Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Greedy Williams, Antonio Callaway and more to wrap up Browns minicamp - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I would like to start by saying to my core how appreciative I am of the guests that we had today. We had Under Secretary from the Navy (Thomas) Modly and he brought out three WWII veterans that participated in D-Day. I take pride in the fact that I know a lot of that type of stuff from our history. What those guys did and the sacrifices they did, it is unbelievable. I read a couple of books concerning D-Day, and what those guys walked into without knowing is remarkable. I just wanted to say that to start things out.”

On what the Browns accomplished during the offseason program:

“We got a base for what we are doing, and that is what we tried to get. There are still some things to workout. There are still some timing details to work out. This has been a long process for these guys. As a new head coach, you get an extra week and an extra minicamp, which in reality turns into two weeks. I have been most impressed with how these guys have just kept their heads down and just worked because it does get redundant after a while. You are going back and making sure that you are getting done what you wanted to get done, which is having a base for the offense, a base for the defense and a base for the special teams. There is no game planning so the excitement kind of wears off. These guys have done a good job of pushing through and continuing to get ready for training camp. Essentially, all we want to do is prepare everybody to compete in training camp.”

On what happened to CB T.J. Carrie in practice today:

“I do not right now. I do not know.”

On if it is too early to see an identity being created for the team:

“That is a great question, and I do think it is too early. The identity of the team, I hope, falls in line of what I want to see out of our team. I want to be the most physical team on the field. I want to play great defense. I want to move the ball. I want to be great on special teams. That kinds of sums it up. Now in saying all that, these guys have to decide what they want the identity to be. I know what we are going to push and press for and the identity is going to be knowing what to do, knowing when to do it and knowing how to do it, and in everything that we do, do it physically.”

On the Browns defense during minicamp:

“Anytime you create with competitive people, you want to try to surround yourself with competitive people. I think we have done a good job of that. Everybody offensively and defensively, they are very competitive. Sometimes when you have the talent reaches the competitiveness level, you win some and you lose some. I think that is what you have seen. I tell them we are not perfect and we are not going to be perfect in the fall, but if we compete the way we should compete, we play with our intelligence that we should play with and we are the toughest team on the field, then we will be OK. Those are the only things that I care about.”

On if there will be as much competition and rotation at RG during training camp:

“It is all about versatility. We are trying to find out who has some versatility to them. There is a depth chart of course right now, but at the end of the day, we are trying to prepare all those guys just to compete. Sometimes when you prepare a guy, you have to give him reps, and then when we get back in the fall, we will compete and see who works.”

On if playing in pads will be significant to evaluating RG and OL versatility:

“Definitely. Yeah, and that is the next step. That is what I was talking about preparing them to compete in training camp because we will have pads on in training camp. From a knowledge standpoint, they need to be prepared to do that so they can put their best foot forward. Then show me what they got. Show us. Show us what they have. You can only do that with pads on.”

On CB Greedy Williams’ confidence level after bouncing back after getting beat:

“I tell guys all the time, especially that position, you are going to get beat some, but you have to play the next play. It is almost like a quarterback – you are going to throw an interception but you have to play the next play just like the other one did not exist. That is the way I want our team to approach things. The last play does not mean anything. It is back to the rear view mirror, right? It is smaller than the windshield. Let’s look forward. Let’s look to play the play that we are playing right now. That is the only thing that matters; the other one does not matter anymore. Greedy did a good job of pushing through that in the spring or the whole time here. He has done a good job pushing through that. That is what the NFL is about. You have to push through. You have to play the next play. You have to have confidence. You have to have more confidence in yourself that anybody around you has. Greedy is going to be fine.”

On WR Ishmael Hyman:

“Ishmael has done a good job. He came in and worked his tail off. He looks different now than he did at the beginning of Phase II. He knows more now than he did before Phase I. He has done a great of keeping his head down and keep working. He is getting better. I think a bunch of those guys have gotten better and, that is what we want to see. We just want to see little increases every day.”

On TE Pharaoh Brown:

“Pharaoh is a big body guy, athletic. He needs to keep coming. We have several guys in that room that we feel like can play. He has to keep coming and see what he can do. Some of their projection and evaluation depends on once we put pads on because our guys are going to be able to block, also.”

On DT Larry Ogunjobi and expectations for this season:

“I think he is going to bring his energy, his athleticism and his commitment to do things the right way. When we get up every day, we have a choice to make – either do it right or do it wrong in everything that you do. Larry is one of those guys, you can count on him. He is in it for the right reasons, and he is going to do everything he can to do it the right way. If he does that, Larry is going to be fine. Larry has had a good spring. Larry has had a really good spring.”

On the Browns special teams:

“I would assume we are going to be better. They have done a good job preparing. They have done a good job practicing. It is hard to predict the future with them just like anything else. I know that the guys we put out on the field are going to know what to do and how to do it, and they are going to play with tremendous effort.”

On comparisons to last year’s special teams:

“We are trying to improve our whole team, every area. We are trying to be better than we were last year on offense, and we are trying to be better than we were on defense and special teams included. A lot of times, coaches like to talk about it is a third of the game, but they do not commit to it. We are going to commit to it.”

On S Jermaine Whitehead:

“He can play. He is a good player. He put his best foot forward. He has continued to get better. He is another one that is better at the end of spring than he was at the beginning. (Defensive coordinator)Steve (Wilks) has done a good job on the defensive side of the ball, making sure everybody is on the same page and (pass game coordinator/secondary coach) Joe (Whitt) and (defensive backs coach) DeWayne (Walker) in the back end have done a good job of putting those guys in the position to be successful.”

On the status at RG as players rotate:

“I promise I am not trying to be funny, but we are not even close to even deciding anything. The offensive lineman need pads on before we can start determining anything like that.”

On how effective RB Duke Johnson Jr. can be in space:

“He can be very special in space. I do not know if you guys know it, but I was in Arizona with (Cardinals RB) David Johnson. He can be very special in space. That is his game. Duke is a good player. I do not know where all the other stuff comes from.”

On Johnson and WR Odell Beckham not participating in team drills today:

“It is more preventive than anything. Everything is OK with them. We do not play any games in the spring. I am not being funny; it goes back to our voluntary issue. Even when they are here and it is mandatory, we are going make sure that we take care of our players until they start counting. That does not mean that they are going to work their ass off when they are here, but we are not going to be stupid. We are going to take care of our guys when they are here.”

On confirming Johnson and Beckham are not injured:

“They are not injured.”

On if he expects S Morgan Burnett, WR Damion Ratley and WR Derrick Willies will be available for training camp:

“They could have already practiced probably.”

On WR Antonio Callaway:

“I think Antonio has had a great spring. I think everybody would agree, right? He has been really, really good. I am really excited about Antonio coming back. From a knowledge standpoint, from knowing what to do, when to do it and then actually doing it, he has done very well.”

On Callaway’s ‘lofty goals’ and if he likes the high individual expectations:

“Yeah, I do. I like that. I like setting the expectations high for ourselves – not letting you guys do it but us do it.”

On his plans prior to training camp:

“I know I am not going to leave Cleveland too much in the summer because it is beautiful. I am not really sure yet. I know I will go to a few horse shows with my daughters. I am looking forward to that. This has not been the normal spring for them. I have some time to make up with them and my wife.”

On if he will make it a priority to take a break:

“One thing I pride myself on is if I am here then I am going to work, alright? If I am not here, I am with my family. I am present wherever I am at, whether it be a horse show, sitting at home playing a game, or just talking to my family. You see a lot of people in this business, even though they are not at the office, their mind is not where it is supposed to be so if they are with their wife, their mind should be on their wife. If they are with their kids, their mind should be with their kids. I try to pride myself on making sure wherever I am at that I am present, per se.”

On if it is a nervous time when players are gone for six weeks, given potential disciplinary issues, and if he shared a message with the team on that topic:

“Of course, but our message does not change from whether it is January or May or June. It is going to all be the same. We don’t have very many rules here. It is just to do the right thing, and we will be fine. They have to make the decisions so hopefully, they make good decisions. The short answer to your question is yes, I get nervous, but I get nervous when my daughters walk to school. Yeah, I am always nervous. When they are not with me, I am nervous, just like my daughters. I would say that I trust them, too, though. I trust them. I trust that they are going to do the right thing and I am going to trust them until they tell me that I can’t trust them, and they tell me that by showing me that.”

On if he is they type of coach who will be in the building until midnight or 2 a.m. during the season:

“I am not going to pretend coach. Anybody that asks me, I will tell them we will be here until we get the work done, and when we get the work done, we are not going to be here. We are not going to pretend. I have been a part of that, too. I have not been one of them, but I have seen it. I am not going to pretend coach. We are going to make sure that we prepare and we do what we are supposed to do in our part of the game to put us in the best situations. I am not going to be up here wasting a lot of time that makes me be here until 2 o’clock in the morning, but if it takes it – ask our offensive staff – we will be here.”

On if is beneficial for QB Baker Mayfield to step away from football a bit during his time off:

“He better get away because I think he has a big [wedding] date coming up at some point (laughter). I think he is pretty tough, but I think who he is going to be going home with is a little tougher. I stress that to these guys. These next six weeks for these guys is a critical time. They need to be in shape when they come back, and they will be. I have trust that they will do that. If we are going to get where we want to go, they have to pay the price to do it, and that is some of it during this six weeks.”

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