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Kitchens says Callaway benching is a one-game thing

By MARY KAY CABOT • Nov 11, 2019 at 9:03 PM

CLEVELAND — Freddie Kitchens doesn’t have much time to bask in the glory of Sunday’s 19-16 victory over the Bills. The 5-4 Steelers are coming to town on Thursday night, and they’ve won four straight games.

But the Browns breathed new life into their season by snapping their four-game losing streak, and they now have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Here are some quick hits from Kitchens’ Monday conference call:


On playing a clean game

The Browns have been turnover-free for two games and have had total of nine penalties in those games.

“We eliminated some of the pre-snap penalties, that’s two weeks in a row,’’ he said. “We didn’t have any turnovers which is a good thing. We need to strive to create more turnovers on defense. It was good to get the win.’’


On the short week

“We started last night trying to get a plan together for Pittsburgh. It’s a huge division opponent. Passion and energy won’t be a problem. We’ve got to prepare to control our emotions. They’re one of the best defenses in the NFL. They’re sound, they’re tough, they’re tough, they’re physical. There aren’t many weaknesses over there.’'


On the red zone woes

“We have to do a better job of maintaining our blocks. When you get down in a goal-to-go situation, you have to be able to win your one-on-on matchups. When you’re down there at the 1, it’s like being in a phone booth.’’

He maintains he’ll continue to run it on the goal-line though. Having Kareem Hunt back will help tremendously.


On Baker Mayfield

“I think first and foremost, he took care of the football. He made good decisions on where to go with the ball. He was seeing the field as far as seeing his progressions, and the ball came out of his hand well for the most part.’’


On Jarvis Landry's big day

“I thought Jarvis played with a lot of passion, energy, toughness, caught the balls that were there, caught a hell of a ball at the end of the game (the 24-yarder that set up the game winning TD). The first touchdown was better execution of a play we struggled with earlier in the year.”


On Kareem Hunt’s role expanding

“Kareem’s a good football player. He did very well for his first time back. He’ll continue to get opportunities.’’


On Antonio Callaway’s benching

“I don’t know if he’s gotten the message or not, but I’m not wavering. I always want our guys to make good choices. I did what I felt I needed to do and it’s over. It was only for yesterday, yes.''


On Hunt/Chubb combo

“Our goal-line package didn’t include the both of them down there. ...We could’ve gotten in normal offense down there.’’


On Olivier Vernon’s status

“Olivier is day-to-day right now. The guys came in today and got treatment and rehab. We came out of the game pretty good.’’


On Steelers DB Fitzpatrick

“The ball seems to find him. He seems to be the in the right place a lot of the time. He’s one of many good players."

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