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Freddie Kitchens says Myles Garrett will represent himself well at appeal, team’s support won’t waver

BEREA — As defensive end Myles Garrett was in New York to appeal his indefinite suspension Wednesday morning, coach Freddie Kitchens was confident he would put his best foot forward.

“Myles has great representation,” Kitchens said before practice. “More importantly, Myles will represent himself well. We’re going to continue to support him and Larry (Ogunjobi) and we will not waver with that support.”

Ogunjobi was suspended one game for knocking down Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph from behind during the end-of-game brawl Thursday night during the Browns’ 21-7 victory. His appeal was heard Monday by James Thrash, a former NFL receiver.

A ruling had not been issued as of Wednesday morning.

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Garrett was photographed leaving his hearing at about 11:30 Wednesday after about two hours. A ruling is expected within a day or two.

Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet, then swung it and hit him on top of the head. Garrett was suspended at least for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, and must meet with the commissioner’s office before he can be reinstated.

Part of the appeal reportedly was to include there being no mention of “indefinite” in the collective bargaining agreement regarding suspensions for on-field behavior.

Thrash was also scheduled to hear Garrett’s appeal.

Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said Monday he was “very surprised” Rudolph wasn’t suspended for his role. Rudolph faces at least one fine for trying to pull off Garrett’s helmet as they wrestled on the ground, trying to push Garrett off him with his foot in his groin and charging at Garrett after they’d been separated.

“It’s on camera what he’s doing. There’s no hiding it no matter what he says in the media. It is what it is,” Richardson said. “You can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bully after getting what’s coming to you.”

Rudolph read from a statement Wednesday in Pittsburgh then answered a few questions. 

“Should have done a better job of keeping my cool in that situation,” he said. “The way I saw it, on the final play of the game with the game in hand the way it was, it had been, we had already lost two of our players to targeting penalties from the game. As I released the ball, I took a late shot. Did not agree with way he took me to the ground and my natural reaction was to get him from off on top of me. And again, I should have done a better job of handling that situation.”

Rudolph said he “definitely didn’t say anything that escalated it” and explained the attempt to yank off Garrett’s helmet.

“I was just trying to get him from off on top of me,” he said.

Garrett apologized to teammates, Rudolph, the NFL and fans in a statement Friday.

“I have no ill will toward Myles Garrett, great respect for his ability as a player and I know if Myles could go back he would handle the situation differently,” Rudolph said. “As for my involvement last week, there is no acceptable excuse. The bottom line is I should have done a better job keeping my composure in that situation. It falls short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL.”

Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks heard the appeal of Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey’s three-game suspension Tuesday for punching and kicking Garrett while he was on the ground. No ruling had been made.

Thrash and Brooks were jointly appointed by the NFL and players union.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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