Browns' Baker Mayfield Says Odell Beckham Jr. Targets Must Come 'Naturally'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) stands on the sideline with Odell Beckham Jr. (13) during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he can't force the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. after the star wide receiver finished Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens with just three catches for 22 yards. 

Mayfield explained his view of the situation during his media session Tuesday:

"I think it has to come naturally. Obviously, you game-plan and you scheme up things to get the balls in your playmaker's hands. But then when it comes to game time they're gonna give us certain looks that might take that away. We had a couple plays for him early on and the Ravens did a good job of taking that away, so we had to go through the reads and get the ball in other guys' hands.

"So when it comes to game time, yeah you can practice, practice, practice and you might have a certain look all week in practice, but then come game time they might show you a different thing and you gotta react and play, and just move on. It's gotta come naturally."

OBJ said the Ravens "beat the s--t out of us" and explained it's "not feasible" for him to microanalyze the quarterback's decisions:

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Beckham did have 10 targets in the 38-6 loss, but the three-time Pro Bowl selection still failed to make much of an impact.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday he "definitely" thinks Mayfield and his top target will get on the same page quickly but credited Baltimore for its defensive approach.

"We didn't connect obviously as much as we'd like to," Stefanski told reporters. "It's a combination of things. You have to really start with them (the Ravens) and give them credit. They made some plays. A couple balls, I'm sure Baker wants back. A couple of routes, I'm sure Odell wants back."

Cleveland doesn't have a ton of time to get its passing game back on track, as it's back in action Thursday night when it hosts the AFC North-rival Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.