There are two new faces at right guard after a weekend of roster cuts and last-minute trades, but Freddie Kitchens plans to go with the guy that got him through the preseason.
The competition isn’t over by any means, the Browns coach stressed Monday, but he expects Eric Kush to be the starter Sunday against the Titans.
“We’ve got three guys, even four guys at that spot that could play for us. We’re going to go through the week and decide at the end of the week but right now Kush is our starter and I expect him to be starting on Sunday,” Kitchens said. “You have to continue to develop guys in your system and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The Browns acquired second-year guard Wyatt Teller from the Bills on Thursday and veteran Justin McCray on Saturday in a deal with the Packers. Teller started the final seven games of the 2018 season while McCray has 13 starts over the past two years.
Both were on the practice field Monday.
“I thought they moved around well,” Kitchens said. “Both seemed pretty athletic. Used their hands well.”
Check out photos of the newest Browns by team photographer Matt Starkey
-- Kitchens said it was a “procedural move” to briefly release starting left tackle Greg Robinson on Sunday and re-sign him before Monday’s practice. In the meantime, rookie OL Drew Forbes was placed on injured reserve. The sixth-round pick would be eligible to return later in the season.
“I was never told we were going to lose (Robinson),” Kitchens said. “I wasn’t scared.”
-- Teller said he was in the hot tub and preparing to play in the Bills’ preseason finale when he received a phone call from Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane. Teller didn’t know what to think because “this was actually my first rodeo.”
Ultimately, Teller received the news that he was headed to Cleveland. He later took a call from Kitchens, who joked Teller should be able to make it to the Browns’ preseason game against the Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium by halftime.
All the while, Teller’s mother, who was en route to the Bills’ game, had learned of the trade via social media before her son, who is not active on any social platforms. Asked how that’s possible, Teller said, “mom power.”
-- Kitchens sees a bright NFL future for Braxton Miller, the former Ohio State standout quarterback who transitioned into a third-round wide receiver. Miller, who’s started nine games and appeared in 21 since joining the league in 2016, spent the final two weeks of the preseason with the Browns before he was waived Saturday.
“Braxton’s got a future in the game. He’s a good player,” Kitchens said. “It’s just you have to make tough decisions and it may not be the best spot for us right now, and that’s basically what we decided.”