don’t care how they get there.”


Is it a mitigating factor that they were such long kicks or does that not matter to you?

“I think they had the distance. So, I mean the first ball was hit very good. The first miss was hit good. It just didn’t go through. Both (of) those guys can kick the ball that far. I just want it through the uprights.”


Is Austin Corbett still in the mix for right guard?

“Everybody on our team is in the mix for right guard but we’re going to evaluate. We kind of self-evaluate at the end of every game – at the end of every practice actually. So I don’t know, we’ll see.”


What’d you think of him tonight? He had a couple of bad snaps and the holding penalty.

“Yeah, I think on third-and-three we need to get the snap, alright? So, I don’t know what to say.”


Why sit Drew Stanton tonight? Did you just want an extended look at Garrett Gilbert?

“We wanted Garrett (Gilbert) to play the first half and David (Blough) to play the second. So once you do that – I mean, just an extended look. I wanted them to know going in (that) they had the half and both of them knew it. I think it helps when you know I’ve got the whole half. So mentally you can get ready a little better because that’s the way you play the game. Now, from a backup quarterback standpoint, you have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. But, I didn’t want them thinking, ‘Okay, maybe the second series, maybe third series.’ I just (wanted), ‘Hey, you’re playing the first half, you’re playing the second.’ Drew and Baker (Mayfield) got a lot of good work during the course of the week.”


Is Drew Stanton pretty well written in stone as your backup quarterback and Garrett Gilbert is kind of solidifying the third spot?

“Well, I mean everything’s open right now. But Drew’s (Stanton) our backup quarterback. Drew brings a lot of value to the team. So yeah, Drew is our backup quarterback.”


What did you think of D’Ernest Johnson out of the backfield?

“D’Ernest (Johnson)? I call guys by first names, that’s a – Coach (Nick) Saban taught me that. I thought he had some nice runs. He had some nice physical runs. (He) didn’t show up in pass protection that much because they didn’t pressure but I think he had a couple catches too out of the backfield that he did something with. I think he’s continuing to get better. He’s kind of one of those guys that you didn’t really know much about. We signed him late. He’s just kind of worked and worked himself into a very good player.”


A couple weeks ago you didn’t want to crown Garrett Gilbert quite yet. What have you liked about the way he’s progressed?

“I like that he’s getting better every time he goes out there. I like that he it doesn’t seem too big for him. I like that he makes good decisions. I like that he’s able to get coached. It’s kind of known that these quarterbacks – they kind of get coached pretty hard. So I like the fact that he can get coached hard. I like the fact that (he) just keeps his head down and works.”


Did you know coming into this week that you were going to rest Baker Mayfield and some of those guys or did that awesome Thursday earn them the day off?

“Awesome, huh? Wow. I felt like if we got accomplished what we needed to get accomplished on Wednesday and Thursday that they would sit and that’s what happened. I would’ve like to sit some other guys defensively but numbers-wise we just couldn’t do it. But I tell you, that’s how they bought into this. They sucked it up for the team. They knew they had to get some snaps in to prolong the inevitable of coming out of the game and being done. Then you’ve got to go with what you’ve got. I appreciate those guys. They know I appreciate that because they kind of took one for them.”


You mentioned the defense, it looked like pretty much everyone was in there except Denzel Ward and Myles Garrett. We know Denzel has been dealing with something but is there something going on with Myles Garrett or was it just the time to give him a break?

“Just a little banged up. (It) happened one of the very last plays the other day, but he’ll be fine. Again, if they’re a little banged up I’m going to make sure they’re fine before. If we would’ve played a (regular season) game today he’d have been out there.”


Drew Forbes saw time at both left and right guard. He got back-to-back possessions in the first half. Without looking at the film, what do you have to say about his performance?

He didn’t really show up so that’s a good thing. Drew (Forbes) has been getting better. Again – I said this the other day – he started off and everybody’s like wondering who this guy is and he just keeps his head down, keeps working and before you know it people start talking about him in a positive matter. That’s what we want – everyone to keep their head down and keep moving. (They’re) not worried about anything outside, not worried about what any of you guys are talking about – just get better individually and then collectively as a team, just show up.”


Would you have to maybe just coach up your rookies a little bit better on the penalty stuff, the helmet-to-helmet?

“I’m really, really upset about the penalties because that’s not who we are. That’s not who we want to be and that’s not our expectation. But I’ll say this, that there is – there is a transition that goes on as a rookie and understanding what gets called and what doesn’t get called. I would say without knowing specifics, that a lot of those penalties we had were (on) rookies. I think it’s the fact that it is the preseason: They need to learn what gets called and what doesn’t. But again, it’s not acceptable. I don’t care what it is or who made it.”