BROWNS HEAD COACH FREDDIE KITCHENS
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 27, 2019
FK: Alright tough night guys, everything we said we couldn’t do and win the game, we did. So, and it all happened in the first quarter. I was proud of the way they kept fighting. Somewhat got back into the game there at the end, but just couldn’t get back fully into it. Can’t turn the ball over and can’t commit penalties. That’s where the game comes in. We ran the ball well, we did exactly what we wanted to do in the run game. That was the game plan, we did it. We held them, we stopped them. I thought our defense played well enough to win. Offensively, we just can’t turn the ball over. And that was the game.
Q: Freddie, was it especially disappointing that you guys had the bye week to clean up a lot of this stuff and …?
FK: No, it’s disappointing anytime it happens. Because you know going in that, we can’t continue to jump offsides, we can’t continue to do the things that get you beat. It’s very evident, that that’s what is getting us beat. It’s turnovers and penalties. That’s it, turnovers and penalties.
Q: What happened on the shovel pass?
FK: It was an interception. We were supposed to block the end, we didn’t block the end. So, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I mean, I know, we were supposed to block the end and we didn’t block the end. So it ends up being an interception.
Q: Nick Chubb is usually so sure handed and doesn’t fumble. How out of character is that?
FK: It’s very out of character. I think it means more to him than anything. You know, Nick had a good night. He holds onto the ball, he knows that. I’m not killing Nick Chubb about it, because Nick Chubb is going to be there in the end.
Q: The fact that you guys closed it to 17-10 after all that adversity, what did that show at that point?
FK: Like I said, those guys weathered the storm. You know, I think there were three possessions in a row, we had three turnovers in the first quarter. So, we weathered the storm. So, even that being said, you know we had enough resiliency to kind of weather the storm and get back into the game. And we did that, we just weren’t able to finish it. And finish the deal.
Q: What did you see or think you saw at the second challenge there? The offensive pass interference…
FK: The offensive pass interference?
Q: The second challenge…
FK: Well, I thought you had to throw it there, it was such a big play in the game. You’ve got a very big 1 yard, is the way the rule is read. You know, very lenient with the 1-yard rule. From the ball, not from their alignment. So, just put it on them, and see if it was a yard or not. You know, I thought that was the best opportunity. It was big play in the game, a big conversion. So, if it had been a yard, it would have been good. It was a little more than a yard, we weren’t good.
Q: How tough was it when you had 17-10 and it was third-and-10 and they are backed up to 16 and hit a big screen. Was that something that’s popping up on your…
FK: Yeah, it does. That’s bad. It’s not good. We got to get of the field there. And I think everyone on defense would say that.
Q: Freddie, you talked about the resiliency to bring it back closer, does that make it even more maddening the way you started the game? The mistakes…
FK: You know, we had a lot of confidence going into this game and we got a lot of confidence coming out of this game. Because we understand why we lost the game. We lost the game because we turned the ball over and penalties. We need to stop committing penalties. Alright? We need to focus and concentrate on enough on staying on sides, so we don’t end up in first-and-20. Alright? That’s how you win games. And then, take care of the football.
Q: In terms of the false starts, normally the rule of thumb is, the receivers should never be false starting. But you had a couple of those, so what’s going on there?
FK: I don’t coach penalties; I’m not answering questions about penalties. I’ve never once, in 20 years of coaching, coach somebody to take a penalty. Except in a situation, where it would help you clock-wise, clock management-wise. So, I don’t know, I don’t know.
Q: Did you take that deliberate false start at the end of the game and what was your thinking on that play?
FK: I didn’t want to use the timeout and I wanted to go for it. We had half of our guys running off, half of our guys running on and I wasn’t giving up right then by punting the ball to them. The only chance that we had was to convert for a [first] down and then we didn’t. The defense’s job is to go out there and stop them and they did, so it gave us a chance. I was still trying to win the game.
Q: The Patriots didn’t make many mistakes that game, so what does that say about the Patriots?
FK: They’ve got a lot of banners up there for winning the same way. I told you going in – well, I told our guys how they win is they don’t beat themselves. We came in and beat ourselves.
Q: I know you have to watch the film –
FK: It’s not shocking, that’s how people usually win. They don’t turn the ball over and they don’t – the penalties were 13 to three. We had 13, they had three, so you can’t have that big of a discrepancy in penalties and they had one turnover [blocked field goal] and we had three, so they’re plus-two. They’re 91-2 when they win the turnover battle, or 92-2 now. So, there’s 91 other teams that have done the same thing. We expect more out of ourselves; we’re just not getting that right now and that needs to change. Everybody in the locker room understands what needs to change. Everybody’s got to make a commitment to changing and getting that done. That’s what needs to work.
Q: How would you assess the pass game today?
FK: I thought we were efficient when we blocked the people we were supposed to block and ran the right route and caught the ball, we were efficient.
Q: With your record now at 2-5, how do you make sure –
FK: I’m worried about winning one game and that’s it. I want to win one game, next week. That’s what I want to do. You’ve got to win one before you talk about anything else.
Q: How do you make sure everybody sticks together to get that accomplished?
FK: I think 2-5, I don’t know what – everything’s in front of us. I don’t know what else to say about that. Everything’s in front of us. So win the games that we’re supposed to win and we’ll be fine. It starts in Denver, that’s who we play next, so let’s have a good practice Wednesday and see where we’re at, at the end of the week. We had a good week of practice this week but it got to Sunday and we didn’t do the things that we knew we had to do to win the game. It’s as simple as that. Just do that, win one game and see what happens. There’s nine games left.
Q: This is two straight weeks where you guys have had a good week of practice and another game where you guys fought back – even though you didn’t come away with a win, do you feel like you’re getting closer to that point?
FK: Well, I mean it doesn’t matter how close you get to it if you commit turnovers and have 13 penalties and I don’t know how many of those were false starts. It doesn’t matter. You can get close all you want and you’re going to end up short every time. Every time. There’s not even a doubt.
Q: How do you think the changes on the offensive line worked for you?
FK: I mean, I thought they competed. We gave up some pressure late. I thought they competed. Got over-powered on a couple, got [a penalty] called on a TE [tight end] on a big play in the game on third down, they got caught with a TE. So probably hit-and-miss. Run game, they blocked well.
Q: You don’t see offensive linemen rotate a lot. What was the thinking on the rotation at right guard?
FK: Just to get the other guy some – again, we’ve got nine games left so we need to make sure we’ve got some depth there moving forward. So that was it. We’ve got confidence in our guys, we’ve got confidence in number six and number seven [backup offensive linemen] coming off the bench so we want to make sure they get some playing time, that was all. It’s nothing they did, it’s what we did, okay? Turnovers and penalties.
QUARTERBACK BAKER MAYFIELD
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Q: How do you explain those three turnovers before you had a first down?
BM: Well, there was two fumbles, and then there was one interception, and they happened fumble, fumble, interception.
Q: You made it a point of emphasis to limit turnovers against the most opportunistic defense in the NFL. How do you explain that?
BM: They're going to take advantage of stuff like that. That's just what kind of team they are. I said it earlier in the week, they're in the right place at the right time because they're a sound defense, they play with each other and they capitalize on mistakes. So, all that being said, this isn't Nick Chubb's fault whatsoever. Yeah, he definitely is going to be very hard on himself. He knows what he has to do, but there's so many other things that if we do it the right way, then we're still in that game. And so, we've pointed out the problem, now it's about executing it on Sundays.
Q: What happened on the shovel pass?
BM: [Lawrence] Guy made a good play. We're not expecting him to be there, obviously. A little misdirection, just pitching it to Jarvis [Landry]. I'd like to say that I'd be able to hold onto it, but it's a quick exchange that we've practiced and Guy made a good play.
Q: With all of the penalties every week, it seems like those things could be corrected?
BM: It's just non-disciplined; guys not being focused on doing their job. It starts first-and-foremost with me, to be a leader every single down. Get our guys lined up, make sure that we're set, we're paying attention because if we can't use cadence we're hurting ourselves. Any time we try to use a double-count, it seems like we're false starting a little bit, but we'll get the discipline part fixed, the accountability. Like I said, we've pointed out the problem, now we have to execute it on Sundays. Once again, I feel like we had a great week of practice, we just didn't translate it.
Q: Does it drive you crazy to be talking about this week after week?
BM: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Stuff that we've already pointed out the problem and haven't fixed it? Yeah, it's frustrating. Very frustrating. I hate to keep saying it again, but everything is in front of us. But, to get to where we want to go, we've got to take care of business one week at a time, and it starts tomorrow. It starts preparation for the Broncos.
Q: Defensively, did the Patriots throw anything at you that confused you, or did you understand the concepts they were trying to throw at you?
BM: No, I had my eyes in the right spot. I felt like we were prepared for their blitz package, and they got to where – we had shown that we protected it up and didn't have a problem with it. So, they started showing it and then backing out of it. I feel like we did a good job of reacting and protecting up stuff that normally they capitalize on.
Q: What did it show for you guys to come back and hang in there after a rough first quarter?
BM: Yeah. Obviously, that last drive before the half – if we could score right there and then we got the ball coming out in the second half, that would have been huge, and we talked about it at halftime. We got the ball first if we came out, we're down 10 points. Any points are good right there. It would have made it a one score game, we got a field goal. It's just the consistency and a lack of discipline and accountability right now on Sunday seems to be the problem. So, whatever our guys have to do. Whatever we have to do overall to translate that into the game, no matter the environment, no matter where we're at, no matter who we're playing. We have to do our job, and it always comes back to that. I've said we can be a great team when we do our job, but we just haven't translated it yet.
Q: Did you think that you would clean that stuff up during the bye week?
BM: Yeah. We came back and we had a great week of practice. I told you guys that on Wednesday, and we continued to have a great week of practice. So, disappointing.
Q: Why do you think the lack of discipline and accountability is still happening at this point in the season?
BM: I wish I could put my finger on one thing because I'd do everything I could to get it fixed. I just think everyone has to be singular focused on doing your job, not worrying about what's going on on the outside. We have to be willing to sacrifice the ultimate price to get to what we talked about preseason, our ultimate goals. We have to be able to sacrifice stuff each and every day: time, focus. It's going to be a long stretch, but our guys are capable of doing that, and so it's my job to make sure we do that each and every day. Like I said earlier, it starts tomorrow.
Q: At 2-5, do you still feel like you can turn this around?
BM: Yeah. I still think we can turn it around. We have another AFC opponent in the Broncos. A road game and then five more division games after that, and there's some good teams. We play the Bills as well, at home. So, there's some good competition, some very important games, division games. But, we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. I'm not going to lie to you guys and say that if we win all of our division games, we're going to be fine. We have to take care of business against the Broncos, and it starts tomorrow.
Q: How important is it to make sure everyone sticks together and does what they're supposed to do when things aren't looking pretty?
BM: There's no finger pointing going on, and that's not the type of team we are. So, we just need to be harder on ourselves. The accountability thing is making sure everybody's locked in each and every play. I can't have eyes on everybody at every single time, neither can the coaches. It's got to be within the position groups in making sure everybody's in the right place at the right time.
Q: Do you feel like there's something you need to do different to make sure your receivers and tight ends aren't false starting?
BM: I'm going to continue to practice different cadence throughout the week until we grind that out, and then come Sunday, we'll be completely focused each and every snap to do that one job. Nowhere else besides doing your job and knowing exactly what we have to do. That's how you get it fixed.
Q: What about that locker room makes you feel like you can turn it around?
BM: We know exactly what's wrong. It's not something like we're looking at, “Wow, why didn't we win?” We know exactly why we didn't win. We know the problem, and now it's – like I said, continue to prepare like we have and then translate it on Sundays. We have to show up. All the talk, it doesn't matter until you go out there and prove it on Sundays. And the week of practice is great, but unless it out there on Sundays, it still doesn't matter.
Q: What is stopping it from translating on Sundays?
BM: Just shooting yourself in the foot. I don't know. Like I said, I can't put a finger on exactly what it is, but I said earlier in the week, we have to do, as individuals, our 1/11th. Whether it's offense, defense, special teams, and that needs to be the focus for each of our guys starting tomorrow.
Q: It seems like the team will be more successful when you and Odell Beckham Jr. start connecting more. Do you still see that on the horizon?
BM: We connected on a few today, but yeah. Any time you have a guy like that, that can take over a game, yeah. It's going to be better, but I felt like overall we had a good connection today.
Q: How did the hip hold up today?
BM: Good. I feel fine. I'm ready to get back at it tomorrow.
Q: Was the weather a problem on the turnovers?
BM: No. Well, I can't say no. I'm not Nick Chubb; I can't say for him. No, they're just a savvy defense. The one on the long run, you can tell the guy chased him down and came with the club over the top. It's just – it's tough. When it's wet outside you've got to be extra careful with the ball, but Nick knows that. I'm not going to say it's all on the weather because it's not. It's about doing our job.
Q: Can you talk about how unfortunate it is for that to happen to a guy that has been the heart and soul of the offense this season?
BM: It's tough because everybody in that locker room and on our staff knows exactly who Nick Chubb is, and nothing we can say to him right now or throughout the week will do anything to really push him off his motive. He's going to go back to work; I know exactly who he is. That's why we love having Nick Chubb. We're not going to stray away from giving him the ball, that's why we continued to give it to him, and we'll continue to do so as well.
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Odell Beckham Jr., WR
(On his immediate reaction to the turnovers right out of the gate)
"The first one, I definitely felt like it was my fault. I could have kind of came around [Nick] Chubb. I didn’t want to get in his way so I tried to make a block at the end. It’s just something that you won’t see happen much from him. I think he learned from it. Things happen, so we’ve just got to learn from the mistakes. If we don’t learn from them, we’re going to repeat the past. Penalties, taking care of the ball. The stuff we can control we have got to control it."
(On the two-minute drive at the end of the first half and their inability to execute a two-minute drive)
"I mean we’re going against a team that’s statistically up there with the Chicago Bears and all these other people. It’s not like we look into that but this is a real defense. This is a very, very good team. So it’s not about us not executing it, we just didn’t get that two-minute drive. It’s tough to say that we’re in game seven and can’t execute a two-minute drive. I don’t know what numbers we have on that, but I don’t really agree with that."
(On pinpointing why the same errors are being made at this point in the season)
"Just us as players, we’ve got to execute. We made the mistakes. Like I said, I don’t think anyone comes and tries to make the mistakes. But we made them today and it cost us the game. If we’re going to continue to do this, it’s going to continue to give the same results and none of us are going to be happy or pleased with the results. We’ve got to correct those mistakes. Enough is enough. It’s just time. There’s no more time to lose any games."
(On if he is surprised the mistakes are still an issue)
"Not to give anybody too much praise, but we did just play the Patriots. They haven’t lost a game yet. This is a team that plays perfect. A team that doesn’t beat themselves, a team that has few penalties, a team that had given up one passing touchdown."
(On Stephon Gilmore and if he played him the way he expected)
"Yeah I think he’s great. I think he’s All-Pro and I think he’s everything. I just felt like we didn’t challenge as much as we could have. I think we kind of shied away from it. I was expecting and looking forward to it, but that wasn’t the case today. We had a couple plays, but for whatever reason we didn’t do as much challenging as we talked about. Other than that whatever came my way, pretty much I caught. Whatever opportunities I had I made the most of them. You can only control what you can control."
Joel Bitonio, G
(On the Patriots 17-0 lead in the first quarter)
"It is tough but I feel like we gave them the points. I feel like we gave them two balls inside the 30 and they converted on those. Our defense tried hard to hold them but it was tough especially when you give the team that much of a jump but I think after that it was a pretty even game just hard to come back from that much down."
(On the Browns penalties)
"We aren’t going to win any games if we keep having that many penalties. I don’t know how many it exactly was today but we had a bunch of off-sides, a few holds and some PI’s [pass interferences], which you just can’t have when you play a team like the Patriots. It is tough and we just have to improve on it."
(On the shovel pass that was intercepted by the Patriots)
"Yes, we have run that a few times, they had a 3-4 defense out there which is just a little different than what we are used to running. They were head up on the tackle, a nose guard and the other tackle so usually I have a three technique there so it was a little longer for me to block back."
(On what the next steps are for the Browns this season)
"We just play the next game, I mean it is definitely tough and not where we wanted to start but we just play the next game and try to get another win."
Nick Chubb, RB
(On his two fumbles)
"It’s not me, I’m just going through the spell right now. I just got get back to what I do and that starts in practice. I got to make sure I’m overemphasizing ball security and keeping it high and tight. The past two weeks somebody tapped it from behind in my right hand and I know that and I understand that. I just got to learn from it and get better."
(On the support from his teammates)
"The guys had my back. I was down. I was down bad. It was two [fumbles] in a row and that’s just something that I don’t do often, so it was kind of new to me. I felt like I let the team down, but the guys and coaches had my back and Freddie [Kitchens] said, ‘Take your next play in.’ That’s what we did. We just got my rhythm back, my confidence back up, continued to play ball and tried to forget about it."
(On facing the Patriots defense)
"They’re a good team. For the most part, they don’t beat themselves and that’s what we do a lot. We beat ourselves with turnovers and penalties. When we play a great team like them and they don’t make mistakes and when we’re a team that makes mistakes, we set ourselves up for failure. We still had chances and that’s how it’s been the whole season. We’ve been having chances even though we’re making mistakes with turnovers and penalties. We’ve got to find a way to eliminate those and then I think we’ll be a really good team."
Myles Garrett, DE
(On how much going down 17-0 changed things)
"I mean of course it changed things. You’re immediately down. You’ve got to bounce back. You’ve got to force turnovers, you’ve got to force takeaways. They did and we didn’t."
(On Tom Brady’s success despite getting pressure on him)
"We’ve seen that he’s the fastest to get the ball out in the entire league. You’ve just got to keep on rushing, keep on fighting, and try to get there. We got to him a few times, but that’s what he does."
(On the message Freddie Kitchens gave them after this loss)
"Keep fighting. We’ve still got everything ahead of us. If we eliminate turnovers and eliminate penalties, we can certainly be a lot better. We can turn the season around if we just do those two things."
Jarvis Landry, WR
(On the Lawrence Guy interception)
"I honestly don’t know what happened. I came to get the shovel pass, it was a shovel pass. I saw a flash of color and Guy made the play."
(On preventing the turnovers and penalties)
"Obviously you just have to keep working at it. Continue to work on ball security. We all have to be conscious and protect the ball, but we did not get that part of it done. Then you add on top the penalties, especially in crucial situations, that’ll do it to you. That’ll get you beat."
(On mindset after the turnovers)
"I think we were good. A lot of guys picking Nick [Chubb] up to be focused, to continue to run as hard as he is going to run. No one had any problems with his turnovers. Obviously, we know he’s a guy that does everything right each and every day. He was just trying to make a play on both plays, made a hell of a run on the second time. It is just one of those things that come with it. Playmakers trying to make plays."
(On the upcoming schedule)
"It’s just one game at a time for us. We can’t look ahead, we can’t look however many games we have left. We have to put this one behind us and then move on to Denver, and focus on getting the job done."
Justin McCray, G
(On the penalties during the game)
"We just have to be better with it, there are no excuses for any penalties so we just have to do better. I don’t know the reason for why it is happening but it is something that we have to stop and that is myself included."
(On what makes him a flex lineman)
"I guess I am just open to it. I was out of the league for a while and when I used to work and pray to be back in the league, I didn’t say I just wanted to play one position, I just said I wanted to play so it is funny how God works. It has just put me in a different position to play."
(On how experience is helping him to move forward)
"It is just something that I know I can do. I did it before and I think the more you do something, the more confidence you get and I think a built a little more confidence today."