Kitchens: Browns' job is to support Kareem Hunt

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Browns made the controversial signing of running back Kareem Hunt earlier this month. Now it's on the team and staff to manage the troubled but talented player.

Speaking Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine, coach Freddie Kitchens said his goal is to support Hunt and to aid the young person long after his NFL career is over.

"Well, right now Kareem Hunt's a Cleveland Brown, and it's our job to support him to be a better person," Kitchens said. "Listen, at some point, football's going to end for all these guys, and it's our job as coaches, as people and as mentors to give them something to do in a good nature the 50 years after the fact that their football careers have ended. So sometimes coaches, they're a player for me and then after they're forgotten about. So that's not going to be the case. We're in the people business to make him a better person and give him the resources and the support system that he needs to become a better person.

"It's more important for Kareem to make those advances into a better person in his home town. That's where it's going to do the most good. There's some good to come out of this. We never justify anything that's happened, but there's some good that can come out of this if he keeps evolving and keeps doing the things he's supposed to do to become a better person. We'll worry about the football stuff later, but right now we're in the Kareem Hunt business of making him a better person."

The Kansas City Chiefs cut Hunt in late November after video surfaced of the running back shoving and kicking a woman during a February 2018 incident at a Cleveland hotel.

The league has yet to finish the investigation into Hunt's situation. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported Hunt faces a baseline six-game suspension.

"I've talked to Kareem on several occasions, and he's very remorseful about what he's done," Kitchens said. "Now it's our job to move forward and support him and get him to a place as an individual and a person to give him the opportunity, a second chance, per se. The second chance is not now. He's got a lot of work to do between now and the time that second chance comes. So we'll see how that goes, but right now, we're day to day and just trying to offer him support where he needs to become a better person and to get him eventually on the field."

Given the expected suspension for Hunt, the team isn't counting on the 2017 league leader in rushing yards right off the bat.

Kitchens added that, despite the addition, Nick Chubb remains the lead back in Cleveland.

"Nick Chubb is our running back..." he said. "We're always looking for good football players to come in and compete. We like competitive situations. Of course, that will be a competitive situation. Nick Chubb is not going to back down from any kind of competitive situation, and that's why Nick Chubb is a great football player and great Cleveland Brown."