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Freddie Kitchens: Being better on paper doesn’t mean anything

John Dorsey discusses the Browns' trade for Odell Beckham Jr., what he expects to see from new head coach Freddie Kitchens and how Cleveland is bracing for a season brimming with potential.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said last week that the Browns are the most talented team in the AFC North before adding that the most talented team doesn’t always wind up being the best team come the end of the season.

The Browns will get their team in the building for the first time this offseason on Monday when the first phase of their workout program gets underway. That ill also mark Freddie Kitchens’ first day working with players as the team’s head coach.

With wide receiver Odell Beckham, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, running back Kareem Hunt and defensive end Olivier Vernon joining holdovers like quarterback Baker Mayfield, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Nick Chubb, defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward, there’s no point in arguing against the bump in talent. That leaves Kitchens to focus on the other end of what Harbaugh said last week.

“We’re better on paper than we were last year,” Kitchens said, via Albert Breer of “That doesn’t mean anything other than, we’re better on paper. I mean this from the bottom of my heart -- there are a lot of teams out there that have talent, there are a lot of teams out there that have good players individually. There aren’t a lot of teams out there that play together as a team, where it means something to line up with each other. That’s where we’ve got to get to.”

The Browns have run through a lot of coaches over the last 20 years and few of them have had the perceived strength of this year’s roster. That raises the stakes for Kitchens right off the bat and the push to meet expectations starts on Monday.