Freddie Kitchens Press Conference-Oct 9th, 2019

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

 

Transcript by Rob McBurnett

Senior Manager, Communications

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

Opening statement:

“Another extremely good team this week. Seattle, they are 4-1. They have won a lot of close games. Extremely well coached. Offensively, everything goes through (Seahawks QB) Russell (Wilson). He does a great job in the pocket and outside the pocket creating plays. They have a great running game. They are hard to run the ball against. They have great a defensive unit. They have (Seahawks LB) Bobby Wagner, and he makes everything go and has been there a long time. (Seahawks LB) K.J. (Wright) is great in coverage and been there a long time. (Seahawks DE) Jadeveon Clowney was a pick up from a trade earlier in the year, and everybody knows what kind of player he is and causes disruptions. They are good in special teams, they are good on defense and they are good on offense. We look forward to getting back out on the field today and trying to get better and putting our best foot forward this week.”

On an injury update following Monday’s game:

“I think we are good health wise.”

On WR Rashard Higgins’ levels of participation in practice last week and being inactive Monday:

“He just got a little sore in the latter part of the week. That was all.”

On if Higgins will be out against Seattle:

“Not sure. It is still kind of a day-by-day thing with him.”

On Higgins injury being significant, given the number of weeks missed:

“I do not know if we classified the injury or not, but yeah, any time you are talking the knee, it can be significant.”

On why QB Baker Mayfield has not looked as comfortable in the pocket as he did last year:

“I think it is an ongoing process with all of our guys. I will reiterate just because you are coming back another year does not mean you are going to pick up where you left off. Everything changes. Everything is different. Baker knows what he needs to work on, and he is doing a good job of working on it and he will continue it.”

On if CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams will return this week:

“Those guys are still kind of day by day. They have not been on the field yet so still day by day.”

On the impact of Ward and Williams not being available the past few weeks:

“The guys who have come in have played exceptionally well. They have played well. They have been doing a good job. We had some issues the other night that we are going to get corrected. Other than that, they have played well. They played good in spurts the other day, but they have played well up to this point.”

On specific points of emphasis with Mayfield this week:

“Every week presents a new set of challenges. Just like in every week, though, certain things have to remain constant. I will reiterate everybody around the quarterback needs to play better, everybody around the quarterback needs to coach better and the quarterback needs to play better. I do not know what is going on outside, but everybody in our building is taking ownership of what we put on the field the other night, and everybody is committed to getting better from that. That is everybody – every position, every coach, everybody that was on our plane is committed to getting better. That is where we are.”

On Mayfield’s completion percentage in the red zone compared to last year’s total:

“When you start talking about that, you can’t just say it is just the quarterback. Everybody is involved.”

On if the Browns offense overall was playing better in the red zone last year:

“Yeah, I think we were more efficient last year, but that was last year. You do not pick up where you left off. Our guys are committed to getting better. This is not a finished product in any stretch of imagination – red zone, short yardage, third-down or anything. It is not a finished product. We are going to continue to get better.”

On if he has as much one-on-one time with Mayfield as he did the last eight games of 2018, given the extra responsibilities as head coach:

“I do not know really how to answer that because I do not know. I interact with Baker when I need to interact with him. There is no timeframe there where I can’t. I do not know how to compare it to last year. Really, I talk to Baker when I need to talk to him, and I am assuming that you are talking about during the course of the game.”

On if he needs to interact more with Mayfield during the week:

“Our schedule is where I can be in the quarterback room, and I can also be in other rooms. I am there when I need to be in there.’’

On if it is more complicated to make adjustments on the offense because there is not one reoccurring area in need of improvement:

“I think the other day to a man and everybody in each room would tell you that we pick and choose the other night. It was one here, one there. We all did not just all mess up on the same play so we kind of chose and took turns at it, coaching, playing and everything. It is just doing your job. Everybody is committed to doing that, and we are going to go out today at practice and try to get better and try to get a little better each week.”

On Mayfield’s confidence:

“I think he is fine confidence wise. I do not think you have to worry about that. Success breeds more confidence, and we always want more confidence.”

On why WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s targets are not higher:

“Why isn’t he getting targeted more? We have plays, we have reads to go through, coverage dictates that and there are several reasons. I think we threw the ball 24 times the other night and he was targeted six times. I do not know what the magic number is – I do not know what you guys are looking for.”

On if there have been more opportunities to get Beckham the ball after watching the film the past few weeks:

“If you are asking me to critique the quarterback, then I would say that the quarterback is continuing to learn and he is continuing through his reads.”

On clarifying opportunities to get the ball to Beckham can be affected by factors other than the QB, including breakdowns in OL protection:

“Again, everyone is trying to work to get better, and protection is part of that process. Running through the good routes is part of the process. Going through the right reads is part of the process. Making the throw is part of the process. It is 11 guys that have to be in sync, and we are working to get better at that every time we go out there.”

On if better execution as an offensive unit would lead to more targets for Beckham:

“If we are more efficient and more effective in what we are supposed to do and how we are supposed to coach, then everybody is going to be happy. Odell Beckham is a team guy, alright? I have not heard what anything from Odell like how anything is viewed or whatever. I just pointed him out last week about his blocking and his excellent hustling to the ball and around the ball. Here is the key takeaway: everybody wants to win, and we do not care how we do it. We just want to win. To do that, we have to be more efficient, execute better and coach better. Everybody needs to do their job better, and everybody has taken ownership in that and that is what I expect moving forward.”

On if Beckham’s missed time in the offseason was an obstacle:

“We are into the season now. We are onto Seattle. That is the only thing I care about. We set precedencies during the course of training camp on how we want to play the games, how we want to attack the games, preparation from a physical standpoint and then once the season starts, we are day to day and week-to-week.”

On if chemistry is an issue between Beckham and Mayfield:

“I do not get into speculation. I know we have what we have right now so that is what we are trying to get better from.”

On if the Browns are trying to get the ball into Beckham’s hands more often:

“Odell is a very dynamic player, and anytime you can get the ball into a dynamic player’s hands any way you can, you do it because they have the ability to make plays that other guys sometimes can’t make. Yes, of course, everything is on the table week to week. We are always trying to do the best that we think will put us in a good situation to win the football game.”

On if he is frustrated with Beckham’s reception totals during the past few weeks:

“No, I am not. I am frustrated and disappointed in the loss, not any kind of production from anybody. Of course, when production picks up, wins usually pick up. It goes hand in hand. I am about winning and losing the game. That is it.”

On if T Greg Robinson is performing as well now as the second half of last year:

“You would have to watch the tape. I am not going to comment on that. Everyone is trying to get better. Greg Robinson is trying to get better. (G) Joel Bitonio is trying to get better. (C) JC Tretter is trying to get better. (G) Eric Kush is trying to get better. (T Chris) Hubbard is trying to get better. Our tight ends are trying to get better, our running backs are trying to get better, our quarterbacks is trying to get better and our receivers are trying to get better. Our D line is trying to get better, our linebackers are trying to get better and our secondary is trying to get better. I am not going to come out here and critique a guy individually. He knows what he has to do to get better.”

On what has allowed the Seahawks and Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll to be efficient and successful in recent years:

“ I always think it starts with the players, and they have had some tremendous players over the years – when you talk about (former Seahawks and Ravens S) Earl (Thomas), (former Seahawks S) Kam (Chancellor) and (former Seahawks and 49ers CB Richard) Sherman. The linebackers have stayed consistent for so long. They had (former Seahawks and Patriots DE Michael) Bennett up front and (former Seahawks and Chargers DT Brandon) Mebane. You go on and on. Defensively, they have always been in the top five or six in the league in defense. Anytime you play good defense, you have a chance to win. Then they got Russell about halfway through my time in Arizona and they totally changed their identity of who they were offensively. They kind of adapted with the times. You are always evolving, and I think they have done a great job evolving. I think Pete Carroll is one of the best coaches in our business.”

On what makes Wilson different from other NFL QBs:

“I do not know Russell personally, but I would venture to say that he is very competitive. He is probably a relentless worker in and out of the classroom, and then he has an exceptional skill set. He can throw the ball from any angle, throw it on the run and throw it from the from the pocket. Can avoid the rush is probably what separates him more than anything. His ability to escape and get out of pressure situations and still be able to look down the field and throw the ball because that is where all of their plays come.” 

O choosing to receive the ball when winning the coin toss:

“I always think that we have a good gameplan that we can go down and score and give our defense a lead. It has not happened in the last two games. Hopefully, we get back on the positive side of that.”

On if he has discussions with Tampa Bay Head Coach Bruce Arians heading into the Seahawks game:

“No, I have not talked to Bruce since we played them. No, I take that back. We exchanged text messages a couple of weeks ago, but no, nothing football related.”

On if Beckham asked to return the punt on Monday, given Beckham’s comment about wanting to potentially create a spark for the team:

“I will just keep conversations with the players to myself, but it was my decision to put him in there.”

On if he liked Beckham’s attitude to want to create a spark:

“I always want out guys to finish the game from a competitive nature, and Odell definitely finished the game from a competitive nature.”

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