HC Freddie Kitchens (8.30.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“I just wanted to start by telling you guys something I was thinking about last night after our press conference. I want to apologize to you guys about the kicking thing. That is not something I like to do although it is no excuse. After we talked about that after the Tampa game, I never circled back to let you guys know that we had changed our minds on [Seibert kicking against Detroit]. It just never came up again. Now, I know why it did not ever come up because you guys had took that to heart just like I had said. I do want to apologize to you guys for that. It was kind of a fluid situation and never gave it a second thought after we decided to go with the young two guys.”


On an update on T Drew Forbes’ status:

“We have not gotten a length of time back yet, but it is a minor knee issue. We do not have a length of time yet, though. We have been dealing with talking to guys and talking over guys all morning so that is part of the process, also. I think the trainers are gathering all of the information right now from some tests we did this morning.”


On if it is harder to evaluate WR Damion Ratley, given Ratley only played in one preseason game:
“It definitely makes it more difficult. We are kind of piecemealing together our evaluation last year, what he did last year and what he has done in practice. Although, he had not played in but one game, he participated in two weeks’ worth of practices. Yes, it is more difficult, but we think we know who he is so we will go off of that. Who he is does not mean we are kind of penciling him in on what we think he could be. We still think he has some upside from the standpoint of he does continue to work hard and he does continue to show improvements everyday. What we necessarily think we are going to have may not always be the case of what we have at the present time.”


On if the Browns will begin meeting with players to notify them of their plans this today or tomorrow:

“It is ongoing. We have been meeting over our roster since 4 a.m. so it is kind of an ongoing, fluid type thing. We may have some announcements for you guys this afternoon or they may all come tomorrow before 4 p.m. We have not fully decided that even right now, not as of 30 minutes or an hour ago.”


On the most difficult decision with pending roster cuts:

“The most difficult one probably has not changed from the standpoint of when you are in this business, you have different levels of guys that you just know it means just a little bit more to, and having those conversations with those guys are the most difficult decisions. I know you are asking more so about specific positions, but to me, they are all hard. There is no one more difficult than the others because in a sense for anybody that has ever been told no, that is hard thing to deal with. I respect the fact that just because we are saying no does not mean someone else has to. I urge these guys to and I will always any time I have ever talked to a guy in this situation – I am talking about in previous year – I urge them that if they are not ready for the dream to die, do not let it die. They are the author of their own story. Do not let somebody else write the book for them. Any one particular position [being more difficult], I could not give you that because to me, they are all hard. It is hard for me to tell someone no when it is their dreams you are talking about.”


On the NFL ruling RB Kareem Hunt will not be permitted in the team facility during his suspension, particularly given his surgery:

“That is a league matter. I really don’t have anything to say about that. I just know he had the surgery yesterday afternoon. The rehab is four to six weeks, and he has 10 weeks before he is back with us. He will be ready to go then.”


On the Browns’ knowledge of Hunt’s schedule and rehab during his suspension and the team’s comfort with the NFL’s ruling, particularly given his surgery:

“It is not our job to really be comfortable with it or not. That is just what they said he couldn’t do. Of course, we would like him here. We feel like we offer the best support for him. He is comfortable with being here, he trusts us here and things like that. As far as the specific plan for him, we really just got that answer back yesterday or maybe the day before yesterday. All of these days [run together]. When you get up at 4 a.m. and start talking about players, some of these days run together. We will develop a plan for him. We don’t have a specific thing right now. He hasn’t even made it back here yet. He should be en route now.”


On if the Browns saw enough consistency from WR Derrick Willies during training camp and the preseason:

“Part of the evaluation process when you start talking about guys is consistency. I have always said I just want to know what we are getting when they walk across the white lines. I think that is one things Derrick was very conscientious about working on. I thought he got better the last week and a half or so. We will see. Was he the most consistent throughout the whole camp? I would say no, but his good ones were good and his bad ones were bad. It is one of those things where you have to judge the good and the bad and see what you can live with.”


On if G Wyatt Teller passed his physical and if Teller is in the building today:

“He is still here. He did come in. He passed his physical. Everything is good to go there.”


On what the Browns liked about Teller on film:

“Anytime he goes in the game, he brings a toughness to it, I think he plays with good technique most of the time and I think he gives us some depth at the position in the short term.”


On if the Browns would have any nervousness if the team decides to move forward with rookies at both K and P:

“Nervousness? No, whoever we make that decision to go with we have made that as an organization. No, not any more nervous than I would be when we trot our offensive line out there, our receivers or our running backs. More than nervousness if anything, it is more of the anxiousness of seeing how they perform. I enjoy watching people perform and working their tails off during the course of the week and during the course of training camp. I have a great time watching these guys play, even in these preseason games because you see their competitiveness and their relentless nature come out on full display. I expect no different with the kickers, the punters, the long snappers – everybody. I look forward to them competing.”


On if G Eric Kush is still in line to get the first shot at RG following the trade to acquire Teller:

“Eric is our right guard as we speak, but we haven’t even had Wyatt on the field yet. My first inkling would be to say yes, but we haven’t seen [Teller] on the field yet. We still have four practices to get through. We will see where it all goes. Even though training camp has ended, there is always competition. There is always going to be competition while I am here. I think you get the most out of everybody when you run it that way.”


On if P Jamie Gillan had better hang time last night than initially thought:

“They were not as good as the previous week, but I think they were probably on average with the rest of the league. He was fine last night. He made another tackle. Did he get credited for two tackles? I did not look at our punter for the tackles so I may have missed one. He was moving so fast, it was a blur; I do not know how they figured out the number (laughter).”


On if the NFL was aware of Hunt’s surgery prior to ruling Hunt could not be in the team facility during his suspension:

“I can’t really answer that because I do not know the answer to that. I do not know what information they had and what they did not have. I know we just found out about it this week. I don’t really know at what point in time they made their decision.”


On if he bought General Manager John Dorsey a birthday present:

“Not yet, but I have one in here in our room waiting on him. He is probably wondering where the hell I am right now so I will have to tell him that I have become a media darling in here messing around with you guys (laughter).”


On if the Browns will be more inclined to trade for players prior to the roster deadline, given the team no longer has the top waiver priority as in recent years:

“I would say that it is no different than any other time during the course of the year. I think John and the organization has shown the innate ability to kind of stay ahead of the curve on things that we really wanted. I don’t think it is any different. If there is a player out there that we feel like we definitely need, we will go get him.”


# # #