Freddie Kitchens On Preparation for Ravens


Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“I think we have had a good week of preparation. The attention to detail picked up a lot this week, not that it was not that way before but our scout team gave a terrific look this week.”

On if T Chris Hubbard looked better in practice today than yesterday:

“Yeah, I thought he moved around better today, and it is good to have him back out there. We will see where he is come game time.”

On the difference WR Rashard Higgins makes when available to the offense:

“He has played a lot of football around here over the past four years. Anytime you do away with an experienced guy who has made plays in big time situations, of course, [it makes a difference], but we have other guys that can play, as well.”

On if he has been pleased with WR Damion Ratley’s performance:

“I have. I have been really happy with Rat. He missed most of training camp so getting him back before the start of the year was big for us. He just needs to continue to get better each day.”

On if he feels good about this week’s game plan and putting Browns players in better situations:

“I think we try to do that every week so we will see.”

On if the Browns did anything different this week in preparation for the gameplan:

“No.”

On the Browns defense improving its run defense since last year:

“I think we practice tackling. The tackling has been better. Not as many missed tackles. These guys have put a lot of time and a lot of work from a coaching perspective and a player perspective to amp up the importance level of tackling and one-on-one tackling. I think (defensive coordinator) Steve (Wilks) and those guys on that side of the ball have done a great job of that, and the players have bought in to that is how you are successful defensively in making the tackles that are there.

On his message to Browns players about the importance of AFC North games:

“It is very simple. Division games count twice, really because you get the win of course, but you also hold a tiebreaker. They are more important. It goes through Baltimore because they are the last division champions. They have had a heck of year so far. They are playing very well on each side of the ball and on special teams. I do not know what there is not to like about Baltimore. They are tremendous in all areas.”

On if he has a personal sense of ‘unfinished business’ following last year’s finale at Baltimore:

“No, no two teams are ever the same. This is a totally different team. Baltimore is a totally different team.”

On Ravens WR Marquise Brown’s impact on the offense:

“He gives them a tremendous presence on the outside, a vertical threat that they had last year with (Bills WR) John Brown and a couple of other guys. He has tremendous speed and good ball skills and catches the balls that are there and around to be made. He is a good wide receiver in this league.”

On if he still asks the Browns OL for input on plays they like running:

“That is every week. I don’t change. It is every week. I want guys confident in what they are doing. That will always be the case.”

On if that is specific to the Browns OL:

“In the run game – and the running back.”

On if the Browns OL and RBs get together to provide the list of plays they like running:

“I like to know why and the specifics. If there is something they don’t like about something, I want to know why also because that builds a résumé for the type of things that they like. I don’t want to make it sound like it is just the things that they like. I want the things that they are confident in. It is more so that than anything. If they are not confident in something that I believe in, it is my job to make them confident.”

On the Ravens being tough to play at M&T Bank Stadium and Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh’s record at home:

“I think every place in the NFL is hard to play. Anytime you get on the road, it changes your dynamics of what you do on a Saturday, per se. I think our guys have done a good job of adapting to any situation. We have been put in that situation a lot. They have done a good job of adapting. Baltimore is an incredibly hard place to play, especially inside the division.”

On penalties being up across the NFL and if he feels games are being called differently this year and if that may continue throughout 2019:

“I don’t mean to take the easy road out there, but I can’t control that. We have to play within the rules. We have to use our techniques. We can’t do anything after the whistle, and we can’t do anything before the whistle. I worry about the [penalties] before the whistle and after the whistle more so than during [the play]. Sometimes things just happen during the course of the play that you can solve from having better technique, but the [penalties] before the whistle and after the whistle are the ones I am concerned about because that is either composure or focus.”

On DE Myles Garrett’s performance against the LA Rams, his strip-sack and having success when moving Garrett into different spots on the line:

“That is the goal with Myles is to move him around – OV (DE Olivier Vernon) and him – and switch it up, switch sides so they can’t get a beat on anybody in particular. It just makes you harder to gameplan against if you have a guy with the ability to do that, and Myles certainly does that. I expect Myles to just keep getting better and better.”

On his previous comments about the Browns DL being the strength of the team and if the unit has met those expectations:

“Not yet because we are not finished with the season. I want them to keep getting better every day, every week and then see where we are at the end of the year. That is the only thing I worry about.”

On pre-snap penalties:

“I don’t coach those. They are brought on by lack of focus and concentration. We try to practice the fact that you are really not concentrating or focusing if you get a pre-snap penalty. We only ask them to count to one, two or three. If it is after that, it is just lack of focus.”

On emphasizing the need to eliminate pre-snap penalties:

“That is always a focus. When they jump offside during training camp, they run and touch the goal post.”

On if it tough for him as a coach to have players who did not practice during the week potentially play in the game, specifically referencing those listed as questionable:

“It is, but at the end of the day, my ultimate job is to get the best players on the field. That is something that you struggle with as a coach sometimes. You have to weigh the good and the bad and see where it is.”

On DT Sheldon Richardson’s impact on the Browns DL this season:

“Sheldon has been very active. He has created some opportunities for other people. Overall, I think Sheldon is bringing to the table exactly what we thought he would.”

On if a pass rush has to be less aggressive when facing a dual-threat QB like Ravens QB Lamar Jackson:

“You have to be more focused and have better concentration and discipline to stay in your rush lanes. You have to use your eyes very well. That exemplifies it when you have a quarterback with the skillset that Lamar has. It really causes you problems from the standpoint of if you take your eyes off of your responsibility, it could be a big play instantly.”

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