But Mayfield’s hoping last week’s 43-yard touchdown pass is the start of changing the conversation.
“Yeah, I think so,” Mayfield said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We had a few more completions last Thursday so just continue to build that, get the ball in his hands and let him make plays.”
Beckham finished the game with four catches for 74 yards, but the way the Browns were able to run on the Bengals (215 rushing yards and three touchdowns), there was a lot less pressure on him.
Beckham was targeted six times last week, most on the team. After adding tight end Austin Hooper to the mix with veteran wideout Jarvis Landry, the distribution of targets will be something to watch this season. Mayfield said he’s simply believing in coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, hoping the division of labor takes care of itself.
“I would say yes [it’s tough] but that’s something in the offseason just knowing to trust the system, go through my reads, not try and force the ball, get it in those guys’ hands and trust that we have everybody around the field that I can trust to do that,” Mayfield said. “They can go out there and make plays. . . . AVP and Stefanski have said many times to trust that their play calling will get the ball in guys’ hands to get them going, and I just do my job.”
Last week, that included having Beckham making a big play, the kind the Browns need.