HC Freddie Kitchens (8.9.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

On WR Antonio Callaway and his suspension:

“We are going to continue to support Antonio. He knows what he has to do, and hopefully, he does it. Hopefully, he is committed enough to do it.”


On level of concern about repeat behavior with Callaway:

“I am not concerned. I am about moving forward from here on since he has been with us. That is it. That is the only thing that I am concerned about.”


On if the Browns knew about the Callaway’s suspension and if that is a factor as to why Callaway had not been taking reps with the first team offense:

“That is probably not for me to discuss.”


On if the Browns had other players spend time with the first team offense so it would help the transition:

“I feel like Antonio has gotten better over the last three weeks, and he is going to continue to get better.”


On how Callaway’s attitude has been:



On examples of Callaway’s great attitude:

“He has been working his tail off. He has gotten in shape. He has been doing better from a mental area standpoint, and he continues to work every day.”


On if Callaway has been remorseful:

“Antonio and I’s conversations stay between us. I think he understands the significance of this, and he is going to work to make things right.”


On his impressions of Callaway last year and his potential now:

“Antonio Callaway is better than he was. He is better now at this point in time than he was last year. I look forward to working with him.”


On if he details to share on the time frame of the suspension and led to it:

“All those are things that I can’t speak on. I can’t speak on it.”


On Callaway not practicing today:

“He had a high ankle sprain last night in the game. To his credit, he got it and played through it the rest of the first half, and it really swelled up on him at halftime.”


On Callaway sustained the ankle injury on the play that was challenged:

“It was the [play when he was] tangled up with the safety down the field.”


On if Callaway will miss the rest of the preseason due to the ankle injury:

“I do not know if we have a direct timeframe on it. We are doing it in the training room the same way we are doing it on the field – we are taking it day by day and evaluating things accordingly.”


On the Browns’ depth at WR and how that may help the Browns with Callaway out for four games:

“We are continuing to search for guys now. I do not know if you guys believe me or not, but our roster is not filled out yet. We are continuing to search for guys at all positions. Wide receiver is no different than any of the others.”


On WR Damion Sheehy-Guiseppi and what Sheehy-Guiseppi needs to do to make the Browns roster:

“He needs to continue to get better. From an offensive standpoint, he needs to get better knowing what to do, knowing how to do it and knowing when to do it. If he continues to do that, he will give himself a chance. I have a feeling that he is going to put his best foot forward of doing that.”


On WR Rashard Higgins:

“We need Hig to keep doing what he is doing and being consistent on what he is doing, and the things he is not consistent on, we need him to get there. He has been doing a pretty good job of staying focused every day and doing what he is supposed to do. I expect it to continue.”


On if Callaway’s suspension and the Browns trading RB Duke Johnson Jr.  are examples of adversity for the team:

“I think anytime anything happens out of the norm could be viewed as adversity. It is only adversity if you let it affect you. Yeah, I think so. I hope so because it is something out of the norm. I fully expect us to handle it very well. That is what we have been preparing to do. I said from the beginning, I can’t wait to see what kind of team we have when adversity hits because that is going to let you know what you are kind of looking into the future and seeing what you have. We will see how we respond.”


On if he has seen Browns players pull together since facing that adversity:

“I think I know how they feel about me and the staff, and I think that they know how we feel about them. Now, we need to get them to feel that way towards each other and then we will have something. Not until then.”


On returning to practice the day after a preseason game:

“I thought that is what we needed to do. I am not basing what we do on the past. That is it. I was not trying to be funny. Our starters did not play a lot yesterday so we need to get some work. We need to keep getting better.”


On G Eric Kush’s play last night:

“He was up and down. He was up and down. He had some good plays and had some bad plays. We are trying to eliminate the bad ones and add to the good ones. We will see. It is a never ending process. We will play again in about eight games or is it nine? Eight days? Come on, you are supposed to know that when I ask you a question (laughter). Eight days but more importantly, we are going to be down practicing with Indianapolis in the middle part of the week. We are trying to prepare to get ready to go down there and put our best foot forward.”


On if Kush has started to separate himself for the RG role:

“We are not ready to name a starter yet. I don’t know. I don’t think so. No.”


On if ever sees Sheehy-Guiseppi at the facility late at night:

“I have seen him over here a couple of times, and I send his ass home to get some rest. One thing everybody needs to understand is rest is crucial to your development from a mental standpoint and a physical standpoint. That is the body’s natural means for correcting imbalances in the mind and the body. He needs to understand that. He has been over here [late] before. He is probably not over here very often now.”


On if it is not impressive to see a player working in the facility at 2 a.m.:

“No, I did not say that. I just know that sometimes you have to protect people from themselves when they want something so bad.”


On if Sheehy-Guiseppi has an ‘irrational mentality’ and how much of it has helped him to this point:

“I think so, and I think all of us kind of need to have an ‘irrational mentality,’ if that is what you want to call it. I would never put those two words together, but since you did, it makes sense. We all do. You would like to feel a sense of urgency on everything you do, whether it is preparing to play mentally or physically. As a coach, training camp, I feel a sense of urgency in training camp that we got to get this stuff worked on. That we have to get this stuff better. We have to prepare for this look, that look. There is a sense of urgency on everything we do. It should be all across the board all across the organization. You have to play, practice and prepare like there is no tomorrow. I know that is a cliché, but really if you want  to stay in the moment, what is tomorrow? Tomorrow is not promised to you.”


On if Sheehy-Guiseppi embraces that mentality as much as any player:

“I think so. Just as much. We have other guys that do it the same way, too. It is just not as publicized. I think we do. I think we have a lot of guys like that.”


On being a head coach in an NFL game for the first time:

“It was different from the standpoint of things leading up the game, but once the game started, it was really no different. You always as a position coach or the coordinator the last eight weeks of the year, your mind is always thinking about situations – at least mine was – and stuff like that. It is nothing you need to advertise. In your mind mentally, you are kind of preparing and wondering what you would do or asking yourself what you would do. Those situations that we were in, I would like to think that I have been in those situations before, but leading up to the game, of course, it is different. You have a lot of things to think about. Do you want to take the ball or do you want to kick it? OR who are the captains?”


On if last night was a lot of fun:

“The fun is in the winning, always.”


On if he has a member on staff designated to helping him with replay challenges:

“We have a box full of coaches, but I only let one of them speak so they kind of get their thoughts together and then one of them speaks. I am not going to tell you who that is because I want to save them from any critiquing later. It will be my fault. You are not going to find out who he is.”


On if someone was in his ear to challenge the non-touchdown call last night:

“Would you have challenged it? Every time right. I would have, too. I am not disputing the call, NFL. I am not disputing the call. I do not need to be fined.”


On RB Dontrell Hilliard:

“Dontrell has shown some explosion in the open field. He is hard to get down. He can make you miss. He is shifty, great body control. Body control is a characteristic or a skillset that running backs sometimes often get overlooked. Body control means that they can get knocked off balance and stay on their feet. He has great body control, change of direction and great speed. I like those skillsets. He can catch the ball.”


On if he has developed a similar feeling of affection and caring for Callaway as a person as it seems he has for RB Kareem Hunt, and if so, does that make him someone the Browns are ‘willing to put up with some of this stuff from’:

“We are not willing to put up with it, OK? When you start talking in terms of that, the person that has affected has to be willing to commit to doing what is right. If he willing to commit to doing what is right, then we are willing to support him in every way that we can. That is what we are going to do until he proves us wrong. He knows what he has to do so we will evaluate the situation as it goes forward. If you talk about my relationship with Antonio, I would say, yes, I like the kid. I think he is a good person. Sometimes people lump these sort of things into being a bad person. This is a great kid now. We are going to support them until he proves us otherwise. He knows what he has to do, though.”


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