Transcripts

Freddie Kitchens talks Nick Chubb, Garrett Gilbert and more - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I want to start out by saying our sincerest sympathies to El Paso and right here at home in Dayton – I should have mentioned something about it yesterday and I am sorry about that. Also to Don Banks, who was just here on Thursday – it was the first time I had met him, and what a wonderful guy – sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I know he will be missed by you guys, too.”

On how much the starters will play in Thursday’s preseason game:

“I do not know yet. We are just trying to get through tomorrow.”

On if QB Baker Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham Jr. will pay on Thursday night:

“I have not decided.”

On how much the starters will need to play during the preseason or if the groups get enough work in practice:

“I think they definitely need to play together, and we will monitor it as it goes along from the standpoint of their timing and stuff like that. Our practices are pretty physical from that standpoint. We will see and monitor that – the relationship the receivers and quarterback have together, their timing and stuff like that. A lot of things factor into those questions. I am not trying to dismiss it. Some of it factors into who is available.”

On if the Browns Ks will alternate games or on a kick-by-kick basis:

“We have not decided that yet. I am not going to talk about what we are going to do on playing time.”

On if practicing with the Indianapolis Colts will factor into playing time decisions:

“That will definitely factor into it. You hit the nail on the head because we expect to have some physical, ‘get better” type of practices with the Colts. I am pretty sure (Colts Head Coach) Frank (Reich) wants the same thing so you have to factor in all of those things. Ultimately in September, you want to get them there healthy, but there is also a fine line between getting them there healthy and getting them there battle-hardened and battle-tested for what is going to happen because from this moment on, they are never going to feel perfect until February. We have to get used to playing like that.”

On if RB Nick Chubb can be an elite NFL RB:

“I do not like to rank guys. I just know Nick is everything we want in a football player from the standpoint of how he approaches the game, how he approaches practice, how he approaches every time he has the ball in his hands, every time he is pass protecting and every time he is running routes. Nick works his tail off every time he crosses the white line.”

On calling the team together twice in practice and if he was unhappy with the energy or another factor:

“We recognized a problem last night, and I wanted to remind them of the problem that we had in yesterday’s practice. That is part of the learning process – recognizing when something is starting to slide and putting a stop on it right then. This is training camp so that is the time to practice those sort of things. The other time was just to give them a situation.”

On if the two-minute drive at the end of the practice was one of the topics addressed:

“Yes, yes I did. It is ebbs and flows of games of the practice dictate or are a precursor sometimes of the games because in the games, you have ups and downs and you do that in practice. I want to see us come back from the downs, and I think we did that at times today. It is all a learning process guys. Everybody is trying to get better individually and collectively as team to overcome some of those obstacles that present themselves in the course of practice, which you are trying to simulate like a game.”

Check out photos from the eleventh day of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey

On questions he wants to see answered during Thursday night’s preseason game:

“I just want to see these guys competing against other people. You have to have a measuring stick at some point with the down the line guys up against their guys of the same nature. I want to see some guys that may have plenty of playing time competing against their good guys. It is all about competing for me and seeing how they compete against other guys. They have been competing against each other pretty good for the last two weeks.”

On if CB Denzel Ward tweaked something later in practice and his status:

“He did. I do not know how severe it is or anything like that, but I am pretty sure he will be okay.”

On C Kyle Kalis’ status:

“Kalis did something during individuals. I have not gotten the latest, but I think he had a stinger or something like that.”

On Chubb being highly critical of himself, given his comment about his first NFL carry, and if that is common for young players:

“It depends on how good they want to be. I think Nick wants to be very, very good. Is it unusual? Yes, I think it is, but I think we need more people like Nick. Of course, he is going to be critical. You know what? That tells you that every rep to him matters if he is going to remember something a year ago.”

On Chubb saying that run could have allowed him to reach 1,000 rushing yards:

“Let me tell you something about Nick Chubb, and it sums it up for him. He went over 1,000 yards and then the next carry was for a loss of three or four – I do not know the specifics – and not a word was mentioned about it, not a word. I even apologized to him, but not a word was mentioned about going up and under 1,000 after he had 1,000. That tells you what Nick Chubb is, what he is here for and how he approaches the game, and what the game is about for him. It is about winning. It is about winning a championship. It is about putting yourself in the best position possible to succeed individually and collectively as a team.”

On LB Mack Wilson’s recent success in pass defense during practice:

“I think some of these guys come out of school and they are swimming. There are a couple of different phases of their swimming here. One of them is in the spring when they are first initiated into. The second is when the minicamps and the OTAs start and the speed picks up a little bit. The third, they start swimming again when the pads go on. Things start going a little faster. It is a process for those guys. That is why you have training camp is to get some of those things worked out. I have been very pleased with Mack in the last three days. We need to keep stringing days together. Everybody needs to string days together, and you do that by just walking on the field and making the best of that day and that rep and so on.”

On how G Austin Corbett can improve to establish himself:

“I think it is an ongoing solution with all our offensive linemen. They need to make sure that they get their feet in the ground, good hand placement and good pad level. He is no different. Everybody else is working on the same things he is working on.”

On if he has Corbett has been discouraged at all, given he was seen to be the favorite to become RG:

“If you start listening to outside noise, that is what happens. That is what I have been urging them not to do. If he getting discourage of what you guys are saying, then he is wrong. He needs to be worrying about what he is doing.”

On G Eric Kush:

“We like Kush. That is why he is here. He needs to string together days. Just like you guys said yesterday, they need to string together days of good days, consistent day. I do not mind not being the best at anything. I just want to know what we are getting when you go out on the field.”

On if Kush received the opportunities at RG due to his NFL experience:

“I do not know that he gets the shot because he has experience in the league. We judge off what we have seen and that is where it starts. That is a fluid situation.”

On Beckham in the slot position:

“His skillset is pretty good from the standpoint that he can play outside and inside. We like his quickness and his change of direction, his ball skills on the inside and his competitive nature on competing for the ball. Sometimes you just have to compete for the ball. The ball is in the air, and it is your ball. Sometimes you just have to go get it and you got to take it away from them. That is what I like about him.”

*On Mayfield and Beckham building chemistry: *

“I think every rep to them matters. All of them are important during this time of the year for everybody. He and (WRs) Jarvis (Landry), Higs (Rashard Higgins), all those guys, they need as many reps as they can get.”

On potentially keeping two or three QBs on the opening 53-man roster:

“I am probably not the best person to ask that because I was in Arizona when we carried two quarterbacks, and we lost one and then we lost one in the game – the most nightmarish situation that you can have. Two weeks in a row, we signed a quarterback on Wednesday or Tuesday and played with him on Sunday. I do not want to be in that situation.”

On if QB Garrett Gilbert has shown enough that he can be a No. 3 QB in the NFL:

“We like Garrett. I like Garrett on what he has done up to this point. We have not even started playing preseason yet. I do not know about the final [roster]. I do not want to crown him just yet.”

On being the perfect person to ask about the ideal number of QBs on the roster, given his experience with Arizona:

“It may not be the answer you all were looking for (laughter). You all are trying to get a 53-man roster set and we are not even in the first preseason game yet.”

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