On Friday, WKYC had a special treat for our "Let's Be Clear" series, welcoming Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki, general manager John Dorsey, and head coach Freddie Kitchens.
We're still months away from the start of the 2019 season, but following a 7-8-1 campaign last year and the acquisition of players like Odell Beckham Jr., expectations are sky-high. Members of the team are aware of this, and sat down with WKYC sportscaster and "Voice of the Browns" Jim Donovan to answer some questions about what's been done and what's ahead.
First up was Takitaki, this year's third round draft pick out of BYU. He shared a bit of a humorous moment about receiving the phone call informing him of his selection, for he did not expect Cleveland to pick him.
"At the time, I really needed to use the restroom," he recalled. "I saw Cleveland was next, never really talked to them, so I was like, ah, a perfect time to use the restroom. And as soon as I sit on the toilet, I get the ring. I stand right up immediately, I don't even have to use the restroom anymore. I'm ready to rock."
The man who made that phone call was, of course, Dorsey, who has been lauded by fans and analysts alike for the moves he's made to help rebuild the Browns. He himself had particular praise for the first draft pick he ever made for the club: Quarterback Baker Mayfield.
"The quarterback system is so hard to master and Baker's the first one in the building everyday," he said. "He's working diligently trying to improve himself and I would like to see 20% improvement in year two."
Finally, Freddie Kitchens spoke about being promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator to new head coach in the span of only a few months. He also said he and the rest of the Browns don't feel the pressure, despite the increased expectations.
"I'm fine with the expectations but those expectations can't be what we're focused on," Kitchens said. "Everybody else, the only reason they're putting expectations on us is to watch us fall. It's the same reason that, when you drive by an accident on the highway, you slow down. It's the same thing. People want to build you up so they can tear you down. They want to build you up so they can watch the crash. That's the excitement for them."