Skip to main content

Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Odell Beckham Jr.'s chemistry with Baker Mayfield, Phil Dawson and more - Press Conference

Head Coach Freddie Kitchens:

On balancing play time in the preseason and if it is important for veterans to still play in those games:

"Yeah, of course, I think that it is important, but you do have to weigh the fact that they start keeping score later on. It is not about that for us. I am adamant when I say that. It is not about the score for us; it is about competing every day, competing every rep and just trying to get better. That is one of the things that you do to see where you stand as far as against other people. I do not know how much importance I put on it. I know it is important to somebody, and I know if they kick the ball off, it is important to somebody. We want to make sure we are preparing these guys to compete because whatever the case, we have to have 11 guys on the field."

On visiting with Pro Football Hall of NFL QB Kurt Warner at practice today, who he spent time with in Arizona:

"Kurt and I share a bond. Let's go back and talk about when I was with Kurt and when we went to a Super Bowl and we went to some playoffs. The relationships you form during those stretches, not necessarily the game, but the journey to get there… I remember the NFL Championship game and us beating Carolina there in the divisional round a lot more than I remember the Super Bowl. It was about the journey that we got there. I remember getting dragged in New England the next to last game of the season 49-7 or something, and we were supposed to be a playoff team? I talk about adversity all the time. That was our adversity. You get beat 49-7 and you get beat on Thanksgiving night like Philadelphia beat us that year, that is your adversity right there in front of you so you better keep fighting. That just lends to the feeling that you have with the people around you that are on this journey with you. Then we got on a row and it just happened. We were just in the moment. Most good teams, they just stay in the moment, and that is what we did then. Kurt and I shared that. Now, he had a Super Bowl before Arizona and he is a good player – hell, he is a Hall of Famer, what the hell am I talking about? He is a Hall of Famer. It was the journey and I guarantee you he would say that. (NFL WRs) Anquan Boldin, Larry (Fitzgerald) would say that. All these guys would say that. It is all about the journey. It is not the game itself; it is about putting your best foot forward. It is about being the best you can be. It is about playing for each other. Checking out of yourself and into the team and just being there for each other. Sorry, you can tell I am passionate about that sort of thing."

On if he will have Warner talk to the team while in today:

"No, I will not."

On if the Browns will simulate portions of a game at the Orange & Brown Scrimmage:

"There are going to be some live periods and there are going to be some moving the ball periods so to the common eye, you would think it is a scrimmage, but we are really doing the same thing we do out here. It is a competitive, move-the-ball period so wherever the ball stops, that is where we are and we are playing that down and distance."

On S Sheldrick Redwine's potential and Redwine befriending Pro Football Hall of Fame S Ed Reed:

"I do not like to box anybody in as far as how good they can be because I do not know. If you tell me how hard they are going to work, if you tell me how hard they are going to focus and if you tell me how hard they are going to stay in the moment, then I might be able to give a parameter on how good they can be. Until I have that information, I have no idea because what if he is okay to be a Pro Bowler, but he could be the best of all time and you are satisfied with being a Pro Bowler – did you really accomplish anything? I just want him to be the best he can be, and that goes for everyone."

On Redwine's performance in training camp:

"He is looking good. I think he is doing a good job of just staying in the moment of just getting better every day. He still has a lot of learning to do just from a defensive alignment and assignment responsibility. Of course, he is athletic. He has good ball skills in the secondary. He is not shy. He likes to turn the noise up, and I like guys who that turn the volume up a little bit."

On former NFL K Phil Dawson returning to Cleveland to retire with the Browns:

"When you talk about a career that spans 20 years, there is so much intestinal fortitude that goes into that as far as just simply getting out of the bed every day. I know Phil was a kicker, and people think kickers have it easy but that is not the case. Their regimen of training is sometimes harder than other positions depending on the body they are dealing with. For him to have the relentless nature of his training to keep it going – I know how I felt when I was 40 years old and that was not that long ago; it is about how I feel now – and he is still kicking at 40 years old. That is incredible. Talk about a great guy, a great family, great kids. I respect Phil Dawson just as much for him off the field as I do on the field. A great human being. A great family man. He kept things compartmentalized where he knew what was truly important, and he stayed in the moment. If he was at the facility, football was important. When he was at home, his kids and family were important. I appreciate that about him more than everything."

On Dawson spending time with specialists today and what he hopes they took away from they conversation:

"Just that. Sometimes you need to step away and realize what are we actually doing here? Whatever that is – it could be a 9-on-7 drill, it could be a 7 on 7 drill, it could be a situation at the end of practice that we are working on, it could be to simply catch the ball and get down so we can timeout because the clock is running out – the same with them. What are we really doing here? For Phil to put together 20 years is one of the best at that."

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. stating it will take time to develop chemistry and timing with QB Baker Mayfield and if he has seen that grow during training camp:

"Yeah, I definitely think [it has grown and developed]. They continue to work. One thing about Odell is he is going to work. He is going to put his time in. He is going to try to get better every rep. He tries to do what I am preaching. As far as their timing goes, Baker is the same way. He is going to put his time in. He is going to get better every day. I have no doubt those guys will have it."

On Beckham's special ability to make acrobatic catches:

"First off, did you see me before practice? I made the same catch and I did not get any attention at all (laughter). He has a unique ability. His skillset to play the position is unique because he has incredible ball skills. The difference between ball skills and good hands is actually getting your hands to the ball whatever position it is. The ball can be here, and I need to get my hands to the ball. He has that. A lot of the great wide receivers have that skillset. Once you get your hands to the ball, can you catch the ball using your hands? He has excellent hands. Then you factor in speed, change of direction and all of those sorts of things, and that is the makeup of a good receiver. That is what he is."

On offensive coordinator Todd Monken saying Beckham can play all three WR positions in the offense and if Beckham has done that throughout his career:

"I do not know what he did in his career. I do not think Todd should be revealing secrets – that is facetious, me and Todd have no problems (laughter). We are going to move our guys around. (WR) Jarvis (Landry) will move around. Odell is going to move around. All of our guys are going to move around and all of our guys are going to know all of the positions. I think you have to succeed like that."

On if WR Jarvis Landry's high-point catch in practice is a great example of ball skills and good hands:

"Yes, but I would be more talking about it as far as ball skills if the ball is outside the frame of the body. I am running this way and the ball is here so I have to get my hands here. If the ball is a little high, I can get my hands up to the ball. If my hands are low, I can get my hands down to the ball. Some people can't bend to get their hands to the ball if it is low. He has that innate ability to always get his hands to the ball – or at least one of them."

On how to coach keeping the team to stay in the moment:

"They have to trust me that I know what I am talking about, and I have to trust them where their mind is. Sometimes you can indicate where their mind is by how they are performing. I do not really know. You keep stressing it. Hopefully, they believe you. If the believe you, you have something. If they don't, then you either have the wrong person or I have the wrong message. I am pretty sure my message is right. The result is going to be indicated on the field whether you are staying in the moment. The result is always 'Did I do the best I can do each and every play or did I look at the scoreboard and say that we were 14 points behind and I can shut it down because there is always next week or there is always next play?' We want them to play that play and that is it and not worry about the scoreboard."

On saying first team players on offense and defense will always compete against each other and the philosophy behind it, given past coaches may not have done the same:

"Are you trying to build confidence or are you trying to get better? I don't need my horn tooted. I think that is how you get better. You get better by going against better people. That is a common theme in life. You are right, I do not care what has happened before."

On if he always knew as a head coach he would match up first team offenses and defenses in practice:

"Yes. Never a doubt because I have seen people do it who I respect in this business. I have seen people I respect in this business that do not allow fighting on the field because that indicates a penalty. I have not invented anything. I have just taken what I have learned from some great coaches and players and implemented them. That is all. I have never spoken to a group, I have never spoken at Alabama's coaching clinic or Tennessee's coaching clinic, I have never spoken at these clinics and invented anything. It is always thing that I have pulled from other people. You also have to have the lack of ego to realize that you do not know everything. During the course of your career, you need to be able to learn and be willing to change when needed. Hopefully, I have done enough changing from when I started in 1999 in coaching and realized what I thought worked. That 'what worked' may be different next year than it is this year. It may be different tomorrow than it is [today]. That is part of the job description I have. It is to understand what the team needs at the present time because if I am going to ask them to stay in the present, I need to stay in the present. What do they need right then to make them better? That changes."

On DT Devaroe Lawrence's performance in training camp:

"(DT) Devaroe (Lawrence) is trying to get better every day. He really is. He is demonstrating what we are preaching. He is trying to get better every day, and it showed today. It has flashed, not as consistent as it was today and he was very consistent today. Every time that ball snapped, he was getting after it. That is what we want to be defensively."

Related Content