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Freddie Kitchens blows off ‘noise,’ says Browns will ‘block it out’

There has been no shortage of hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns heading into the 2019 NFL season, not to mention a decent amount of “noise,” as head coach Freddie Kitchens recently put it.

Most of said “noise” can be attributed to the ongoing outspoken nature of Baker Mayfield, who again raised eyebrows this week with some alarming comments about New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, though the Browns quarterback blamed the media for the firestorm.

Further, the arrival of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — whose ability to generate headlines is part and parcel of his enigmatic personality — has further focused the spotlight on the Browns.

It would be reasonable to expect that the manner in which the Browns are being touted as a team on the rise — paired with the controversies spawned by the likes of Mayfield and Beckham — could potentially serve as distractions for the young team. Kitchens, though, forcefully blew off such a notion.

“We don’t care,” Kitchens said when addressing Mayfield’s recent controversial remarks, via Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland. “We don’t care. It’s already on there, so it doesn’t matter. We’ll be ready to play.

“I don’t know what a bulls-eye is. Anybody know? If they’re not trying to beat our ass and we’re not trying to beat their a–, I don’t know what else you do. Because that’s what we’re gonna try to do. Hopefully they’ll try to do the same.”

Kitchens went on to stress that Browns players will ignore the hype and overcome any distractions.

“I’m not worried about our team,” he said. “Our team’s gonna block out the noise. You guys create noise, they’re gonna block it out. I have total confidence they’ll block out the noise.

“We’re gonna give our best effort each week. I hope we get theirs. And we’re gonna see who’s best. That’s all. The expectations you guys set doesn’t matter. Our expectations are to perform our best.”

Kitchens arguably is setting the right tone with his defiant remarks. Whether Browns players are able to rally around him and fall in line, though, remains to be seen.