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Browns OC Freddie Kitchens press conference - 12/27

On if WR Jarvis Landry took half of his reps at QB this week after his 63-yard completion in Week 16:

“A couple, we have a couple more in this week and we will see how they work on Sunday (laughter).”

On if he had a good feeling about the Landry pass attempt when the play was called:

“Maybe I am too optimistic, but I have a good feeling about every play we call. If we execute it in practice and it does well in practice, I think it is going to work in the game.”

On how perfect execution of a big play can lift an offense:

“Hopefully, you get to a point where things are expected to be executed like that. Now, anytime that you put a wrinkle in or a trick play or something like that then you do not ever really know. You do not know what you are going to get. You can’t rep it but against certain fronts. We happened to get a coverage that we liked and we ran it. Jarvis made a heck of a play and (WR) Breshad (Perriman) on the receiving end, with those guys up front he had plenty of time to throw the ball. He could have done his famous Statue of Liberty pose before he throws it and throw a strike. That is two weeks in a row that he has thrown a strike so I might figure out a couple of more ways for him to throw the ball, which you guys would not believe me if I told you that (laughter).”

On Perriman growing into a larger role within the offense:

“It is always good to see good people – guys that work hard, good guys – succeed. He has put the time and effort in. He is really a great story from the standpoint of since Day 1 he has come in, he does not say much, he just does his job and he keeps his head down and he works. He is like the prototype of what we are looking for. He keeps his head down every day and tries to get a little bit better every day, a little bit better every day and a little bit better every week, and then it is showing on gameday. That is ultimately what you have to do. He has done a great job with that.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s last game and his continued development:

“I think he is doing a good job from the standpoint of understanding the gameplan. He has input on what he likes and what he dislikes. That is an everyday occurrence. We have an open dialogue of the things that he likes. I am starting to get a good feel for what he likes so some of the things do not end up in the gameplan that I know he is not going to like to begin with. He is doing a great job of executing, making the guys around him play at a high level. Ultimately, that is what the quarterback is there for is to make the plays that are there to be made and then make everybody around him better by the way that he performs. It is an all-encompassing thing from the standpoint of the line can’t do their job if he does not put them in the right protection or he does not get them in the right call. He can’t do his job unless the line does their job and the backs are running the ball and the receivers are catching the ball. It is all kind of all encompassing. Everybody is doing a good job of doing their job. That is what we look for – everybody doing their job, coaches, players, everybody.”

On Mayfield’s pre-snap anticipation yet being able to adjust after the snap:

“I think that is part of playing quarterback. That is where we are trying to get him to is to doing those things. He is doing a good job of working. Baker is very unique, now. He is smart. He is intelligent. He knows what he wants. He knows what he has got. He knows what he has around him. He knows his reads and things like that. The speed that he has picked things up from the standpoint of when everything happened has been tremendous. He gets better every week. The thing that I would add to that is that it is never going to be a finished product. I have told him that. It is never a finished product. (Pro Football Hall of Fame QB) Dan Marino when he finished playing, I guarantee you he did not feel like he was a finished product. If you ever think you are a finished product, then it is time for you to retire or whatever. Go do something else because you have already mastered it. If there is something that you can ever get better at, that is what you need to be striving to get better at. Ten to 15 years from now, we will be talking about what he can do better or take it to the next level of a certain read or a certain check or whatever. That is the process of playing quarterback. I do not think that you are ever there. You are always striving to do more.”

On the Ravens defense now compared to Week 5:

“They are probably the best defense in the NFL right now, and we have a great challenge ahead of us. Hopefully, we can make a couple of first downs and keep it close. It really is a great challenge. They are rushing the passer well. Up front, they are probably one of the best fronts in football. The secondary guys are covering well. They create mismatches from a protection standpoint. They are really doing a lot of good things from a standpoint of being sound in what they do. They are letting their guys play. When you play well, you tend to have fun. It is looking like they are having a lot of fun so hopefully, we can have some.”

On if he speaks to the history between the Ravens and the Browns with the players, given Landry said he was not fully aware of it:

“So you are assuming that I am old, right (laughter)? At the end of the day, they are the next team. That is the way that we try to focus on who the next team is. That is when we started worrying about them. We started worrying about the Ravens this week. We try to say that they are just gray faces. It does not matter. It is all about us. That is the way that we are going to keep it this week. The biggest thing for us is to go out and finish the season strong, finish with a winning record and go lay it all out on the field and see where it lays.”

On preparing to play in a playoff-type atmosphere:

“We are preparing just like we do every week. I think I said this a couple of weeks ago, our first real taste of the opportunity to have that environment was in Houston. We did not do very well in Houston. We go back to Denver for the next type of atmosphere and the same thing presents itself, and we handled that a little better. Hopefully, we can go in and handle the situation and the environment well and then get a taste for what the playoffs are all about because this truly is a playoff game for them just as it is us. We have been in truly playoff-type mode for about four weeks here now since we went to Houston because up until last week, our lives still were in balance because of that. We will see how we handle it. I know that we are going to go in there and let it out there and see. I expect nothing else from offensively us, and I know defensively they are going to lay it out there. Try to put three good phases out there and see where it lays. The key is just to not watch the scoreboard and play each play like it is your last. Let’s roll.”

On his relationship with Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome:

“I know Ozzie. I feel like I know Ozzie well. Of course, we went to the same school. He is a legend. I can’t ever go back to Alabama (laughter). I know he is a good man, and we are good friends I think.”

On his and Newsome’s high schools playing in a state championship, despite them not playing at the same time:

“Another reference to age? Are y’all are trying to make me older than I am (laughter). No pun intended to Ozzie now (laughter).”

On if his high school championship game was against Newsome’s former team:

“I never played for the state championship. My high school played for a state championship when Carnell Williams was at my high school, but no I do not think so, no.”

On if he is aware of the Cleveland-Baltimore history:

“Oh definitely, definitely. I am very aware of it. The Cleveland Browns, the City of Cleveland is very much like – I am hesitant to say this but – it is pretty much like the people in Alabama feel toward the University of Alabama football. The passion, drive and the love of the Browns is so high that anytime anything changes, of course, there are going to be emotions that come into play. It has, and I am sure it has carried over for 20 years.”

On if there are concerns Mayfield’s confidence may impede him from continuing to learn and develop every day of his career, given his reference to Marino probably not feeling like a finished product when he retired:

“No. Nope. Nope. I do not have any. No. I won’t allow that to happen. As long as I am here he is not going to do that. The thing about Baker and guys in that position, it is never enough for them either and that is what separated him. He started out and he was not really highly recruited. He ended up at Texas Tech, but he was not a highly-recruited guy and he found a way to succeed there. He found a way to make his way to Oklahoma to succeed there. He has worked for everything he has ever gotten. Nobody has ever given him anything. That is why I like him. I like those guys that fight and claw for everything they get, and that is what he is. I don’t think he is ever going to be settled. It is not something you have to pound into him that hey you are not there yet. Hell, he knows that, but he is wanting to get there. When he gets to that level, he is going to try to get to the next level, and that is what you want in your quarterback and that is what you want in your team. That is what you want in every position but especially your quarterback because that goes over and flows over into the rest of the locker room.”

On RB Nick Chubb nearing the 1,000-yard rushing mark and facing the Ravens run defense:

“Here is what I like about Nick is he does not care about stats, and we have a lot of guys like that. They care about wins and losses and that is it because that is how you are judged every week. We start the work week on Monday, and we work through the work week and get to Sunday and then we get judged on how we do on Sunday. Nick, that is the only thing he is concerned about. I like that. I like him and I like a bunch of other guys that we have that are like that. The 1,000 yards, I am sure has not even crossed his mind, but in saying that, I expect him to go out and run well. I expect us to block well. I expect our receivers to block well. If he gets it, he gets it, and it is a team effort when he does and he knows that.”

On what Mayfield said to him after the TE Darren Fells touchdown and his gesture:

“If I told you, you can’t tell anybody (laughter). He came over and he simply said, ‘Great play call.’ No, I am just kidding (laughter). That is something in our room that is an inside deal in our room that is going to stay in our room. It is not a big deal. I do not know. I told you guys, media tries to create controversy, right? I told you a few weeks ago. There you go.” 

On people who may see the gesture as offensive:

“I do not know what he did wrong. I do not know. I do not understand what he did wrong. I do not understand what the big deal is. He is in the middle of a football game in the National Football League. There is great emotion in a game of football, and whatever he does on the football field is on the football field so I do not know. I like guys that have a relentless pursuit of competition, and they rally around the competition. Sometimes when you are in competition, somethings you do, you just do. You do not even know why the hell you do it, but I do not have a problem with Baker. If I did, I would talk to him about it, and any conversation I had with him would stay between us.”

On the Ravens focusing on the run while the majority of the league focuses on the pass:

“I am a firm believer in the game of football to win championships. You have to run the ball, you have to stop the run and you have to be plus in takeaway-giveaway. I think they are doing a great job of that, and when I say you have to run the ball, it does not necessarily mean that you have to run the ball for 150 yards a game. You have to be able to run the ball when they know you are running the ball, and I think that is what they are doing a good job of.”

On if there are any odd feelings for him coaching this game with the uncertain future after the season:

“No sir. Not at all. I try to do my job every week, and we worry about the future when the future begins. Right now, the future is Sunday, and I truly mean that.”

On if he and Mayfield have anything on the line for the Oklahoma-Alabama game:

“The Oklahoma Alabama game? I do not think he has brought it up to me once (laughter). What does that tell you? I do not know, but I am just glad Nick did not win his [game and to call plays] a couple of weeks ago. We have not gotten anything. I am sure there is going to be some chirping and the peanut gallery is going to start when get on the plane probably Saturday. Nothing as of yet. I do not know if I could fit into his jersey like I could with (QB Drew) Stanton a couple years ago (laughter).”

On if he has a special affinity for the Dawg Pound, given the sweatshirt he often wears:

“Actually, I know I am from Alabama, but I loved the Dawg Pound ever since back in the mid-80s when (former Browns QB) Bernie (Kosar) was playing and things like that and – I do not mean to bring this up – but when the Broncos and all came in town and the playoff games and stuff. I really loved the Dawg Pound, but I like the sweatshirt. My daughters like the sweatshirt, and honestly, that is the reason why I wear it is because my daughters like the sweatshirt.”

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