Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks bye week adjustments, Baker Mayfield's mechanics - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I thought we had a productive day trying to clean up some of the small things.”

On if the Browns are taking a ‘super-cautious’ approach with QB Baker Mayfield’s hip, given the bye this week:

“Yeah, pretty much. Just giving him a break physically. Just trying to get his body back a little bit.”

On if Mayfield underwent further testing on his hip:

“Everything was cleared the other day.”

On LB Joe Schobert not being at practice today:

“It is a personal reason.”

On the Browns’ process for discussing adjustments during the bye week:

“Yeah, I think we do that on a week-to-week basis, but more so during the bye week, we try to do self-evaluation, self-scouting, tendencies and things like that. I think that is pretty standard across the league. Try to eliminate some of the tendencies you may have. If you feel like you can get better in an area, you try to do it and try to work on those things, whether it be personnel or schematically. I think that goes that way from a week-to-week basis. Also, it is just you have more time to do it and reflect on it longer during the bye week.”

On if the Browns have more potential adjustments to discuss during the bye week, given the team’s 2-4 record:

“No matter what the record would be, if you are not taking the same approach, then I think you are short changing yourself because that means you think you are good enough. It does not matter what our record is we would be doing the same thing.”

On meeting with Browns players to receive input about plays they like:

“We get input from our guys all the time. It comes down to executing and coaching it better.”

On if the Browns need to evaluate Mayfield’s mechanics:

“Again, I think that is an ongoing process and thought. That is part of coaching. That is part of his self-evaluation. All of that is constantly going on, not just because it is the bye week.”

On if he has seen indications of poor protection on punt team, given the Seahawks’ comments postgame:

“I think it is easy to say that after you do it, but we understand what the problem was. We understood what the problem was going into the game. Specifically, that block was worked on during the course of the game and we did not execute.”

On the process of implementing RB Kareem Hunt into the offense:

“Yeah, it has been kind of an ongoing looking forward to it and having a plan started getting developed in the spring. Of course, it will come to fruition here in a couple of weeks.”

On WR Rashard Higgins saying he believed he could have played against the 49ers:

“I saw him in practice. I have to make a decision every week whether I think a guy is healthy enough to play. He was not going to play against the 49ers.”

On if WR Antonio Callaway’s speed can present matchup problems that Higgins does not and if that led to Callaway playing more last week:

“You are kind of asking two different questions. Antonio does have speed. Depending on who you ask, he could be faster than Higs, but if you ask Higs, he is probably not – I am being facetious there. The reason why Hig did not play had nothing to do with Callaway. The reason Hig did not play is because we were coming into a bye week and I think one more week will benefit him greatly.”

On if it fair to say that Callaway is a matchup problem for other teams:

“We are going to try to put our guys constantly in situations where they can win and then let them go win or at least attempt to win. I think Callaway’s’ speed does add an element to the game that not a lot of people have, but again, the speed does nothing unless you are in the right place and you catch the ball. That is kind of an all-encompassing question there.”

On if he has had any contact with Hunt throughout his suspension:

“It is not legal for us to have contact with him right now.”

On if CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams have seemed close to ready to return to play:

“I think they are getting close. We will wait and see. We do not have to put an injury report out until next Wednesday. They are getting close.”

On appreciating players like Higgins wanting to get back on the field as soon as possible:

“There is no doubt. Nobody ever questions Higs’ heart, motivation, his desire to win, his desire to do things the right way and all those sorts of things. I will be glad when he is back full time.”

On his role in coaching QB Baker Mayfield mentally and physically, particularly after a hard game:

“You spend time with him. (Quarterbacks coach) Ryan Lindley spends time with him. One of his strengths is battling back mentally and being mentally tough. To play quarterback in this league, you have to be mentally and physically tough, and Baker is that. You approach it the same way you do off of a good game. You try to make the corrections, you try to pinpoint areas of concern from the standpoint of where his eyes are and things like that and you get better from it. Yes, I definitely have a hand in it. He has a hand in it, Ryan has a hand in it and several people have a hand in it. Also, what you have to understand with a quarterback is some of these things he has to figure out himself. You can tell him all you want. (Former college head football coach) Homer Smith used to describe playing quarterback that it is like taking 1,000 pictures in your mind, and that is in the course of one play so when build those and build the inventory of pictures, that is when you get experience. Those are things you just have to live through, go through and get through. Hopefully, you can get through some of them more successfully than not, but sometimes you just have hard lessons to learn. I always found it fascinating that that is how Homer Smith described it and he is I know one of the best quarterbacks I have been part of and very well-known in this business and influential in my life form the standpoint of coaching quarterbacks and learning the process of quarterbacking.”

On the chemistry between Mayfield and WR Rashard Higgins:

“I think with Hig, it is the comfort of knowing that he is going to be there really where he is supposed to be. Some of the comfort level, a quarterback sometimes needs is just knowing you are going to be there and then when you are there, you are catching the ball because then your room for error increases playing quarterback. I think Higs has always given whomever the quarterback is – Higs played pretty good the year before last, too when we came in. I think whoever the quarterback is he kind of gives them that comfort level.”

On if he feels he personally needs to spend more one-on-one time with Mayfield:

“I think we have a good setup, and I am really not going to comment on anything that we are doing different now than we were the first part of the year. I will just leave it at that. We have some good coaches here. Sometimes you reach people differently, and we have a good setup here. It is about us going on the field, getting better, and making plays.”

On if Mayfield participated in portions of practice outside of team stretches:

“Yeah, he stretched and loosened up, and mentally we worked some of the offense today through different situations and he was with me all during that process. He is hooked up mentally. We have 10 games left so we have to get him ready to play 10 games.”

On if he has any doubts about Mayfield’s availability for the upcoming game against the Patriots:

“No.”

On if it on his mind whether Mayfield will come back after the bye week in better shape physically than he has been recently:

“How do you know I am not a doctor (laughter)? It was not [selling] used cars; it was new cars (laughter). He is going to be physically in better shape going into New England, yes. He will be in a better place mentally, too.”

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