HC Freddie Kitchens (9.2.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“It was good to have everybody out there today practicing. Ready to get it started. The excitement they all have was increased today. We are looking forward to getting prepared to play this game Sunday.”


On the Browns naming P Jamie Gillan the team’s P:

“We thought he performed well. He kicked the ball well, and we have total confidence that he is going to do the job.”


On Gillan’s potential:

“The upside is tremendous on it. I think you saw that  during the course of the preseason. He is working on consistency on an everyday thing. We think he can get there, and that is why he is here.”


On if it was risky to release T Greg Robinson and re-sign him today:

“No, it was just a procedural thing, just something dealing with his contract that we needed to figure out. That is about it.”


On if the procedure with Robinson related to his contract or the status of another player:

“Just him individually. It was not really a big deal. It was just a procedural thing that (General Manager) John (Dorsey) wanted to get taken care of so that may be a better question for John. I never was told that we were going to lose him (laughter). No, I was not scared. I am glad that we have Greg.”


On DTs Daniel Ekuale and Devaroe Lawrence:

“That is what training camp is for is to give those guys opportunity. They made the best of their opportunity, and they were rewarded by getting on the 53-man roster, not to mention that they are pretty good players in their own right. We are happy to have them. We are happy that they got better. They continue to get better every day, and that was kind of the mantra of the training camp.”


On players who improved the most during training camp:

“Devaroe is a perfect example. Daniel did the same thing. He continued to get better. I think every one of our guys really to a man got better. Here is the thing, even though training camp is over, that does not change. We are going to continue to try and get better every day and then see where we are at the first week, fourth week and sixth week. Just continuing to get better every day you get out there.”


On acquiring WR Taywan Taylor and TE Ricky Seals Jones and working to get them up to speed for Sunday:

“The thing with the NFL is you are continuing to look upgrade your roster in any way that you can in any position. We felt like the guys that we bought in do that. They came in, and they are getting a little grasp for the offense now and get at it. They have to get into their books and they have to get ready to go. Can only carry but so many to the game, and the ones that are in the game have to be able to play. I have total confidence in our coaches and for them personally that they will do that and they make that commitment to do it.”


On how much Gillan’s holding played a role into making the team:

“I think just the sense of him feeling like that he can continue to get better. He got better. When he started in the spring, he had never held before in his like so of course, there was a fast learning and then once you go home, there has to be a continual upswing of getting better in that area because that is definitely part of it.”


On Gillan being more athletic than most punters:

“Yeah, his tackling may have factored into it a little bit. Not really (laughter). Hopefully, he does not have to make too many tackles.”


On Gillan’s speed:

“Anytime you have an athletic guy like that who can overcome some adversity within the play, it is a bonus. All those guys are pretty athletic – maybe except our kicker (laughter). I do not know how athletic he is (laughter).”


On everything seeming to click with K Austin Seibert in the final two preseason weeks:

“Here is the thing about kickers, I put them in the same category with every other player. They have to have a short memory. Once he decided that it was just about the next kick – it was not about the past one – none of those affected to the next one. I think maybe at some point he was letting that happen. You just have to put it in your rearview mirror and just move on. It is just like the quarterback. I want a quarterback that messes something up and he is going to move on to the next play and make that same decision and just do it a little better as long as it was not a bad decision. That is the way you should approach it.”


On early impressions of Gs Justin McCray and Wyatt Teller:

“I thought they moved around well. Both seemed pretty athletic and use their hands well. It starts with feet, hands and pad level. That is what we teach around here. They have a good base of that.”


On if it was a difficult decision to release WR Braxton Miller:

“Braxton is not here anymore so I do not want to spend a lot of time on it, but Braxton has a future in the game. He is a good player. It is just you have to make tough decisions, and it may not be the best spot for us right now and that is what we basically decided. Even though it is the initial 53 guys, you still are looking at everybody around league. I have said that before. You are looking at everybody’s practice squad and everybody’s guys that they have waived. We were fortunate enough to get two pretty good receivers off waivers.”


On the state of the Browns offense and understanding of the personnel:

“I think it is pretty good. I think it is always evolving so even during the course of the year I think that will evolve. We evolved from the first game to the eighth game last year, just like we evolved from the eighth game to the end of the season we were not the same team. It is never ending. It is always evolving – who you are, who you are going to become. You are right about one thing, and that is that you need to have a set vision to begin with, and I think we have that.”


On allocating offensive touches in the offense and distributing the ball:

“We are going to go through our progressions and read. When you start talking about the number of balls, I am not worried about that. They are good enough players. They will get their balls. At the end of the day, those guys are good enough players that if they want to take somebody out of the game, let them do it. We have other players, too. If I want to get somebody the ball, we will get them the ball. We will figure out a way to get him the ball. When you start doing those kind of things, you are sacrificing in other areas. (WRs) Odell (Beckham Jr.) is going to get plenty of balls, Jarvis (Landry) is going to get plenty of balls, (TE) David (Njoku) is going to get plenty of balls and (RB Nick) Chubb is going to run the ball enough. I am going to make everybody happy. More importantly, hopefully, we win the game and it will make everyone happy. That is the only important thing.”


On the Browns starting RG and creating competition at the position with the acquisitions of Gs Wyatt Teller and Justin McCray:

“I think we have three guys or even four guys at that spot that could play for us. We are going to go through the week and decide at the end of the week, but right now (G Eric) Kush is out starter and I expect him to be starting on Sunday. We were very fortunate last year. All five of those guys started the whole year after (T) Greg (Robinson) came in. A lot of times, that does not happen so you have to continue to develop guys in your system, and that is what we are going to do. We are going to keep working with them and see. You can’t take but so many to the game so they have to be versatile enough that they can fill in at different spots in case something happens during the course of the game.”


On if Gs Wyatt Teller and OL Justin McCray can also play C:



On if he is more excited for the season to start as a head coach in comparison to past years as a coordinator or position coach:

“Not any more excited. I still have to come in here every day and talk to you guys so it can’t be that exciting (laughter). You know I am kidding right? You know I love talking to you guys. I figured you guys would have already gotten tired of me by now. The excitement is always focused on the beginning of the year for fans, for coaches, for players and all of that. What I am really excited about is getting into a routine of what we are doing every Wednesday, every Thursday, every Friday, every Saturday and then go play the game on Sunday. That is what I am excited about because that is when you can tell how much focus these guys can have and how much focus they continue to have throughout the course of the year. Really at the end of the day, I am excited about Wednesday when we get them back in here and really start preparation for Tennessee.”


On if the Browns can afford to give Teller or McCray first team reps at RG as the team prepares for Tennessee:
“Yeah, I think so. Even during the course of normal activity, they get subbed in out for so yeah.”


On how much WR Taywan Taylor can absorb the offense prior to Sunday:
“We are going to find out.”


On if Taylor will begin with a specific package or number of plays as he learns the offense:
“We will give him a specific position and let him learn it. That is our job to coach him, and it his job to learn so we will see. I feel pretty confident not just with him but with other guys, too.”


On if younger players have gravitated towards veterans and the emergence of leaders on the team:

“When you start talking about leadership, we had some good leaders here. When you bring in people like (DTs) Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon and guys like that defensively, of course, they are going to gravitate towards them because they have been through the fire before and they have won some games before. Of course, you always try to empower guys to be leaders. Sometimes the people that were not leaders to begin with end up being the leaders and sometimes it is vice versa. At the end of the day, hopefully, we have a bunch of individuals that just do the right thing, practice hard and practice with a common goal of getting better every day, and your leaders have to be the example of that.”


On if his previous experience with TE Ricky Seals-Jones played a role in his arrival to the Browns:
“I was with him one year, and I know how athletic he is and the type of player he was for us in Arizona. I know what he has put on tape since then. Anytime you have a knowledge of a player, it certainly helps.”


On what Seals-Jones can add to the TE room:

“He is athletic. He played wide receiver in college. I was kidding with him today, he better have brought that toughness with him, too. We do not have just pass-catching tight ends.”


On if Seals-Jones can play FB:

“We will work through that and see. I am not sure about that yet but we will work through that and see.”

On if TE Pharaoh Brown can play FB:

“I think Pharaoh can. You are talking about different things when you start talking about the fullback position, but yeah, I think both of those guys can do what we would ask them to do.”


On if QB Baker Mayfield has taken ownership of the offense and has put his mark on it:
“Yeah, I think he has a good knowledge of what we want to do and he has a good knowledge of the terminology. That always evolves so it is not really set in stone right now exactly who we are going to be. Some of it depends on the week so it is always evolving.”


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