HC Freddie Kitchens (9.20.19)

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

On injuries in the Browns secondary:

“The guys that are there, I expect to show up, play well and to compete every snap. We have a bunch of guys back there with a lot of experience. We have had good depth back there. I expect them to play well. They expect to play well.”


On if S Morgan Burnett’s experience means missing practice all week is not as significant as for other players:

“The guys that are listed questionable definitely could play potentially. Yeah, Morgan is a guy that could do it. I think once you get past a certain point in this league, it becomes a lot about mental. Not that the physical is not important because it is, but if you have to sacrifice a little bit of physical for the mental, you do that.”


On if it makes it difficult for a position group when there is uncertainty to who will be available on gameday:
“It does, but we preach preparation during the course of the week and that goes for backup guys just as it does for the starters because once you are in the game, you could become a starter with one play. Nothing has really changed from that aspect.”


On if there is an update on TE David Njoku’s and LB Christian Kirksey’s status and if either require surgery:

“I do not know that. I just know that they are out.”


On if having a night game helps players who are injured and questionable to play:
“Yeah, I think we will probably know on some of them within the next 24 hours or so, but there are a few that will be game-time decisions. Certainly, it helps. The amount of hours, it definitely helps.”


On if the Browns need to make adjustments to the schedule during the week, given the number of injuries:

“I do not know. I do not know why it just happens here because I have been in the league almost 15 years and it has been the same deal. Everyone else is doing it so I do not know. Maybe we need to look and the individual needs to look and see. I do not know. The only thing it has affected is I have to go off who is there, and whoever is there is going to prepared to play.”


On this week’s practices:

“Good preparation week. I think mentally, these guys have been good in the meeting room. They have taken it to the field very good. Listen, I expect us to show up and play well. Those expectations have not changed, and they will not ever change. I just need 11 on each side of the ball to show up and play. I think the guys we are taking to the game will do that, and we will see.”


On what S Eric Murray showed against the NY Jets that provides confidence Murray can perform against the Rams:

“Eric competes. That is what gives him a chance. He is a competitor, and we will see. He has played before, and he has done well before. We except him to play well. I expect him to play well. He expects himself to play well. Our defense needs him to play well, and in return, that means our team needs him to play well. The guys that show up are going to play well. I firmly believe that .We will go from there and see where we are. We just want to show up and play each snap like it is the very last one and not look at the scoreboard and just keep playing. It is the same thing we have been stressing since March, and that is what we are going to do.”


On LB Mack Wilson’s absence from practice:
“He had a personal issue he had to take care of.”


On if Wilson will be back for the game against the Rams:
“He will be back, yes.”


On how DE Chris Smith is doing:

“Chris is doing good. He should be back. I am hesitant to say whether he is going to suit up or not. I would like to talk with Chris and see, but yes, Chris is doing well. It is still a tough time period still for the family.”


On what Wilson needs to do to get back to the level that he was playing during the preseason:

“I think he needs to continue to do how he has been doing in practice. He played pretty well the other night in the game. That is the type of production I expect out of Mack, and I am assuming he expects that out of himself. I think he needs to continue to get better with his eyes and things like that. Defense is a lot of eyes and recognizing what is going on. I think he is continuing to work and get better at that. As you do, the production should continue to go up.”


On if missing practice today will impact Wilson’s ability to start in place of LB Christian Kirksey on Sunday night:
“No, it will not. It will not impact it. I am not saying he is starting for Christian (Kirksey), but it will not impact it. I’m sure if you do the math, though… (laughter)


On how many adjustments the Browns have needed to make in the gameplan following injuries in the secondary:
“All of the guys in the defensive back room, we do not meet with the starts and then meet with the backups. They are all in there so they should all be paying attention and again. The same thing could happen in the middle of a game. It happened two days before the game or three days before the game so that is a bit of an advantage.”


On if he has spoken to the team about the injuries going to the game with the Rams:

“Yes, and we will continue to talk to the team. I talk to the team every day so the message changes from day to day. I will leave a little bit of that to the imagination.”


On if facing the Rams can be a game that show the Browns a lot about the team, particularly with the number of injuries:
“I will leave you with this, here is what I want: I want whoever is at the game to play with passion. I want our fans to come with passion because I promise you the guys that dress up are going to play to the best of their ability, and we will see what happens. I do not want them worried about the scoreboard. I want them to worry about how they compete every play, and we will let the score take care of itself. I want to play smart, I want to play fast and I want to play physical, whoever is on the team. I will roll with whoever is there. I think we have enough guys who are willing to go out and play well, prepare well and put everything out there for 60 minutes or however long it takes.”


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