Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Baker Mayfield's status, defensive line performance - press conference 

Opening statement:

"I thought we had a good day today. Focus was good, concentration was good and energy level was good. It was all good to see."

On how QB Baker Mayfield looked in practice:

"Baker looked good, looked good."

On Mayfield taking the next step in practice this week:

"Yeah, yesterday was just to give a little bit of a break on some of the throws. Baker will be fine."

On if Mayfield made it through the practice throwing:

"Yeah, everything was good, just like everybody today."

On if he had to scale back practice at all due to the number of payers on the injury report:

"During the time of year that it is, you do that on a regular basis anyways. That is what I have always been a part of. Yeah, but nothing unusual I do not think – not exceptionally unusual. Maybe a little bit."

On if C JC Tretter and T Chris Hubbard were able to practice today:

"They were. They participated. We switched them in and out and got some other guys some reps and stuff, but they participated just like everyone else. Took normal reps today like everyone else."

On if he is hopeful Tretter and Hubbard will be able to play against Cincinnati:

"Yeah, I am holding out hope for all of them. Do not know for sure on any of them, but we will have a plan."

On the performances of newly acquired members of the Browns DL:

"I think they are doing an excellent job. They came right in, they learned the system, they learned what we do and they have been playing at a pretty good level. Their energy level is good. They bring good focus to the practice field, and then you get them to the game and they play with great energy. I think (General Manager) John (Dorsey), (Assistant General Manager) Eliot (Wolf) and (Vice President of Player Personnel), Alonzo (Highsmith) and all of their staff have done a great job of finding those guys, especially the time of year it was for guys to come in and contribute, not just to have bodies. These guys can come in and they have contributed for us."

On if everything has progressed as expected with S Damarious Randall this week:

"Yeah, I think Damarious is out there, doing his best to focus, concentrate and prepare to play on Sunday."

On if WR Odell Beckham Jr. has expressed any frustrations to him about his number of targets:
"Odell has not been a problem at all. Really, if it was not Odell, we would not be even asking these questions about that kind of outlier type stuff. Odell has been fine. He has been good. Helps everybody, helps the young guys. Baker and Odell have a good dialogue. Everything is good."

On how to get to Browns CBs to attack the ball more:

"That is an emphasis every week. Those guys are doing a good job of working this week to get better this week on attacking and playing the football. That is a lot of times what it comes down to. They are aware of the situation. They are aware they need to get better. I think they would be the first to tell you that they need to get better in that area. A lot of times that is what separates a completion from an incompletion, and that is all you are looking for."

On if CB Denzel Ward could do anything differently when giving up a catch and fighting for the ball:

"Every time just in general, the way the rule reads is they have to finish the catch and they have to complete the catch. It is never over until it is over until it is over and the whistle blows. At whatever point the receiver has the ball, if he does not finish the catch, it is incomplete. I think we need to continue to try to get better in that area."

On the performance of the Browns DL, particularly with rotating personnel:

"I think those guys have done a good job of coming in and immersing themselves in the system and learning the system. They bring tremendous energy. It certainly helps to get Olivier back, even though he was limited on his plays. He continues to feel better and respond better to treatment and the plays that he is getting in practice. Hopefully, we can continue to get more out of him. It is good to have (DT) Larry (Ogunjobi) back. The news guys have come in, and they bring great energy. Sometimes what you need is someone to do their job, and I think they have done that well."

On if Vernon is expected to play more on Sunday:

"Yeah, I think so. I think every day is a little better. I think we were very fortunate to get that amount of plays from him last week. I think he gutted it up some, got through it and did a good job."

On if Mayfield's rib injury is minor or significant:

"I think with the injury reports, you have to kind of report everything so that is what we do. No matter how major or minor, we put it on there."

On if Mayfield sustained the rib injury against Pittsburgh or if it has been lingering:
"I think a lot of times when quarterbacks get hit, they either get ribs landed on or they get their ribs hit so that is probably pretty common. I do not know stats on that or anything, but his ribs have been hit before. I do not remember the exact date, but it is not a recurring thing."

On if he played with flak jacket during his career:

"I did not. I looked big enough (laughter). I was not as big as I am now. You still are on me about that, aren't you? That laugh you busted out last week, yeah. See if you get anything for Christmas (laughter)."

On Mayfield's rib injury not being the reason he did not throw in practice on Wednesday:

"No, it was not. During the individual period, you are going to throw enough balls during the course of a practice. The cumulative effect of throwing balls every day for six months, it was just a good opportunity. We were inside so it was just a good opportunity for him to just take a little break honestly."

On if he noticed any differences in Mayfield's throws in practice today:

"You know, it just fluttered all over (laughter). No, Baker is fine. Baker will be fine."

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