Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens postgame press conference – Browns vs. Rams

Opening statement:
“I was proud of the way these guys competed tonight. They fought their ass off until the very end. We just came up short. We do not get any second-place finish trophies in this business, but we will keep fighting. I was proud of the way the defense battled. Just kept battling and kept coming back. Offensively, it was tough going, but those guys kept fighting. That is the only thing you can ask for. I have to do a better job for them.”

On the Browns not running the ball on the final four plays of the game inside the 5-yard line:
“I should have run it once. Should have run it three times.”

On why the Browns did not run the ball:
“I just did not.”

On him saying that he should have ran the ball three times after the game:
“I was being facetious. I should have ran it one time. I should have. That is why I am kicking myself in the ass for it right now.”

On if it is an issue with the play calling in the moment knowing that he should of did something he did not do in retrospect:
“I should have called more of a direct run. That is all I will say.”

On the 4th-and-9 play call in the fourth quarter:
“Bad call.”

On if wanted that play call on 4th-and-9 play call:
“Yes, I wanted that play call.”

On the thought process on the 4th-and-9 play call:
“It just did not work. It was a bad call.”

On going for it on 4th-and-9:
“We were trying to win the game. We were on their side of the field. Bad call.”

On if he considered challenging the non-call defensive pass interference:
“I did, and I was told if I would have challenged and won, they would have accepted the penalty. They would have been offsetting. It would have been a repeat of the down. I just did not know if it was worth it. The way the percentages go with getting that call and not getting that call, to have an offsetting [penalty] and not an automatic first down, I did not think it was worth it.”

On if the Browns would have potentially gotten a down back if it was ruled defensive pass interference:
“Would have gotten a down back, yeah.”

On if the pass to TE Demetrius Harris in the end zone at the end of the game looked like it had a chance:
“Yeah, yeah. I thought it was a good throw. 50-50 ball.”

On if the last play of the game was intended for WR Odell Beckham Jr.:
“We had a couple of different guys that could have been open on it. They did a good job at the end of the game. We did not. I did not. I did not do a good job at the end of the game.”

On overall evaluation of his performance:
“I thought we ran the ball better. Ran the ball when we needed to. We did not win the game so I do not think I did very good.”

On if the rhythm on offense showed improvement:
“Yeah, I think it is hard to say after you lose, but I think it is starting to come together. We did flow better. It kind of felt like it was flowing better during the course of the game. This is about execution, calling the right plays and executing the plays. We just did not do a good enough job. I did not as a coach do a good enough job of putting these guys in good situations.”

On if the third-and-goal play was designed for Beckham:
“Again, he is an option always.”

On the difference in creativity and excitement in play calls during the second half of last season and 2019 and what is missing now:
“I would not say anything is missing. It takes time to develop offensively. We kind of hit the ground running last year because we had been through eight games already so we know what we were doing. I would say, I have to do a better job during the course of the week of putting these guys in better situations and then on gameday. If you are looking to blame somebody, blame me. Do not blame any of our players. Do not blame any of our other coaches. Just blame me because I can take it. Just blame me. Go write your article and say that I messed the game up. Go write your article and say that it is my fault that things are not looking like it did last year because it is.”

On how the Browns secondary played without four starters:
“I thought the defense played incredible today. They kept battling. For what they did with that offense, they kept those guys under 100 yards rushing. That was our goal. Our goal is to get over 100 yards rushing. We did not quite get there, but we were close. Those guys did an incredible job. (DB) Juston Burris did an incredible job. He picked one off, and he has been here 24 hours.”

On if the team has played to the level of talent it possesses:
“I do not think until you start winning games you are never going to play to the talent that you have on offense. Like I have said from the very beginning, we have a lot of talent. That does not mean anything. Other teams have talent. We have to do the things that when we have the opportunity to make the plays, we have to make the plays. I have to do a better a better job of getting those guys into situations where they are in the situation to make the play. The talent is great, but still, it does not mean anything. I have said that from the beginning. We just have to continue to keep our head down, keep working and it is going to turn. That is all you have to do.”

On how much he has learned coaching through the first three games:
“I think a lot. I do not know what you are trying to find, but that is not an excuse. If we had scored, I would not have wanted to run the ball. We did not score so I would like to run the ball. It just depends on what happened. That is the way calling plays is, and I am fine with it. That is good. Learning, I do not know. I think I learn every day. When I wake up, I learn something. It is not about learning and all that kind of stuff. Of course, you are going to learn if you are open to learning. Hopefully, we as a team are open to learning. We have been in some situations the first three weeks that frankly we had not been in before. In all aspects, we have to learn how to win – coaching, playing, everything. We have to learn how to win, and I have to do a better job of putting these guys in better situations offensively. (Defensive coordinator) Steve (Wilks) and those guys did a hell of a job defensively with a top notch offense. I thought we did a decent job on special teams. Our kicker made his kicks. We were one out of four, I think, in the red zone, which is not acceptable. That would have won the game for us right there. There are several things offensively we can do better, and we will continue to go. The first thing we can do better is I can start calling better plays. I can start doing a better job in the course of the week of putting our guys in better situations so that will happen. Have I learned a lot of stuff? Yeah, but the main thing I have learned is to do what the hell we are supposed to do, put these guys in better situations and call a better game on Sunday.”

On if the Browns offense can run up-tempo more often or if it is best used situationally:
“I think it is just situational. Hell, I do not know what we are going to do next week. We did it against Baltimore last year the last game of the year. Yeah, it is probably coming for them, but I do not know that yet. I have not started looking at them. We feel very comfortable doing that. We will see. We felt like we had them on the ropes a little bit with a couple of those drives, and we just wanted to keep moving the ball.”

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