It’s another to do it while learning all three linebacker positions, but that’s what fifth round pick Mack Wilson is doing these days.
“He is a good cover guy,” head coach Freddie Kitchens said. “That is why is here or one of the reasons he is here. Then I expect him to be able to stop the run, too. At that position, you kind of have to be a jack of all trades, and that is what we want our linebackers doing.”
Wilson seems to come up with at least one interception per practice – although he didn’t have one Monday – and had two of them in his preseason debut.
“Odell [Beckham Jr.] will come up to me and say, ‘Are you not practicing today?’ I guess that basically means I am not doing enough if I didn’t catch an interception,” Wilson said. “When the ball comes near me, I tend to try to make a play on it, but I’m not just out there like I’m trying to catch an interception every play.”
Wilson has yet to crack the starting 11 but if he keeps making big plays, it won’t be long.
For now, the former member of the Alabama Crimson Tide works at SAM with the second team base defense but moves to WILL in the nickel package. He’s also getting work at MIKE with the threes.
“Just being able to play all three linebacker spots, that’s big-time,” Wilson said. “That’s something you want to be able to do, and I feel that’s something that I’m going to continue to work at because anybody can go down and I’d be willing to plug into any position.”
Eric Kush pulled from right guard to help on the left side, but Garrett quickly disposed of him with an inside move that saw Mayfield drop the football in the back of the end zone for a safety.
Earlier in practice Garrett could’ve decapitated Mayfield on two consecutive plays, that ended in touchdowns, after blowing by left tackle Greg Robinson in the blink of an eye.
The first was a TD toss to tight end Demetrius Harris in the back of the end zone followed by a 10-yard touchdown to running back Nick Chubb.
Had both plays been live, Garrett would’ve had sacks, easily.
The throw hit Higgins in stride inside the five and ‘Hollywood’ was able to stroll into the end zone after making the catch.
Kush has held down the starting spot since the Orange and Brown scrimmage on Aug. 3 – six straight practices and the preseason opener have followed since with him remaining with the first team.
Kyle Kalis is out with a concussion and Austin Corbett, selected 33rd overall in 2018, appears destined to be the backup interior lineman with most of his practice snaps coming at backup center the last two weeks.
The two rotated every three kicks.
Joseph connected from 33, 37, 40 before Seibert matched him. On the second run of kicks, Joseph remained perfect from 28, 43 and 46 while Seibert missed from 43.
Kitchens is listed with the second-best odds to win Associated Press coach of the year at 11/1 behind Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers, who has 10/1 odds.
Baker Mayfield is listed at 12/1 to lead the NFL in passing touchdowns behind four QBs – Patrick Mahomes (3/1), Aaron Rodgers (6/1). Andrew Luck (6/1) and Matt Ryan (6/1). Mayfield is also 12/1 to lead the NFL in passing yards behind Ryan (5/1), Mahomes (11/2), Andrew Luck (6/1), Rodgers (15/2), Ben Roethlisberger (8/1) and Jameis Winston (10/1).
Garrett is listed at 22/1 to win AP defensive player of the year behind Khalil Mack (5/2), Aaron Donald (3/1), JJ Watt (10/1) and Von Miller (12/1).
The group sat in their own reserved section of the bleachers, which featured large cardboard cutouts of the Browns’ linebacker and a ‘Kirkoland’ flag.