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The View From Pluto: Great Expectations Await Browns First-Year Head Coach Freddie Kitchens

Photo of Freddie Kitchens
Head Coach Freddie Kitchens

The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for the start of the preseason in one week.

WKSU’s Mark Arehart talks with sports commentator Terry Pluto about his first look at the team and its newly-minted head coach: Freddie Kitchens.

Everybody knows that on paper, the Browns are destined to be a great team; however, one thing still stands. How will first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens be able to manage all this talent and live up to these expectations?

The question is legitimate given the fact that he has never been a head coach at any level. Training camp is the first platform that Kitchens could showcase his coaching style.

Pluto said Kitchens has brought toughness to the squad which he inherited quarterbacking for Alabama coaching legend Bear Bryant.

Last year, the Browns were one of the worst tackling teams in the league. So, how do you get good at tackling? By actually tackling during practice. But as Pluto said, “It’s a double-edged sword” because the tackling may get better, but players are more prone to injury.

Starting running back Nick Chubb and Pro-Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. both have injury history.

Chubb had a tragic ACL injury dating back to his playing days at Georgia. And Beckham Jr. has missed 16 of the last 32 contests after fracturing his ankle back in 2017.

Kitchens also calls for the team to be mentally tough. If any player makes a penalty during practice, he punishes them for it by making them run or do pushups.

“He’s stressing that he wants to make sure the team is a smart team, not one that draws a lot of penalty flags,” Pluto said of Kitchens.

Pluto says the Browns will not start the season as hot as anticipated because it will take time for the coaching staff to make the adjustments needed to get the most out of this stacked roster.

Phillip was born in Cleveland but raised in Kent. He is an undergraduate student at Kent State majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and will be graduating in Spring 2020. Currently, he is an intern at WKSU working to enhance and diversify his journalistic skills. Phillip plans on using both TV and radio platforms to not only analyze and discuss sports but also help bring people from all walks of life together to bridge the gap between sports and society.
Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.