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Let's Be Clear: An open conversation with Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens

Hear from the man now tasked with guiding the Browns.

BEREA, Ohio — You want your local newsmakers to be open and honest with you, right? Let's be clear, then.

"Let's Be Clear" is all about transparency. WKYC has a clear, mobile newsroom that we're taking across the state over the next few weeks to talk to those making headlines in Ohio. Whether you agree with the guest, disagree, or are a fan of them, we know you have questions.

We'll continued Season 2 Friday from Berea with Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens.

You can re-watch the full interview again below:

Kitchens was named head coach following last season, when the Browns' front office decided not to continue with interim head coach Gregg Williams. Williams was let go and has since departed for New York as the Jets' defensive coordinator. 

"It's one of those things, whatever your role is, you go to work and you try to do the best you can each day. That's what I try to do," Kitchens said. "Hopefully we've done enough and we'll continue to do that every day, and we'll see where we're at. I couldn't have more pride in being head coach of the Cleveland Browns."

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Kitchens was promoted from offensive coordinator, making him the 17th full-time head coach in the history of the Browns organization and the ninth since the team returned to the National Football League ahead of the 1999 season. 

Hired on Jan. 24, 2018, Kitchens was initially the running backs coach and associate head coach. During an unprecedented staff upheaval at the midway point of the 2018 season, Kitchens took over the play-calling duties when coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were dismissed.

ANALYSIS | 5 reasons why Freddie Kitchens as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns will work 

When Kitchens took over the play calling, he said his relationship with Baker Mayfield grew along with the rookie QB.

"That's what you want to see. You want to see the progression of a quarterback continue to go up, and sometimes, you can't always see it in the results. It just so happens we saw it in his results as well," Kitchens said. 

Despite his successful rookie campaign, Mayfield continues to work hard to improve, and Kitchens has noticed.

"Someone like Baker with his competitive nature and his relentless search to be good, you don't have to push that," he explained. "That's an advantage to coaching Baker. You don't have to push him to being great. You can coach him. He allows you to coach him. He wants to be coached and as long as those things stay constant, he's fine."

With Mayfield stepping forward as Cleveland's biggest star, Kitchens says he knows a different kind of spotlight has been placed on the Browns. He says he and his team aren't worried about gaining respect, nor do they feel pressure from the 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."

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