Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks offense's strong finish, Sione Takitaki and more - Press Conference

On the first day in pads:

"I was pleased with the effort and pleased with the enthusiasm. Of course, everybody can have that on the first day. We will see if it carries over."

On the first team offense scoring on a three-play drive in a 2-minute scenario:

"I know we executed, and that's what happens when we execute. Those guys did a good job. They did a good job up front, (QB) Baker (Mayfield) had time to throw and they did a good job running the routes and catching the ball. I expect them to execute."

On if the running game sessions in practice are tilted toward the defense, given the unit knows the offense will run:

"Yes, especially when I tell them right where the ball is running."

On if part of the drill is to attempt to run while the defense knows when and where the play is going:

"Yeah, that is what you have to be able to do in this league."

On LB Sione Takitaki:

"I think Takitaki needs to keep getting better. He is a physical guy. Sometimes, he lets that get the best of him. When we are in shorts, I don't want him to change who he is; I just want him to be able to play in shorts, practice in shorts and get better. He is working at that, and he is going to get better at that."

On Mayfield getting after the WRs, if he likes that and if the WRs responded to it:

"I don't know if they responded to him or not, but yeah, I expect my quarterback to get everybody on the same page. That is what I want."

On the message of members of the OL being pulled to run a lap after a false start and a bad snap on:

"There are consequences in life. There are consequences on the football field. I try to create consequences within the practice. Today, that just happened to be one of the consequences."

On the tone of today's practice:

"I think they understand that we need to stay in the moment and get better. I think they understand we need to be a physical football team. I think they understand the division that we play in that we need to be a physical football team. I think that is the way they are going to approach each and every day, and I think they did a good job of that today. The execution wasn't there always, but that is fine. We have plenty of time to get the execution. I want to make sure the mindset is right."

On expectations for any Browns RBs who were out today to return soon and if the team may need to sign additional in the meantime for practice:

"We are kind of in deliberations about that. From that standpoint, we should be getting some back pretty soon. I can't answer your question. I am not trying to give you a fluff answer there. We don't know. It is kind of a day-to-day thing."

On Browns alumni QB Brian Sipe and DT Jerry Sherk attending practice and if they addressed the team toward the end of practice

"And (Browns alumnus G) Robert Jackson. Yes, I wanted them to say something to the team. You are looking at a guy there who was an NFL MVP in 1980 – Brian Sipe, everybody knows him. He was great and was quarterback of some great teams. You had Robert Jackson, who was an undrafted free agent, and they had numerous rounds so everybody had an opportunity to pick him and they didn't pick him. He ended up playing 11 years in the National Football League. Then you have Sherk who was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1976. That is the Cleveland Browns. That is the history. I want these guys to know about the history of the Browns. They can see the fans. They can see the passion that the fans bring, but sometimes it is harder for them to get a feel for the people who have come before them. They are all wearing the same brown and orange. They are still with us in a sense."

On QB Garrett Gilbert making several nice throws in today's practice:

"I like Garrett. He made some nice throws today. He made a couple of checks that I am sure he wish he had back. Everything is a process here, and he is going to continue to get better. The longer he stays in the system, the more efficient and more successful he should be. He has great arm talent. He is a very intelligent guy. He is tough mentally and physically, and he has the requirements that it takes to play in the National Football League."

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

On what stands out about WRs Blake Jackson and Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi:

"Just their willingness to get better and continue to learn and take reps. I will tell you something about those two guys, you better be in there in the huddle or they are going to jump in and get your rep. I like that kind of stuff. I like people that want to. I like people that strive to get extra attention because in the National Football League, especially during this time of the year, you are either going to get exposed or you are going to get exposure. I think you would much rather have exposure than getting exposed. Getting exposed means you probably are not going to be here when the calendar turns to September."

On if he has determined the schedule for full pads in training camp:

"I do not see shorts coming back into play anytime soon."

On if the Browns will have tackling to the ground in some practices:

"Yes, we will have some in some practices. Yes. I do not know which ones yet. I have not decided. Some of it may depend on how the practice is going. I do not know. Defensively, they are still going to thud up on the back and I am going to know that they would have made that tackle. Everybody knows. That is part of the process of learning how to practice is trying to avoid unnecessary injury but still get your work done in a physical nature with the proper technique. That is what we are trying to teach right now is how to practice because we have to continue to get better every time we got onto the field. Every time the ball is snapped, we need to get better. The only way you are going to do that is to practice being better. I think we are trying to learn how to do that right now."

On if the Crimson Tide tackled to the ground at practice when he played at Alabama:

"That was a long time ago. Yes, we did. The quarterbacks did not get hit. Unless it was the spring and they got hit."

On if lack of full tackling in practices has diminished players' ability to tackle when they are not doing it every day:

"I think so. Of course. I think everything is set up for not tackling and you kind of have to make an exception. That is the reason you are asking me this question, right? Because the norm is not to tackle. When you play at FirstEnergy Stadium in September, the norm should be to tackle. It does not equate so yes, there will be tackling. I do think that across the league there are some problems, but listen, there are some issues that you need to make sure you teach them how to tackle, too. It has a lot to do with the technique, teaching them how to tackle and I think we are getting the best of both worlds without putting anybody in unnecessary risk of injury by making sure their pad level is down or if he keeps moving and their arms go around him, not out."

On if missed tackles is a league-wide issue:

"The one thing is I do not know what they are doing league wide. I just know what we are going to do here, and we are going to teach the technique of tackling. I think (defensive coordinator) Steve (Wilks) and his staff have done a great job of doing that. I know we work it every day, and then whenever we go to these team periods and these live periods, we are still going to work it. We are just not going to sling the running back to the ground."

On S Morgan Burnett was slated to receive fewer reps today due to a pitch count:

"No, this was a built in day for Morgan to not take as many reps, but he was still dressed."

On wearing long sleeves at practice:

"I just try to do it for sun protection, me personally, I have always done it. Same with the pants. No reason. My wife keeps trying to get me to wear these bucket hats, but I am still resisting that. I did concede to the long pants and the long shirt."

On RB Duke Johnson Jr.'s timetable to return:

"We do not know the specifics. We are going to see how it progresses. Duke is a quick healer, but we want to be cautious from the standpoint of the guy has to play for us. We have to make sure the guy is healthy and that it is not something that lingers. Sometimes with hamstrings, they linger. Duke will be fine. We just need to make sure we err on the side of cautious."

On why it is important players are dressed when given a lighter workload in practice, specifically referencing the Hard Knocks quote last year with players on the stationary bikes:

"Morgan (Burnett) still practiced. He just did not get a lot of team reps. I think they have to be available. They have to be available. Their teammates over there sitting on a bike? I don't know what that is. I have never understood that. I do not want to get into that. That was last year. This is my philosophy, and somebody is going to think I am an idiot, but I do not really care. I am not going to change how I feel because of what somebody else says, what somebody else does or what somebody else thinks of me or how they think I am running the ship. That is what I decided to do because I think it builds team and togetherness. I think if you have guys over there on the bike that can practice, they need to go through individual period. They need to stand by their coach in their uniform with their helmet, ready to listen, learn and teach the other guys. Morgan Burnett has been in this league a long time. He knows what is going on. That is just my philosophy. They need to be a part of it. They are part of the team so be part of the team."

On the offensive performance of the run game in drills catered towards the defense today:

"I take this with a grain of salt. It was the first day in pads. I would have been much more concerned if we ran through our defense than I would be now. No, I am not worried about the defense or the offense. We are going to come out tomorrow, and we are going to get better."

On if he made sure everyone was on the same page as a QB during his playing days:

"Yeah, I made sure the running back was running to the right so I could hand it to him there (laughter)."

On if he got after teammate during practice in his playing days:

"Yeah, I think so. I think you could ask some of my friends and call the Tennessee coaching staff and ask them. I probably was. Probably too much."

On if he relates to QB Baker Mayfield's leadership style:

"Yeah, I think you have different leaders. I want him to be himself. If he wanted to say something, he said something. It does not matter to me. I don't know what else to say. It is just whatever he wants to do. I know they need to be on the same page. I don't care how it gets done. They need to be on the same page. That is their job. I am going to do my job, and everybody needs to do their job. Just do their job, and we will be successful. Some people did and some people did not so whenever somebody does not, somebody needs to correct it. Whether it is a coach, another player or another player in the same room, I do not care how it is done. I just want it corrected. I am about the result, not the want to or the should have. I do not like the snapping of the fingers or the clapping of the hands because that is an 'almost'. Just make the play. Just do your job."

On if he has encouraged Baker to more be a vocal leader or if he does that on his own: "I have not encouraged him to do anything from that standpoint."

The annual Orange & Brown Scrimmage will take place on August 3rd at FirstEnergy Stadium. Click for information and tickets.

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