CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – While some continue to be critical of Baker Mayfield, or at least underwhelmed, the Browns quarterback and his team is winning.
Sunday, Mayfield can climb to .500 since taking over as the team’s starting QB in Week 4 of the 2018 season.
Mayfield is 19-20 overall and while he may not be blowing up the box scores, he believes he understands what it takes to win in the NFL.
“In this league, taking care of the football first and foremost,” Mayfield said. “If you play quarterback and you take care of the ball, you are more often than not putting your team in a position to win just because you are keeping them in the game and not giving the team short field, points off turnovers or those momentums swing That is it. That is a key part of consistently putting yourself in position to win is just taking care of the ball. Those critical downs, those third downs late in the game and the smart plays to avoid negative plays, that is what it takes to win in my eyes.
Obviously, there are more things than those, but it starts right there.”
Mayfield, who Mayfield is the first Browns passer to complete at least 150 passes in three consecutive seasons since Bernie Kosar recorded six seasons from 1986-91, has cut down on the interceptions this year and he’s not thrown a pick in three games.
The Browns are off to their best start in 26 years with Mayfield at the controls and the team has won at least seven games in two of his first three seasons.
“Winning is always fun, but I love this group that we have because we have been able to deal with everything that is going on and we have come together closer,” Mayfield said. “When you go through adversity, you come out stronger on the other end, and it is extremely enjoyable. Like I said after the game, our job is not finished yet, so we are going to continue to get better and work for the ultimate goal.”
Can’t Get Greedy – As the weeks go by, the odds we’ll see Greedy Williams this season seem to be heading toward slim to none.
Stefanski continues to be unable to update Williams’ progress as he rehabs a shoulder injury suffered during training camp on Aug. 24.
“I do not have an update,” Stefanski said. “It is what it has been. We continue to check in. He continues to rehab like crazy. He is working very, very hard. Again, I am disappointed for Greedy that he is not in there at this point, but I can promise you, he is working very hard.”
Williams’ absence came up again Wednesday with Denzel Ward expected to miss a few weeks after suffering a calf strain Sunday.
“Disappointed for Denzel, but really no different than we have talked about with all the guys,” Stefanski said. “They are out, and next man has to step up. I think you have seen our guys do that throughout this year. Excited for the guys that we will have available to us.”
Stefanski wasn’t sure if Ward will be placed on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least three games.
That’s a Rap – Mayfield has been slipping rap lyrics into his postgame Zoom video conferences with reporters, but he wouldn’t let anyone in on the joke when asked Wednesday about it.
“What are you talking about? I thought they were all original. That is my bad,” Mayfield said.
Did he lose a bet?
“Gambling is illegal,” Mayfield responded.
How does he pick the lines to use?
“I am like Fort Knox,” Mayfield said. “You are not going to crack me right now.”
Brotherhood – Mayfield expressed his disappointment in seeing Bengals rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow suffer an extensive knee injury, including a torn ACL this past week.
“You never want to see any of that type stuff,” Mayfield said. “He is a special player. I said that after we played them. He carries himself extremely well. He does not look as though he is a rookie leadership wise, especially his play. You just do not want to see that. I hate that for him.”
Injury Report – DNP: RB Dontrell Hilliard, CB Robert Jackson, LB Elijah Lee, LB Jacob Phillips, LB Malcolm Smith, WR Taywan Taylor, WR Tavierre Thomas and LB Mack Wilson (not injury related/precautionary), CB Denzel Ward (ruled OUT - calf), S Sheldrick Redwine (knee), S Andrew Sendejo (groin), DT Larry Ogunjobi (ankle), S Jovante Moffatt (illness), LT Jedrick Wills (illness); LIMITED: RT Jack Conklin (knee), S Ronnie Harrison Jr. (knee), RG Wyatt Teller (calf), C JC Tretter (knee); FULL: CB Kevin Johnson (finger), WR Jarvis Landry (hip)