Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Baker Mayfield's practice week, specialness of Monday Night Football - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I was glad to see our guys come back out continuing to be focused. I thought we had a good day today. Of course, we have some things cleaned up for a regular Thursday.”

On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s comments about NY Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams telling his players to play dirty and to injury him specifically:

“I have not seen anything like that. We are getting ready to play the Jets. I do not have anything to say about that. I have not seen anything, and I coached with the guy for a year.”

On if Beckham has come to him with concerns about getting hurt against the NY Jets:

“No, he has not.”

On if he has talked to Beckham about his comments regarding Williams:

“No, I have not.”

On if he plans to speak with Beckham on his comments about Williams:

“No, I do not. I feel pretty sure that Odell’s focus is on the New York Jets. I think sometimes he says things for reasons.”

On the reasons Beckham may have made those comments:

“I do not know. I am not talking about this. It does not matter to me one way or the other. I have not seen the guy do anything like that. We are getting ready for the Jets.”

On if he saw the footage of Titans CB Malcom Butler telling WR Jarvis Landry that the Browns have ‘no heart’ but Landry does:

“I did not see that, but I would say I guess we are going to find out.”

On if the routine for a game week is significantly altered when playing on Monday night:

“No, it is not because we have made plans accordingly for that. That is the reason today is like a Thursday for us. As far as the night game aspect of things, we will treat it just like we did in the preseason from that standpoint. No, they have had practice on the schedule we are on now. The only difference being Wednesday is not a Wednesday; Wednesday is actually a Thursday.”

On when the team addresses and plans for schedule changes with Monday and primetime games:

“As soon as the schedule came out, we started planning so you are not making those decisions once you are into the season. Those are put in pencil, and if you feel like you team needs something different than that, then you change accordingly. Other than that, they were done as soon as the schedule came out.”

On if he has ever been with a team that stayed on the road between games, like the 49ers are this week before they play the Bengals:

“Yeah, a few times. Back in 2008, we had five east coast trips from Arizona so we went a couple of days before three of them and actually in between Washington and New York, we stayed the week. Took the train up. It is a nice ride. Everything was good.”

On if it was significantly different staying on the road than returning home for a week:

“Yeah, you have somewhere to practice, but what becomes different in those situations is the areas you are meeting in. Usually, the organizations are very good about it. It is basically picking up this place and putting it where you are at. We have tremendous IT people, video crew, (Director of Football Video) Rob (Pavlas) and those guys do a great job, (Senior Vice President of Player Health and Development) Joe (Sheehan) and those guys do a great job in the training room, the equipment guys always make it seem seamless so everything is as normal as you can get in situations like that. We are in that part of the country where that does not really have to happen that much, unless it was something off the wall different with the scheduling.”

On if WR Rashard Higgins was able to do more in practice today:

“A little bit more, yeah, but the injury report is the injury report.”

On estimating Higgins’ availability for Monday night:

“We are back in that same conundrum [with the injury report], aren’t we (laughter)?”

On if Higgins saying he will play is his pride or an accurate representation of his game status:

“I am not really sure yet. I have to see it. I have to feel comfortable with it.”

On what is special about playing on Monday Night Football:

“Anytime you are the only show in town, it is kind of special. You want to play well. Hopefully, we play well.”

On if his parents let him stay up late to watch Monday Night Football as a kid:

“No, I would just sneak and stay up. I remember Bo Jackson and Brian Bosworth. That is probably the game that I remember the most. I remember the Bears going to Miami undefeated and losing in 1985. There are some games that stuck out to me more than others, but yeah, you would always watch it.”

On how he would sneak to stay up and watch Monday Night Football as a kid:

“My parents would go to bed. At the time, they would go to bed early. I would stay up and watch. I was supposed to be doing homework or whatever, which I am sure my grades showed that.”

On if he is any closer to making a decision on who would fill LB Adarius Taylor’s role:

“No, not yet.”

On the Browns OL and backups:

“Still sorting through it.”

On if G Colby Gossett could be an option:

“I think some of these answers are going to seem like they are no answers, but I think everybody is a possibility.”

On having to make final 53-man roster decisions by Sunday:

“Yes, Sunday. We play Monday.”

On what makes NY Jets RB Le’Veon Bell so special:

“He is very versatile with the ball in his hands. He is a very type of guy. His size, a lot of people do not realize or understand, his size. His speed, his versatility out of the backfield catching the ball and running the ball with power. A mix between power and finesse. I really think he is an all-around great back.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s demeanor in practice following Week 1 and a game Mayfield did not like his performance:

“I think that would be better put he did not love the fourth quarter, but he is moved on. He is a day-to-day guy. He worries about getting better today, and I thought he got better today. Playing that position, you need to put things behind you and put things to bed, and I think that is what he has done.”

On Mayfield saying there is a different energy with players when under the lights:

“In the National Football League, anytime the lights come on, it is a special game. It is either a Thursday night, a Sunday night or a Monday night and that is probably what he is referring to. You are kind of the only show in town whenever everyone is watch so you want to put your best foot forward with your peers watching.”

On if players are at their best when playing primetime games:

“Here is what I believe in, a lot like I believe in end of the game pressure type situations, some guys remain the same and some guys can’t handle the stage as well as others. Is it that people doing extraordinary things? No, they are just doing the same thing they always do and the other people are not living up to it, per se. Yeah, it is kind of the reverse. If you are going to take that approach, just turn out the lights and turn the lights on every day or whatever. I think people just focus more, they concentrate more and they are more efficient. All of those things from the standpoint of trying to do the same thing they do every time and maybe other peoples’ performances are effected negatively.”

On his message to the team to handle the pressure of playing on Monday night in New York:

“It is about us. It is not about the outside world. It is not about the lights being on. Everything goes through kind of us from the standpoint of how do we prepare and how do we play. We just want to continue to prepare well, play well and be a tough, physical, smart football team.”

On if the Browns being on the road can help galvanize the locker room, similar to the trip to Indianapolis:

“Anytime you have success, people seem to be more together, but when you realize it more than anything is after you come off a loss. I think over the last two weeks, we have experienced some things that you either are in together tight or you are not. I think we have a bunch of guys in that locker room that care about each other, and they are going to be tight and not willing to let each other down. I am looking forward to seeing it.”

On his philosophy when dealing with more outspoken players:

“I am going to give you a long and extended answer for that. I want guys to be themselves because I think they are the best when they can just be themselves. In saying that, as long as they are not doing anything that hurts this football team, I am fine with them whatever they want to do. Once it starts steps over the boundary of hurting the football team, then that is where I have to step in and they understand that. Now, whether they make a comment about something, whatever it is, if it is affecting you guys or it is affecting someone outside of this locker room, then so be it. That is them being them, I guess. That is their decision. As long as it does not affect the locker room in a negative way, then I would hope they would use good judgement.”

On drawing the line for what constitutes a player being himself compared to affecting the team:

“Anything that affects the team negatively so however you want to drive line. I know the difference.”

On offensive coordinator Todd Monken stating an illegal block penalty on T Greg Robinson should not have been called and the NFL informing the team of it:

“Yeah, I am not going to comment on what we heard back from the officials. Todd needs to learn we are not supposed to talk about that.”

On adjusting to the league’s points of emphasis and officials potentially overreacting to it:

“I do not even really want to comment on that. Those guys are out there trying to do a good job. I understand that. We should understand that. We understand that after the whistle is blown, we do not need to do extracurricular things. Part of being a smart football team is understanding that. We can’t control things that happen during the course of the play as long as we are using good technique and putting ourselves in good positons to be successful. Those guys do a good job.”

On if he has started to get a feel for how officials will call points of emphasis in games and call a specific game as it progresses:

“I would say yes and a lot of your question there, but I would say anytime you kind of start over, nothing is ever the same from a football season standpoint. Anytime you start over, that is their first game, too. That is our first game. We are not going to overreact in any area concerning that. Yeah, I think they get a feel for the game, the players get a feel for them and you adjust. That is really all I can say about it. Historically, the first game of the year is the most penalized game of the year. Now, the things that we can control, we need to control. Our guys understand that. It is about identifying the problem and rectifying the problem. We have not seen anything like that before. I do not expect to see it again. I think our guys will play smart, physical and tough.”

On Titans CB Malcolm Butler telling WR Jarvis Landry that the Browns do not have heart:

“He does not know our locker room.”

On more on Butler’s comment, given some external comments that maybe the team doesn’t have enough heart:

“I am really glad you said that because I am sure some of our guys will read this and I want to be affirmative that everybody will find out what are team has, OK? Nobody is going to question our heart. There was nothing about heart with the way that game happened the other day. I do not know who the hell is saying that, but they really do not know. They are not going to question our heart. If they do, they do not know what the hell they are talking about, whoever it is writing it or saying it.”

On the comments being on Building the Browns:

“I guess I have to catch up on those episodes.”

On him being in a lot of episodes:

“I guess that comes with the territory, but I would say that he has never been in our locker room.”

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