The Browns have cycled through seven head coaches over the last 10 years, but owner Jimmy Haslam believes that trend will finally end with Freddie Kitchens, who is 42 days away from his first regular season game as Browns head coach.
"(Kitchens) is off to a really good start, and I think he will be our head coach for a long time," Haslam said Sunday. "He doesn't try to be something he is not. We think he will relate well to all kinds of different people, but most importantly, our players. Freddie can talk to guys who cut the grass. He can talk to the scouts. He can talk to players. He can talk to Dee and I. He is very comfortable (with who he is)."
It's easy to see why Haslam believes Kitchens is here to stay. Through four days of training camp, Kitchens has already earned the respect of players with a coaching style that is down-to-earth, yet brutally honest. He's cracked jokes with players on the field and has made snappy, but comical one-liners in each meeting with the media.
He's also stopped practice when the performance hasn't matched his expectations, and he isn't afraid of being the loudest voice on the field if he notices a player making a mistake from a lack of effort.
Kitchens has oozed the traits of a veteran coach, one the matches the same qualities Mike Tomlin from the Pittsburgh Steelers or John Harbaugh from the Baltimore Ravens have used to maintain their positions for more than a decade, respectively.
Haslam thinks Kitchens can do the same. Kitchens hopes so, too, but he's preached a day-to-day approach so far in camp, and Haslam's praise won't change that
"I appreciate that sentiment, but I'm just trying to do a good job today," Kitchens said with a smile. "I'm just trying to finish this press conference out strong."
Check out photos from the fourth day of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey
— Kitchens is confident the early training camp success from Browns defensive line will transition to the regular season. The line has continued its barrage of blocked passes and scrambles from Baker Mayfield after two days of padded practice and has earned early praise from Kitchens.
"I think the defensive line is going to be a strength of our team," Kitchens said. "I've said that for a while, and I believe it, but I also know that they need to continue to get better."
— Haslam expressed optimism when asked about a pending extension for the Browns headquarters to remain in Berea through 2039.
"We are committed to this facility and to Berea," Haslam said. "They have been great partners to work with. We are continuing to look to do two things with this building: make it better for our players and make it better for our fans. The turnouts we have had (for training camp) have been very impressive."
— Dee Haslam said the signature orange helmet will not change when the Browns implement new uniforms next year.
"No. No. Never," she said with a laugh. "Absolutely never."
— Genard Avery (ankle) was the newest Browns player to sit out practice for an injury. His return is unknown, but he stretched with other injured players Sunday on the sideline. Trayone Gray (calf-NFI), Kareem Hunt (groin), Duke Johnson Jr. (hamstring), Donnie Lewis Jr. (foot) and Damion Ratley (hamstring) sat out of practice.