Freddie Kitchens On Austin Seibert and OBJ's Return

Freddie Kitchens addressed the media after team drills this afternoon and spoke about Austin Seibert's kicking performance on Friday night and the return of OBJ to team drills today. He also talked about the success of the defensive line on Friday night and are there any concerns about the chemistry between Baker and OBJ.

Watch the full press conference from after practice today with Freddie Kitchens below.

 

Transcript courtesy of Rob McBurnett, Senior Manager, Communications for the Cleveland Browns

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. participating in team drills today:

“Yeah, he looked good. It is good to have him back out. We have been working with him on the side with other things. It is just natural progression. It was good to have him back out.”

On what K Austin Seibert’s performance does for his confidence:

“He made one. I do not want to sound facetious, but he was 4-4 with a 54 yarder, and it gave me confidence so hopefully it gave him some.”

On the significance of having P Britton Colquitt as Seibert’s holder on Friday:

“I guess it was significant – he made them. We do not give excuses for missed kicks. You either put them through the uprights or you did not. There are no real excuses for it so whoever the holder is, the ball needs to go through the uprights.”

On if P Jamie Gillan will get an opportunity to hold against Detroit:

“We have not really decided yet. We will talk about those things… When do I meet with you guys last? Tomorrow night? So Wednesday, that is when we talk about those things (laughter).”

On DE Olivier Vernon and the Browns DL’s success:

“I think he is a significant member of it. We feel like you have to have four guys who can get after the passer, and I think those guys can. His special skillset that he has is that he can go speed to power very quickly, and when he goes to power, he is a powerful guy. He can stop the run. He just continues to get better and better every day. We are going to have a pretty good front.”

On if there are any concerns about the state of chemistry between WR Odell Beckham Jr. and QB Baker Mayfield:

“No, I think they have been working through the whole camp as is. Just because he was not in team drills does not mean they were not working. It is fairly easy. You learn what to do, you learn where to line up, learn what to do, learn the depth and the area you are supposed to be in and you have it just about figured out. I think he is a smart guy, and he is coming along.”

On if Mayfield and Beckham will continue to work together behind the scenes to make up for lost time in practice:

“We do not want to overwork him right now. We have not even started playing yet. We have not even gotten into game planning and stuff like that, but they will definitely be on top of their game when we start game planning, timing and stuff like that rather than useless things that do not really matter. At the end of the day, it is exactly what I said. It is knowing where to be, where to line up, where to be, getting to your depth and then catching the ball. After that, you get the ball in his hands and see what he can do.”

On if Mayfield knows where Beckham wants the ball or if Beckham’s catch radius makes that less important:

“No, we are still accurate. We want to be accurate as the quarterback because now you are talking about run after catch opportunities and stuff like that. Accuracy is always at the forefront of everything we do.”

On if Mayfield was uncharacteristically inaccurate against Tampa Bay:

“When quarterbacks play the game, they have to feel comfortable. They have to feel comfortable from the standpoint of where people are, where they are lined up and where they are going to be, and then you need to people to make plays. Baker was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but there is so much of it that goes into making him look more sharp. I think collectively, O line, tight ends, running backs, wide receivers and quarterback, we were off and that can’t happen.”

On if it was intentional to attempt 26 passes in the first half against Tampa Bay and how much of that factored into a need to evaluate WRs:

“You are on your game today aren’t you (laughter)? Not only do you have an opportunity to evaluate the wide receivers, you evaluate the protections. We were using a couple of different protections in that game for the first time, trying to evaluate those because it puts you into more one-on-one matchups. You are evaluating the backs in blitz pickups. You are trying to even create some hots and sights for yourself to work those. Every game we went into, we went into it wanting to work on something very specific. That game was no different, and we failed miserably.”

On if the Browns OL’s performance against the Buccaneers was a cause for concern:

“You have to chalk it up… I tell these guys all the time, the rearview window is smaller than the windshield for a reason. They are going to continue to look forward and get better from that performance, and we are going to gain and be better because of that performance not in spite of it.”

On if T Greg Robinson’s performance late last season earned him enough trust going into this season:

“Every year is new. Every day is new. To me, every period and rep is new so hopefully, we can all get onto that same page that it only matters what play you are playing right then. I do not care how he played last year. I want him to play good this year.”

On if he has confidence and trusts Robinson at LT:

“Yeah, he just needs to get better and continue to get better. I expect him to be better in Week 5 than he is in Week 1 and Week 9 better than he is in Week 5. Continue to get better. That has been the mantra the whole camp, and that can’t stop now just because we have broken training camp.”

On if DT Devaroe Lawrence has exceeded expectations:

“Devaroe is a good example of somebody who did not worry about his surroundings, just worried about himself and stayed focused on what he had to do to get better. I think you are seeing the results of that. Did he surprise us? I would not say he surprised us because anytime you trade for someone, your expectation level of them is up there, but he has definitely made good on his opportunities.”

On Colts QB Andrew Luck’s retirement and if he spoke with him during joint practices in Indianapolis:

“I did, I spoke with him in Indy. Andrew and my relationship goes back to when (offensive quality control coach) Jim Dray got married. I met him at Jim’s wedding and evaluated him coming out. Great dude. I do not have a thought on it. If that is what he wanted to do, I respect what he wanted to do, and if his heart was not in it, he needed to. I know the Indy people do not like to hear that, but that is facts. He has to be happy with himself first and foremost. If that is what makes him happy, then that is what he needed to do, and I am happy for him that he had the strength to do it.”

On to what extent the Browns coaching staff is in ‘Titans mode’:

“We are not in Titans mode. We are not. We are trying to get better tomorrow and give these guys the opportunity that are going to play in this game to succeed and put a plan in place that will enable them to showcase what they can do.”

On if the Browns DL’s performance in the first half against Tampa Bay is what he had in mind when saying the unit can be the strength of the team:

“Every time they go out. Not to be short with you it is just, every time they go out that is what I expect and they expect it out of themselves. That is where I want their expectations to be. I want to keep our expectation on that and not everything else around us from that example.”

On how has LB Joe Schobert adjusted to the new defensive scheme:

“I think he has done good. Scho is a smart guy in there. He can get them lined up. He can get himself lined up. He seems to be playing fast. That is a good sign of somebody that gets it. He has definitely been playing well.”

On starting his coaching career:

“I was selling cars in Tuscaloosa at Magnolia Nissan and BMW. I was salesman of the month two out of the three months. I worked there for three months. I was just not happy. I was just kind of living life and was not happy, internal happiness, per se. I saw where the Auburn offensive line coach got the head coaching job at Glenville State College. His name was Rick Trickett. I called him. He said I can’t pay you anything, I can give you either $500 either all at once or a $125 a month. I said, ‘I am going to need it all at once.’ Two days later, I was up there. I went in and quit at the car dealership and ended up there. Ever since, I knew that I wanted to coach.”

On his role at Glenville State College:

“First of all, I was washing laundry, picking up rocks on the field and doing really everything. That was Division II football so we did not have a grounds crew. One day over a few drinks, I will tell you some great stories (laughter). Kind of doing everything. When it came to the football field, I was coaching running backs and tight ends.”

On his role at Glenville State College and starting his coaching career playing into his belief in ‘some people have to run faster in the game of life’:

“No doubt. If you want to do something special, you better run faster. It is those who start behind in the game of life must run faster to catch up – Benjamin E. Mays. There is a high school in Atlanta named after him.”

On how many cars he sold to win car salesman of the month:

“I do not remember exactly, but I know that I was making enough money that my girlfriend at the time which is my wife now, her and I could go out to eat dinner every night. That was plenty. That was more than I ever had before.”

On how his wife took the news that he was leaving his car salesman job and they couldn’t go to dinner every night:

“Unfortunately, she had to stay in Tuscaloosa. She was teaching at the time and she stayed in Tuscaloosa. I got in my truck with the broken front suspension and drove to Glenville State College.”

On where is Glenville State College:

“It is right in the middle of the state. It is off of Interstate 79, Exit 79. Heading north, you get off, you make a right and you watch your tail lights for about 15 miles.”

On if he still keeps in touch with Trickett:

“Oh yea, he is not working right now. He was at Florida State most recently and then when Jimbo (Fisher) went to Texas A&M, he did not go with him. I think he is back at Glenville actually messing around. That is the area of the country he is from is that Glenville area. I have a good friend down there named Ike Marce that I met through coach Trickett, and I still stay in touch with him. Good people, great people down there.”

On what he liked and did not like about selling cars:

“I probably should not say. I like just being straight up and honest with people. You have to be able to call [bull] on some of it. I will just leave it at that. I would like to like tell you I would not buy this car for this much, here is what we can give it to you for but then you do not make any money so you are kind of torn. I do not think they do it anymore, but they used to sell encyclopedias. They would walk around and sell encyclopedias. You always thought that the price that they gave you is what you paid for. I never knew you could haggle on the price. Then the internet hit, and now encyclopedias is it. Found a great set right before we left to come here from Arizona. We found a great full-set at an antique shop. We bought it. It was from 1984, though, Think about that. From 1984, a set of encyclopedias but it is very interesting to read still and see how things have changed.”

On which 1984 encyclopedia he purchased:

“It was World Book Encyclopedia. I think the two brands were World Books and Encyclopedia Britannica.”

On if order was sort of restored on the offensive end with Beckham and TE David Njoku returning to team drills:

“It is good, not to make it sound minuscule to have them back. Of course, they are back and of course it is nice to have them back, but what we want to get to, we want to raise the level of normalcy. What I mean by that is the expectation is that you run your routes properly. You run your routes at the correct depth, with the right technique, and if it is anything other than that, we can fix through coaching. We just want you to do the best that you can do. If you can’t do that, then we are asking you to so something that you can’t. The other night from quarterback to running back to tight ends – I do not want to leave anybody out – if they played offense, just assume I am talking about them. We did not do very much the way we were supposed to do it. We did not do a good enough job coaching because it did not get done. All of that is in the process of getting rectified. I feel like it got rectified. Now, what ability does for you is cover up some of the other things, alright? Now, we have to get to the point where that will take effect. Yes, it is nice to have them out there, but our work is not done by any stretch of imagination.” 

On if he is considering allowing another coach call plays this Thursday, given he called plays in the fourth preseason game last year:

“I do not know yet.”

On the Browns RBs calling run game coordinator/running backs coach Stump Mitchell ‘the wizard’ and if he is a wizard:

“Call Stump the Wizard? Yeah, he kind of looks like one, doesn’t he (laughter)? My daughter saw Stump and they were like, ‘Mr. Stump,’ and he has his white beard and I do not even know what else he has got going on up there. I think you guys know how I feel about Stump. We can call him a wizard or we can call him anything we want to call him, but first and foremost, he is a good football coach.”

On Stone Cold Steve Austin’s route running:

“I can’t say it on air. I have been reprimanded at home for some of my terms and that would directly happen again.”

On if it was fun to be involved with Austin’s show:

“Yeah, I guess so. I guess so. Anytime I can support our players in anything like that, I will do it, but I do think I would be out there doing it myself. I could show him a couple of moves, though.”

On if could show Steve Austin some moves in the wrestling ring:

“Oh yeah, no doubt. My patented move is the soupbone. You know what that is? Does anybody in here know what a soupbone is? It is when you come off the top rope and elbow them right on top of the head.”

On why the move involves the elbow:

“I have no idea. I actually spelled it wrong. I do not think it spelled like ‘soup-bone.’ It is like one word I think. I am not sure. Can you do the research on that and come back?”

On where he practiced that move:

“I grew up in Gadsden, Alabama. You better have more than one move. We are trying to have a good time. Appreciate you guys.”

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