Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is in the running for Soundbite of the Year with his “Whoopdee-hell” comment. It came from the recent press conference held in Berea to officially introduce newly-acquired All-World wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when Kitchens was asked about the potential of his team next season.
“Yeah, our team looks good on paper. Whoopdee-hell,” Kitchens said per Ian Rappaport of NFL.com.
Kitchens restated something that fans feel is a cliche, but even the most novice coaches know as fact: the roster means nothing until the games are played. Better-than-average football teams have beaten elite teams more often than not. Browns fans should know, with signing past washouts like Andre Rison, Dwayne Bowe, Derek Anderson, et al., that big name talent on signing day does not reflect on-field performance.
The young talented players currently on the Browns reemphasized that point as well. Browns players being on the same page as their head coaches is a rarity in Berea, so to hear the franchise quarterback, Baker Mayfield, the All-Pro defensive end, Myles Garrett, the heart-and-soul of the team, receiver Jarvis Landry, and the game-changing wideout, OBJ parrot the same sentiments in OBJ’s press conference is very heartening.
Senior Staff Writer for ClevelandBrowns.com, Andrew Gribble, reported that Garrett, third-year defensive end, echoed his coach that “on paper” the team looks good, but went on to warn fans, “…until we go out there and prove it…it is just words right now, just thoughts.”
Mayfield acknowledged this as well when answering a question about potential:
“It is something that needs to be set forth for our team mindset-wise is that everybody is going to say that we could be and should be Super Bowl contenders; yeah, we know that – every person that plays in the NFL should believe that – but I have always firmly believed that you always set your own expectations. Nobody else really matters. No offense to you guys, you can write all you want about what we have, but if we do not set goals for ourselves and believe in those and work for it, it does not really matter.” (ClevelandBrowns.com)
Landry agreed: “It is definitely there. Obviously, we see it as blatantly as everybody else does, but as Baker stated, and Myles and Freddie, it is obviously going to take a lot of hard work. We definitely have to put the work in. It is not going to be handed to us. (ClevelandBrowns.com)
This is not to say they were not excited about the possibilities. When Mayfield found out, he said at the press conference he was at home with two other people and he was leaping around in celebration. Speaking about OBJ, Mayfield went on to say it is about what could be: “It’s the potential. It’s knowing exactly who he is and knowing what type of guy he is.” OBJ’s best friend now teammate, Landry, admitted he spoke, laughed, and cried with general manager John Dorsey.
Browns fans cannot be faulted for their excitement over the past off-season. Although the theme of realistic expectations still permeates Berea, it is undeniable that the Browns are going to be a force in the NFL this year. The four football stars on the dais can say they have not done anything yet, but they have done more than they think. They have given Browns fans something they have not had in their team in decades.