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Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks game-planning, Odell Beckham's note-taking and more - Press Conference

Opening statement:

"I enjoyed today better than yesterday. Practice a lot of time stems from the look you get from the show teams. Yesterday, I was not too impressed with our show teams. Today they did a good job and they made practice flow pretty good. Execution seemed to pick up so I was really pleased with it. We are going to continue to work and finish the day out today and start tomorrow."

On if the Browns can get a good sense of how it will play on Sunday based on midweek practices:

"Practicing things successfully gives you confidence to do it well in the game. That is how I would answer that question. We want to practice well. We want to do everything we do well. We want to do individual drills well. We want to meet well. Everything we do, we have to set a standard and we have to live up to that standard. I think we are working towards doing that."

On if the season opener has become more unpredictable over the years with an increased number of starters resting during the preseason:

"I do not really know how to answer that. I guess you can always fall back and use that as an excuse, but I am not into making excuses. I am expecting us to play well. I think the guys in the locker room are expected to play well. Not to try to kill your question, but it is one of those things where if you do not play well, you can use it as an excuse. We are not going to make excuses around here."

On the difference in offensive game planning in comparison as head coach compared to past years:

"Not so much. I have tried to structure my schedule around a lot better than it was in the spring and even sometimes during training camp where I could be in there all of the time. Not much different at all. There are a couple of times where I have to step out, but overall, it has been pretty consistent."

On the process of calling plays and knowing when to challenge plays during the preseason and if it went as he hoped:

"Yeah, I think so. I did not feel like there was ever any stress level of doing it or desire to hesitate or anything like that. I think it was rather fine."

On if there is a lot more on his plate as a head coach now than there were in the final eight games of 2018:

"I do not think so. When you are more of an armchair quarterback, back then you could in your mind think about it (laughter). No, I do not think so."

On if he now has a better feeling of the reviewable pass interference calls:

"Yeah, I think so. I do not know if you guys have the stat, but there were 50 challenges for PI with that new rule in mind. I did not see all of them. I saw most of them. There were five that were overturned – 10 percent were overturned. I know the percentages of other challenges are probably higher because you have a definitive answer and this has to be egregious. Yes I think we have a feel for it. I think you have to be pretty certain." 

On if offensive coordinator Todd Monken will be in the booth:

"Yeah, that is where he is going to be and that is where we determined that he helps me the best when he is up there. Just like all of us, he has been on the field some and been up in the box some, but just the organization of our staff, that is where we feel he is needed the most." 

On Monken's biggest strengths:

"Todd is very organized. He has coached a long time. The longer you coach, the more things you see. Todd, (defensive coordinator) Steve (Wilks), (special teams coordinator Mike) Priefer, (offensive line coach/associate head coach James) Campen, all of those guys are a great resource for me, even if it is for no other reason than to bounce things off of. Sometimes I think head coaches get into a mode where they do not want to bounce anything off of anybody, and they just want to make the decision to go with it. I would rather get their opinion. Some I agree with and some I do not, but at least I get their opinion and they have the experience to give me things that they have actually seen or just their thought. It may just be their thoughts. I think a lot of what those guys think so it could go either way."

On what makes WR Odell Beckham Jr. such a smart, intelligent football player:

"I think Odell takes meticulous notes. I think he spends a lot more time on football than some people give him credit for. I would agree with that sentiment totally that he is very intelligent. When you talk to him, you realize it. I think he does not get enough credit in that area."

On if he spoke to WR Odell Beckham Jr. about his past and letting it go, given his rearview mirror philosophy:

"Now you know I do not talk about conversations that I have with players. Just like the other day, you are trying to test me again (laughter). I am just kidding. I am very confident that Odell is in a good place right now."

On if the Browns are trying to set a tone Sunday against the Titans after the past offseason, including Beckham:

"For just players in general in today's time, everything they do is under a microscope and you expect it to be during the season when you are on the field, when you are on the practice field and when you are in the locker room. Not necessarily here but in other places it may be different during the season, but you are expected to be under the microscope when you are performing your craft. In the offseason, you kind of just want to live your life. Sometimes that arena overshadows what they do or that is the only thing people have to talk about during that time of year when we know how big football is right now. In saying all of that, I think with all players it is definitely kind of a relief that the season is finally here. I know that is a long-winded answer, but I think it goes pretty deep when you start talking about are you excited about playing the first game. I think they were excited to come to training camp and then it gets amped up another level when they start the season."

On if the Browns will throw a deep pass to Beckham on the first play:

"Double pass – just kidding (laughter)."

On if having a physical training camp helped evaluate the Browns run defense, especially going into a season opener with a run-heavy offense in the Titans:

"I think so. We have a deal where we identify a problem and we try to attack that problem. An example would be we identified a problem during training camp practice, and we tried to rectify that problem the next day. These guys have been very resilient in doing that. I think they are committed to doing that on an everyday, day-in and day-out basis. Therefore, that would take it to a game-to-game situation. I think those guys know how to win. The game is never going to change with blocking and tackling. That is where it is all going to start. I think we are committed to doing that."

On DE Olivier Vernon's contributions on and off the field:

"I think these guys kind of follow him and listen to him. He is a very strong player as far as his strength. He will surprise you with his athleticism and his bend. He is a good player. Everybody knows he is a good football player, but the one thing most people would not realize is how people tend to follow him and listen to him."

On the Browns DL preparing to face the Titans OL without Titans T Taylor Lewan and how the Titans may provide additional blocking support for Titans T Dennis Kelly:

"There are a couple different ways to do it. I do not really know how to answer that question from the standpoint of what we are totally preparing them for, but I would just say this – (DE) Myles (Garrett) was Myles last year so he has seen how people help block him. They have seen the different schemes. It will not be any different. This guy is still on an NFL football team so he can play, and we are not taking him for granted or lightly or anything like that. He is a left tackle in the National Football league so that is the only thing we know and the only thing we care about."

On if he shares that same message to Browns players or if they already know not take anyone for granted on the field:

"I do not talk about what we say to the players. What do you think? You are really thinking about it aren't you (laughter). I would say that we give respect to all opponents. Where they came from and how they got there, it does not matter. They are still lining up and playing, and our job is to compete against that person, whoever that person is. It would be the same in the third week, the eighth week or the first week. It would be the same if it were a starter or a backup. To us, he is an NFL starter this week."

On Monken saying he believes he has not seen Beckham at his top speed yet:

"I think he is getting there pretty quick. I think Todd is just referring to we have not seen him in a game, and sometimes guys play faster in games than they do in practice. I think that is all he was referring to."

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