Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Kareem Hunt, offensive line and more - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“It was good to get the guys back today. They seemed refreshed and ready to go. Our focus was good, our concentration was good and I think their minds are in the right place. Started the preparation for New England, but it is more about the preparation of ourselves. I think we took care of that last week and over the weekend.”

On how pleased he was for RB Kareem Hunt to return to practice:

“Very pleased. I thought he looked good. He looks like he is in good shape. He moved around good. It is always good to get good players back."

On if the Browns were caught off guard at all by the NFL’s decision to allow him to practice this week:

“Not really caught off guard. We were happy to get him back.”

On how Hunt being able to practice now will help him be prepared to return from suspension Week 10:

“I think Kareem had a good spring, a good training camp. He went out with an injury in training camp so any reps he gets is good For the most part, it is just good to have him back in the building, getting him back and continuing to support him in every way possible as a player and as a person.”

On how QB Baker Mayfield looked in practice following a hip injury sustained in Week 6:

“I thought he looked good today – focused, concentrated, threw the ball well and moved around well. He is good to go.”

On how Browns players have returned from the bye week ahead of the Patriots game:

“I think we had a couple of good days last week and I think we carried that over into today. Mentally, I think these guys are hooked up and ready to go and continue to build one day at a time. Nothing has changed. It is continue to build one day at a time and continue to get better each and every time we go out on the practice field or during a game.”

On if the Browns will make changes to the starting OL following the bye:

“We had several guys getting reps are different positons today. We are not ready to say anything yet.”

On the significance of potentially making changes to the Browns OL:

“If we are contemplating moves, you take into account everything and try to predict the future a little bit. Ultimately, it is our job to get the best people out there that give us the best chance to win one game. That is all we are looking to do is just win one game right now.”

On the possibility of General Manager John Dorsey looking into a trade for a new OL player or if the Browns have the talent needed at the position:

“I think you are always looking to get better from a personnel standpoint, but listen, talent is not the issue here. We need to play better and we need to coach better. That is what I would say to that. I know you are want to hear that we need a better so and so positon or whatever, but that is never going to be an excuse here. We need to play better, and we need to coach better. Once we do that, we will start winning games and these questions do not come up.”

On self-scouting during the bye week:

“We are pretty 50/50 in a lot of areas, and that is what you want to be. We did the things necessary from the standpoint of personnel groupings, self-scouts, run-pass ratios, down and distance ratios, what we are more likely to do and stuff like that. We are just kind of evaluating and game planning against ourselves and how we would attack ourselves. It was pretty good. It ultimately comes down to us making plays and us putting them in good positions.”

On the Browns DL this season:

“I think they have played well at times and not so well at times. I think we need to be consistent across the board more. Just like we do at every position. It is only a strength of your team if you can go out and put it on the tape every time. That is what we are striving to do – offensively, defensively, defensive line, offensive line, linebackers. Everybody needs to get better. Everybody needs to do their job and continue to get better each and every day, and hopefully, they are taking that mindset and I think that they are.”

On an update of S Damarious Randall’s status:

“It is just a day-by-day thing. He is doing rehab right now so it is day to day.”

On the potential for personnel changes on the Browns OL to cause disruption:

“I think that those guys have to be a cohesive unit from the standpoint of they got to have each other’s back because those five spots and the tight ends included a lot of times in that have to be willing to pick up the slack if somebody is in a different or difficult situation. That is always part of your decision and part of the one of the factors in your decision when you make a change like that. It is our job to put the best people out there to win one game, just like I said before. We will see how that shakes out.”

On the potential upside of making personnel changes to the Browns OL:

“When you start talking about a group of offensive linemen, they have to be good about the person lining up next to them. I think anytime you make a change like that, it does not go very lightly. There is a lot of thought that goes into that, and when you make a change, you expect it to be for the best. If we were to do that, that is what it would be. It would be with the thinking that it would be for the best for the unit and for the team.”

On making a change at LT in the middle of last season and its impact:

“That situation is different than the situation now. Every situation changes just like teams change from time to time. Listen, change has happened during the course of the year, and you make the changes hoping that it is for the betterment of the team, not any one individual but for the team. If we were to do something like that, that is what we would feel like we would be doing for that reason, and hopefully, it would enable everybody to play well and play better than we have been playing.”

On the process of potentially making changes to the Browns OL:

“You guys really want to know if we are going to make [changes]. You are asking the same question like over and over about. I do not know if we are making a change yet, and if I did, I would not tell you. If we did do it, it would be because I felt like it was for the betterment of the team. What else can I say about that? That is about all.”

On who makes the decision on a lineup change like potentially adjusting the Browns OL:

“That is my call. Do I get input from other people? Yes, I do. That is the reason why we put together an experienced staff so I can get their opinions. Ultimately, it is my fault if it goes bad so it is my decision.”

On G Justin McCray’s ability and indications McCray could be successful at T:

“Who said he is playing tackle?”

On McCray saying he worked at T today:

“But he also worked at guard and center. Did he say that? So why did you bring up tackle (laughter)? Listen, I think Justin is very versatile. Justin can go in and play all five spots. He even snapped the ball some today. You know when you lose… We lost (former Browns and Rams C) Austin (Corbett) last week and you have to make concessions for different people going down because you usually do not take but seven or sometimes eight [active offensive linemen] to the game so they all have to be kind of versatile. Justin is one of our more versatile guys, though. If he were to go out there at tackle, I would have total confidence in him if that is what you are looking for. Do not get upset, alright (laughter)?”

On the dynamic of RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on the field together, given their close relationship:

“I would expect and I know that the dynamic of them would not change. They would continue to be friends. I think those are two individuals that you have no doubt in your mind that they are here to win football games. Whatever it takes to do that, they would be willing to do. I have total confidence that is the way both of those guys feel, and that is what I expect.”

On if he is relieved that the situation involving DE Myles Garret and an individual punching Garrett in the face after asking for a picture did not escalate any further:

“I was glad the guy ran, you know (laughter)?. Of course, I was glad he did not get hurt, but Myles Garrett is a good person. It is just sad to see somebody take advantage of a good person like that. I hope I am not committing any legal issues here, but I think we gathered all the facts.”

On if how Garrett handled the situation says a lot about him:

“It says something about his character, of course. Myles has tremendous character. I think the door was locked from the inside so it took him a little more time – just kidding (laughter).”

On if he or the team speaks to Browns players about the potential for such a situation, given they may be approached outside the facility:

“It is sad that we have to talk about things like that, but we always stress for our guys to be careful. But who could ever see something like that coming? You see guys all the time and you see people all the time that are wanting to take pictures or get autographs and things like that. Usually, the other part of it gets reported, right? The guy that won’t spend time taking a picture or it is rowdy signing autographs and all that, and then that guy becomes what? He is not really ‘fan friendly.’ You hardly ever see the other side of this, which is just sad that somebody would take advantage of it like that, especially with a guy like Myles.”

On if he felt the Browns gelled more as a team as desired in the past week:

“I think sometimes you do not realize that things are happening. We have done a good job since the spring of recognizing the problem, identifying that problem and then trying to fix that problem. If things kind of tend in your mind to kind of get away, then sometimes you lose sight of what the real direction is. If we did anything over this bye week and get our focus back on what direction we wanted to head, it is a good thing. Hopefully, that answers your question.”

On the primetime game tonight:

“Did you watch last night’s game? Did you see Dallas? What did they do before the half? And? Come on, did you all watch the game or not? They scored twice. How long did it take them to score twice?”

On being able to watch the Patriots on Monday Night Football tonight:

“We will still go back and watch it on tape. They do not show all of the angles, which is very evident. I am not criticizing anybody, but they do not show all of the angles on television. We will still go back and watch it like normal. Whether it is on television or not, it would not matter.”

On his self-assessment during the bye week:

“I think I do that on a week-to-week basis. Of course, there are some things I would change. Some things I get criticized for and I would not change [those things]. It is kind of a week-to-week thing. I am ongoing, continuing to get better. I am no different that our players. I want to try to get better every time I go out there on a practice field and in the meeting rooms. I did it as an assistant coach. I am still doing the same thing as a head coach.”

On if he took a day or two off during the bye week:

“I did. This weekend, I did. Good family time.

On if his daughters had another horse show this past weekend:

“No horse shows this weekend. One of the very few times there are not. I had to talk to my daughters about not listening to you guys (laughter).”

On the Ravens winning in Week 7 while the Browns were on a bye week:

“Nothing has changed for us. We are more worried about us than the Ravens. We play them again. We are worried about us. It does not matter if we do not get better, continue to get better and do what we are supposed to do. We can only control us. What you are describing is across the league. There are 16 happy teams a week not counting the byes. There are 16 happy teams and 16 teams that the world is ending. We just want to be one of those happy teams more often than we are not. We are trying to stay focused on what we can control and that is how we practiced today and how we prepared in the meeting. We will worry about Wednesday on Wednesday, Thursday on Thursday and on down the week. When we get to Sunday, we need to put them in good positions to make plays and they need to make the plays.”

On if he would like to finish his point on the offensive planning by the Cowboys late in the second half on Sunday:

“I will let Tony (Grossi) have a report on that game on Wednesday – with timing and scores, Tony, and timeouts (laughter).”

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