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Gone to the dogs! Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens looks to turn love of dogs into success in Dawg Pound

Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has a love for dogs and the Dawg Pound.

CLEVELAND — Perhaps, it was meant to be all along for Freddie Kitchens to become the Cleveland Browns’ head coach and call “The Dawg Pound” home, what with his family’s passion for animals, particularly dogs and horses.

The Kitchens family had seven puppies at the start of the minicamp earlier this summer, and ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, the first-year head coach said was happy to announce the final pup found a forever home.

“We had seven dogs, and then, it went down to six, five, four, three,” Kitchens said after Friday’s practice. “Now, we just have our own four.”

Credit: Matt Florjancic
Coach Freddie Kitchens shares a laugh with linebacker Christian Kirksey during Cleveland Browns practice in Berea on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.

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One of those four came from that latest litter of puppies.

“They are great,” Kitchens said of the dogs and their impact on his family. “I work all the time. For my daughters and wife, they are very comforting in a lot of various ways. We love animals. We love horses, dogs, and we love it all.”

The Kitchens family of dogs includes three cockapoos and an Australian Labradoodle.

“We have a dark brown one that is called Coffee Bean,” Kitchens said. “We have a light brown one that is called Brown Potato.

“We have a totally black one that is called Friday because we got him on a Friday. We have one that looks like a Rottweiler with the marking of a Rottweiler, and her name is Monday and is named after Sunday, which we had a Rottweiler named Sunday because we got her on Super Bowl Sunday back when my wife and I first got married.

“Then, we had two of our favorite dogs, a Rottweiler and a Dobermann, that Monday has the markings of a Dobermann, and his name was Lombardi and his whole name was Miss Lombardi because we got him the year we went to the Super Bowl.”

Credit: Matt Florjancic
Coach Freddie Kitchens talks with the defense during a drill at Cleveland Browns training camp in Berea on Tuesday, August 20, 2019.

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Although Kitchens does not get to spend as much time with the dogs as his family does during the season, he does enjoy their company when he is at home.

“Now, it has got to be the one that we kept because that is essentially mine, and that would be Monday,” Kitchens said of his favorite family dog. “Minicamp just found a home, and she was a great one, too. She was a great one, too. They have all been great. They have all been really, really good -- like shockingly, surprisingly great.”

Credit: Matt Florjancic
Coach Freddie Kitchens calls a play in the huddle during a drill on the final day of Cleveland Browns training camp on August 21, 2019.

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Animals aside, Kitchens will make his regular-season coaching debut in front of “The Dawg Pound” Sunday, and he is very much looking forward to sending home the fans happy from the game, just as he is when spending time with the family and their four-legged friends.

“I am excited to see those guys perform,” Kitchens said. “Everything we have done from April on has been with direct correlation to getting to this moment.

“The process of getting there has been different as far as just focusing on each day to get better and better each day, but this is what we have been preparing for, and I am excited to see those guys go out there and perform.”

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