Mayfield ‘a bit off’ in Dress Rehearsal
Baker Mayfield seemed a “bit off” in Tampa Bay. While there were a few high throws, the accuracy wasn’t as sharp as we are used to seeing. At least five passes hit wide receivers on the hands. If the ball hit your hands, then you better catch it. Everybody needs to just take a breath. The only offensive starters playing from snap one Friday were Baker, Rashard Higgins, and the offensive line. While the offense was sluggish, we did see some good things happen in the “dress rehearsal” Friday night.
The Fantastic Four
The Browns starting four of Myles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi, and Olivier Vernon were about as good as you could ask Friday night. They opened the game with two sacks in the first series and totaled five in the first half. Jameis Winston never got into a rhythm finishing nine of 19 for 88 yards. The potential of the Browns front four was on full display in this one. Browns fans may want to hang a ‘quarterbacks beware’ sign in the Dawg Pound.
Johnson has shown out in the last two preseason games and could make his way onto the 53 man roster. Over the first three preseason games, Johnson has a total of 344 all-purpose yards for an average of 114.6 per game. He can catch the ball out of the backfield while also providing explosiveness in the return game. The door is open with Kareem Hunt suspended and with Duke Johnson being dealt to the Texans. One more strong performance could be all it takes to land him on the Browns 53 man roster.
Coach Kitchens handed Seibert the kicking duties for the night in Tampa. He didn’t disappoint going 4/4 on field goals with a long of 54 yards. The kicking competition has been the biggest battle in camp. Seeing the fifth-round pick step up will make Dorsey and the rest of the front office happy. It also may build some confidence in the rookie kicker.
The Browns offense looked out of sync and unable to take advantage of good field position the entire first half. However, most of the starters sat Friday night. The starting defense was dominant with those five sacks and multiple tackles for loss in the first half. The specials teams had a strong performance including a partially blocked punt. If Austin Seifert can lock down the kicking game, the Browns look primed for the regular season. They had the right gameplan, and with a few better throws or more catches, they could have put up some more points. In the end, even with Mayfield a bit off, the Browns played good enough to win in the first half. Also in week one, they will have Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry catching those passes.