Ishmaa’ily Kitchen is happy right where he is.
“It’s excitement. It’s pride being from Youngstown, playing for the Cleveland Browns,” Kitchen said. “And I’m just trying to put my best out there.”
Kitchen was signed as an undrafted free-agent by the Baltimore Ravens last April, but was cut before the end of the preseason. That is when the Browns brought him on board where he played 15 games as a rookie, and in his short time, he made quite an impression with his teammates.
“He’s solid,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “I mean, he does what he’s coached to do and what he’s asked to do, and beyond. So anytime you get a guy like that who, you can’t teach effort, can’t teach hustle. He knows what to do and, he’s just one of those football players that you’re glad you have on your side.”
Fellow defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard echoed Jackson’s feelings. “Big Kitch, heck of a player,” Sheard said. “He’s a nitty-gritty guy… he’s going to hustle every play. He’s a big guy that’s going to clog the middle and take up two, at least two every time, so you got to love him in the middle.”
Kitchen’s also made an impression with a fellow Mahoning Valley native, left guard John Greco. “I go up against Kitch a lot, unfortunately,” Greco said. “He’s kind of an immovable object in there, but we talk a little bit about home, but that’s about it. But he’s a good player.”
The Cardinal Mooney graduate recorded 17 tackles in 2012. In 2013, he hopes his playing opportunities and results increase.
“Just out here everyday, trying to get better,” Kitchen said. “Just work, work, work every day, just doing the best I can do, just working hard and trying to be better than I was last year.”