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Press Conference

Freddie Kitchens talks team captains, Browns' brotherhood and more - Press Conference

Opening statement:

"It was a good Friday. The preparations continue to be good in and out of the meetings and onto the field. I feel like these guys are excited to get ready to demonstrate the hard work they went through for the past six weeks. We are all excited. We know the fans are excited. Hopefully, the stadium is ready to roll early, and we will be there waiting."

On if there are any concerns about WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s health:

"No, Odell is ready to go."

On if his personal excitement has risen as the week has progressed:

"My personal excitement level is pretty normal, like every other year, from the standpoint of I am excited to see those guys perform. Everything we have done from April on has been with direct correlation to getting to this moment. The process of getting there has been different as far as just focusing on each day to get better and better each day but this is what we have been preparing for, and I am excited to see those guys go out there and perform." 

On if he has any special news or surprises to share as far as the alumni appearances and festivities for Saturday's unveiling of the Otto Graham statue at FirstEnergy Stadium:

"Not at this moment. We do find that it is very special for us to include those guys. They laid the foundation. I feel like Cleveland is unique from the standpoint of the alumni and once you are a Brown, it is a little bit different being here in Cleveland than it has at other places I have been. It is special to those guys, I know, that have before these guys. I think it is all relative to what they did and where we are trying to go. They have been there and done it for the most part, some of the guys coming in. I know it is very special to me that this is the weekend these guys are coming in."

On the selection of the 2019 Cleveland Browns captains:

"It was just a team vote. We picked three permanent captains to begin with. We are going to rotate the other three and take another vote at the end of the year."

On the natural progression of QB Baker Mayfield and if he has grown as a leader:

"Yeah, I think so. That is kind of a prerequisite for that position. Now, whenever you start talking about what actually happens, sometimes it is not always the case, but it is good to see the quantity of votes. That was very telling for me of what these guys think of their peers. To me, that is special to be named a captain because that tells you what your peers think of you – all three of these guys that were named permanent captains. We had a lot of guys who had a lot of votes, I do not want to belittle the point here, but when you have a lot of guys who get a lot of votes, that means a lot of guys are affecting other people. That is a good thing."

On who determines the weekly captains:

"We have not gotten that far yet, and I would probably keep that to myself for no other reason than there are a lot of factors that are going to go into play."

On if facing the Titans first will be a good test to see the results of a physical training camp:

"From the standpoint of how we play, it is not going to be dictated by who we play. How we play is going to be the norm and the standard that we set. It is not going to be dictated by anyone else. I understand your question, but to answer your question just simply put, no, it does not matter who we played first. That is the way we prepared and that is the way we feel like you have to play the game of football. I think our guys buy into that fact, and we are looking forward to it."

On if the Browns will definitively name a starting RG and CBs prior to Sunday:

"Did we put a depth chart out? Yeah, we put the depth chart out. I will just leave it at that."

On if Browns players will be more disciplined and less susceptible to penalties than in the preseason:

"We did a study, and however long we did the study, over the past ten years, the first game of the regular season is the game that is most penalized on a year-in and year-out basis across the league. That tells me that guys are either not playing with technique or do not really have a feel on what they call and what they do not call. I think our officials do a great job and we have to make sure we do our part by playing with good technique. You are more susceptible the first game of the year. It is proven. It is in the numbers that you are more susceptible to getting more penalties, both teams. It is not one team or another. We recognize that, we have addressed it and hopefully, that helps."

On if both CBs Terrance Mitchell and Greedy Williams will play:

"Yeah, they will both be on the 46-man [active roster] at the game."

On Beckham may be on a 'pitch count or if he is 100 percent':

"No. He is going."

On the possibility of seeing both CB Terrance Mitchell and CB Greedy Williams on the field together, circling back:

"I could have gotten very very smart-alecky with that comment but I just kept it at that. I thought of a couple of these to say after the answer (laughter)."

On if he gave DE Myles Garrett a hard time about being featured in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue:

"I have not read my weekly body issue (laughter)."

On Garrett posing in the dessert for the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue:

Did he really (laughter)? That is good to know. I can promise you I probably will not read it, but I am glad I have that information."

On DE Myles Garrett and Garrett showing a noticeably increased drive:

"Here is what I like about Myles, he said he wants more production. He wants to be a better player. I want the same things for him. I like the fact that he is willing to get coached to help him get there. That is one thing that I have found to be very rewarding for being in the position I am now because I have the opportunity to have the platform to communicate with guys on both sides of the ball in that area. I have enjoyed getting to know Myles. I have enjoyed getting to know his personality and getting to know his desire and relentless nature on where he wants to get. I am looking very forward to our defensive staff, our defensive line coach Tosh (Lupoi) and (assistant defensive line coach) John (Parrella), (defensive coordinator) Steve (Wilks) and all of those guys helping him get to where he wants to go."

On if he was aware Garrett was named a captain to the NFL Waterboys Program, aiming to provide clean water to East Africa:

"No, I was not aware of that but. I do admire everything he does. I know he is an animal lover, especially a dog lover, and I am too. We actually just found the home for one of our last puppies that we had back in the first day of minicamp if you remember way back then. We had seven dogs and then it went down to six, five, four, three. Now, we just have our own four. Yes, I admire Myles for everything he does in that area."

On having four dogs:

"I do. Three and one addition. We kept one of the puppies. They are great, I work all the time. For my daughters and wife, they are very comforting in a lot of various ways. We love animals, we love horses, dogs and we love it all."

On what kind of dogs he has:

"Cockapoos and an Australian Labradoodle."

On the names of his dogs:

"We have a dark brown one that is called Coffee Bean. We have a light brown one that is called Brown Potato. We have a totally black one that is called Friday because we got him on a Friday. We have one that looks like a Rottweiler with the marking of a Rottweiler, and her name is Monday and is named after Sunday, which we had a Rottweiler named Sunday because we got her on Super Bowl Sunday back when my wife and I first got married. Then we had two of our favorite dogs, a Rottweiler and a Dobermann, that Monday has the markings to, as well as a Dobermann, and his name was Lombardi and his whole name was Miss Lombardi because we got him the year we went to the Super Bowl."

On if he has a favorite dog:

"I guess now it has got to be the one that we kept because that is essentially mine, and that would be Monday. Minicamp just found a home, and she was a great one, too. She was a great one too. They have all been great. They have all been really really good – like shockingly, surprisingly great."

On if he feels the development of a brotherhood between the players:

"I do, and I think it needed to happen. This is all about the journey. I do not want our guys [to forget] – I know they do not, we have talked about this and they will not ever lose sight of this – that it is about the journey. We are going to have some ups and downs, but we need to be together when we do this. I feel like these guys are. I feel like these guys are tight. We can overcome a lot if we stay that way. I think it began to develop the week of Indianapolis. That was kind of the hidden gem of the week. We wanted to go down, we wanted to be physical and we wanted to play well, but the other thing we wanted to do was form a bond with each other that can't be broken. I feel like we have done that. Now, it is going to be tested. I promise you it is going to be tested. Those guys know it is going to be tested, and we will find out what kind of team we have when we are tested and see where we come out the other side of it. I have told those guys that. They believe it, they have taken it to heart and now we just go out and play the best we can play, and recognize the problem when it happens and attack the problem. That is what we have been doing all of training camp."

On if being on the road and around each other for a long time was a catalyst for the development of the brotherhood:

"I think so. I definitely think so. Some of the best teams I have been a part of have been the closest teams, and they cared about each other on and off the field."

On differences in Titans QB Marcus Mariota's stature this year:

"He does look like he has been in the weight room a little more, but I think that is a natural progression as you go through the league. Guys get older, get more mature, become better with their eyes and stuff like that, but they also become better with the physical part of the game, being able to withstand more and stuff like that. Yeah, I definitely think I can tell a difference. I did not know if it was just me. That was a good catch. I was not going to say anything in case I was wrong. Now, I can blame you (laughter)."

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