Browns’ Skipper Freddie Kitchens Tuning out Offseason Hype

Getty Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens.

The Cleveland Browns hear the noise of the rising expectations, the MVP odds and Super Bowl predictions. It’s hard to tune out.

But head coach Freddie Kitchens isn’t having it — especially not before his team has even taken a serious snap in pads.

“This has been a long spring for a lot of these guys,” Kitchens said on the latest Building the Browns, a YouTube series documenting the team’s offseason. “All this other stuff, all these good things that are said about us — all of that is just a bunch of fluff. It doesn’t matter. Everybody has good players. It’s how those players come together and I think you start forming that in training camp.”

Put a camera or microphone in front of Kitchens and more often than not it will result in a golden quote. At minicamp, he told reporters that he wants to win the lottery in response to Duke Johnson Jr.’s trade request and coined the mantra of Browns fans in his introductory presser, saying, “if you don’t wear Orange and Brown, you don’t matter.”

Freddie Kitchens Meteoric Rise With Cleveland Browns

The rise of Kitchens from unknown position coach to the Browns head coach is one of the most interesting stories in the NFL. But his meteoric advancement hasn’t seemed to shift Kitchens personality. Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry said as much at minicamp of the one-time running backs coach in Cleveland.

“I don’t think he even realizes he’s the head coach,” Landry said. “He’s still got the same personality, the same demeanor.”

Kitchens acknowledged when he was hired that he wasn’t the “popular” choice, but he showed enough during his stint as the team’s offensive coordinator to indicate to the franchise that he was ready for his first head coaching gig.

With the offense under his direction for the final eight games of last year’s 7-8-1 campaign, Baker Mayfield’s completion percentage rose from 58 percent to 68 percent, his yards per attempt from 6.6 to 8.6 and his Total QBR from 36 to 70, according to ESPN.

But Kitchens isn’t resting on his offensive laurels. Now as the big boss, he’s keeping an eye on everything. On Building the Browns, Kitchens could be heard ragging on newly-signed defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for jumping offsides during minicamp practice.

“I love you anyway man,” Kitchens told to the veteran defensive tackle, “just stay onside.”

He was a little more harsh on his wide receivers, who he didn’t feel brought their A-game to camp.

“Good job competing guys. But offensively, execution is the key and before you can get to executing, you have to know what the f— to do wideouts,” Kitchens said. “It’s the same s— we have been doing for seven weeks. Does everybody understand that. So you need to get in your book and first know where to line up, and second know what to do. Then we can know what you can do.”

Kitchens and the Browns will get back to work at training camp, which starts on July 25. 

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