Freddie Kitchens: Baker Mayfield's development of 'utmost importance'

BEREA, Ohio -- The development of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is of "utmost importance" as the Cleveland Browns play the second half of the season, new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens said Thursday.

"We want all of our players to see growth, from everything to the line to the receivers to the backs and of course the quarterback," Kitchens said. "The quarterback's learning curve and the pictures in his head has to increase."

Kitchens cautioned that Mayfield is going through challenges, the most recent of which were a coach and coordinator change.

"I think Baker's done a very good job," Kitchens said. "People are going to make adjustments to him. He's making adjustments also. But it's a big deal to play quarterback in the National Football League. You can't just roll somebody out there and do it. So he's going to have some learning curves too that he has to get through."

Kitchens takes over as coordinator for Todd Haley, who along with coach Hue Jackson was fired on Monday. Kitchens said he appreciates the opportunity but hates the circumstances. He worked with Haley in Arizona before staying with the Cardinals to work with Bruce Arians.

"I'm here to do a job, and I'm going to do the job," he said.

Kitchens will be calling plays for the first time in a regular-season game. The only time he's done it was when he called plays in the preseason finale against Detroit. Mayfield started that game -- Tyrod Taylor was still the Browns' starting quarterback -- and had scoring drives of 80, 59 and 69 yards on his first three possessions.

"At that point I was just happy we didn't have any delay-of-game penalties, we didn't have to use any timeouts and things like that," Kitchens said.

Kitchens said he tried to use that game to prepare for regular-season work, but conceded that calling plays in the preseason is a different world from calling plays in games that count.

To him, thorough preparation during the week will make game-day decisions easier.

"They (players) can make a playcaller look great if they execute," Kitchens said. "I fully expect them to make me look great. It's not the other way around. I don't know where we got this preconceived notion that it's the other way around. The players play the game. Coaches coach. Coaches coach during the course of the week to get them better and to prepare for what's going to show up on Sunday.

"Then it's time for them to go play the game."

He said not to expect any major changes in the scheme.

"We're running the same system as we ran before," Kitchens said. "We're not changing systems. We're not doing anything. Todd and I have the same system. He brought me up in the system and nothing's going to change from that standpoint.

"What I do hope we can do and are able to accomplish is that we are able to execute better. Do things the way we're supposed to do them, how we're supposed to do them and when we're supposed to do them. And if we do all those things and have good communication in doing that, we'll be successful."

Receiver Jarvis Landry was a bit more cryptic when asked if anything might be new with Kitchens.

"You got a ticket to the game?" Landry said. "Then you'll see."