Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks Rashard Higgins, importance of delivering a home victory - Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I thought it was a really good day from a preparation standpoint. In meetings, I thought those guys were focused. They concentrated. We had a really good day at practice. Hopefully, we can carry it over tomorrow and finish out the week with a good day and go from there.”

On if CB Denzel Ward and CB Greedy Williams were able to participate more in practice today:

“They did. They did a little bit more. Took a couple plays in the first period of practice, and we will see how they respond to that.”

On if the Browns have considered taking a more cautious approach with Ward’s and Williams; potential return with the bye week next week:

“When they are ready to play, they will play, but we definitely factor in that the bye is coming up. We are trying to put our best foot forward this week and do what we can this week to compete at a high level.”

On if WR Rashard Higgins was a full participant in practice today:

“He was and he did a little bit more today. Higgins looked better. We will see where we are at the end of the week. With some of these things, you just have to see how they are the next day and see how they respond to what they did today from a physical standpoint.”

On if he believes Higgins looked close to his normal self in practice:

“I do, yes.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s week of practice and demeanor related to sense of urgency:

“I think Baker brings that to the field every day, every week. I do not think anything has changed from that nature. I think it is that way every week.”

On if it is dangerous to put so much emphasis on a specific game:

“We try to put an emphasis on every game. You just said it, we want to win every game. We want to go out, perform our best and not let the score dictate how we are preparing and how we are playing. Everything remains constant, continue to strive and get better, make advancements in different areas of each week and go from there.”

On if there sufficient time to make corrections and additions during the short week:

“Depending on what it is. If you start talking about putting in a bunch of new plays and stuff, no, we do not do that. We are just trying to execute better and coach better. From an addition standpoint and stuff like that, no.”

On confidence the Browns defense will bounce back and stop the run more affectively this week:

“I have total confidence in our defensive staff, just like I have total confidence in our offensive staff. I have confidence in our defensive players and offensive players that we will rectify those problems. We understand what presented the problems, but this is a new set of problems this week. We are worried about this week. We realize the mistakes, we get better from those and we move forward. I have total confidence. I do not have any doubt that we will get better from it.”

On Seahawks RB Chris Carson:

“Chris is very versatile. He can flex out. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has great hands, great vision and great balance. He is an overall great player. I loved him when he came out. He is a tough guy, good size and good speed. He is really an all-around great back.”

On challenges in the first year coaching an NFL team:

“I think I learned something a long time ago in this league – it is truly a week-to-week league. You win, and you move on to the next week. It is just the next game. As far as me personally, I probably had to put that into action a little more being in the position that I am now. We try to put our best foot forward every week and always try to remain constant on how we approach the day. The score does not dictate on how I play. I just try to play the best I can on each and every play, and that is the way I try to coach. I coach the best I can today, and then I wake up in the morning and do it again tomorrow. That is the way I have always approached it. Then whatever the result is has to stay there. It can’t move into the next week, and I think our guys have done a good job of not allowing that to happen.”

On if the Browns DL has lived up to his expectation as the strength of the team:

“I want them to be the best version of themselves, whatever that is. I do not want to set limits on how good. I do not want to say we have met the challenge up front or anything like that. I just want them to be the best they can each and every week. If you put a measuring stick out there and reach that measuring stick but you still underachieve, did you do enough? I do not know. I do not think do. I just want them to be the best that they can be. I do not know what that is yet. As long as I know I am getting the best from them, that is all I want.”

On if the Browns DL has been the strength of the team:

“I think we have shown flashes up front that we have been very good. I think we will continue to get better, just like every other position though.”

On if it is more important right now to emphasize quick throws rather than looking for down the field opportunities:

“The answer to that question is I am not really going to answer that question. I will say this: in this league, if you do not get explosive plays, it is hard to win. Now, you have to be efficient also in what you do when you throw the ball in other areas of the field. A general philosophy is be consistent, be very methodical in your passing game and you have to hit explosive plays, whether it is in the run game or pass game. That is how you are successful in this league because defenses in this league are pretty good. They are pretty athletic in general, and Seattle is right there with all of the best. To say you are going to string together five 14-play drives is very unreasonable to say so you better hit some chunk plays if you are going to be successful.”

On the fans’ energy at FirstEnergy Stadium and the importance of rewarding fans with the team’s first home victory:

“Our fans do a great job of establishing that home-field advantage for us. We are the ones that have to go out and play well and coach well. Of course, it is important. We want to win our home games. We want to win our home games. We want to go on the road and win some games. That is how you compete for the division, which ultimately gives you a chance to where you want to go.”

On if the presence of Higgins last week would have allowed WR Antonio Callaway to ease back into the offense:

“I do not know how to answer that. Yes and no in certain areas. Some of the things we asked Antonio to do, I will take full responsibility for that. I will leave it at that. As far as Higgins goes, he has been around. He has been on the field. I have total confidence in both of those guys. I do not know. I would have treated it differently last week with Antonio, but at the end of the day, he would have been in there on the play that you are probably talking about, he would have been in there for that one anyway. You always go back and see and judge yourself in those instances when it is a negative, right? Nobody does it when it is a positive. I try to do it when it is a negative and a positive to see if I would have done anything differently in any area.”

On Higgins having more experience with the team than Callaway:

“He has been and he has played more football over his career. Those are all questions like would we be asking that if he caught that ball? No.”

On Callaway needing help a couple times with alignment against the 49ers:

“Yes, and that is where it falls on me. I was asking him to do too much. I was not asking him to do too much from a physical standpoint. I was asking him to do too much as far as those things. I need him lined up and I need him playing fast. I did not think I did a good enough job last week of allowing our guys to do that and that is part of my job, and we did not do a good enough job of executing on the field, but we have a new game this week.”

On the missed TD opportunity and INT and if those are plays coaches gnash their teeth over all night:

“Do you want to know if I dreamed about it? Is that what you are asking (laughter)? I take ownership on a lot of things and a lot of things drive me crazy. I will just answer it at that.”

On Mayfield balancing football and new aspects of his life like more national attention and if he has conversations with Mayfield to help him navigate it and stay focused:

“I think he does a good job of having balance in all areas. I do not ever worry about that oozing over into football at all. He is focused when he comes into this building. He is a hard worker. To answer your question, no, I do not worry about it.”

On if Higgins and Mayfield still have the same chemistry they had last year:

“I would hope all of our guys do, but they have certainly connected on some good plays in the past. Hopefully, that continues.”

On what the Seahawks defense is doing well right now:

“It is just like every year. They are playing fast, they do a great job in one-on-one matchups and they rush the passer. That is what they do. They are very physical, and they know what they are doing.”

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