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Freddie Kitchens grows angry at reporter’s suggestion he condones fighting

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 14: Head coach Freddie Kitchens of the Cleveland Browns stands on the field after a fight broke between his team and the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh 21-7. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

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When multiple fights broke out during joint practices between the Browns and Colts in training camp, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said, “we’re not going to back down anybody.” Kitchens grew angry when a reporter brought those comments up to him after Thursday night’s game.

Kitchens was asked whether comments like the ones he made during the joint practices come across to players like he’s urging them to get in fights, and Kitchens didn’t appreciate the question. Kitchens said he would never tell a player to rip off an opponent’s helmet and swing it at him, as Myles Garrett did to Mason Rudolph at the end of Thursday’s game.

“I never OK fights,” Kitchens said. “Did I want them to get after their ass? Yes, I did. But that’s not fighting, that’s not after the whistle. Between the whistle, yes. I never condone fighting on the football field because that’s penalties. I don’t coach penalties. I don’t coach false starts. I don’t coach after the whistle grabbing somebody’s facemask. I don’t coach that. I don’t know what you’re talking about with Indianapolis I condone fighting. I’ve never in my life condoned a fight.”

Kitchens certainly cannot be happy with the fight that happened Thursday night, as it will likely cost him his best defensive player for the rest of the season.