Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield sought out his star receivers on the field last week, after throwing a touchdown to tight end Harrison Bryant, putting his arms around Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. and saying: “I love you boys. Be patient. I love you.”
The words mattered, since it’s not apparent from their play-calling or production, as the Browns have the league’s 30th-ranked passing game with a pair of high-profile wideouts.
“Yeah, of course [it was appreciated],” Landry said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He has awareness. He understands just as well I am sure as everybody on this call or everybody that watches our games understands, guys want the ball. There’s no question about that.”
The Browns have completed just 53 passes in three games, with Landry catching 12 of them and Beckham 11.
But the way they’re running the ball, and winning, has put them in accepting state of mind. Landry said they were “embracing our role as blockers,” and Beckham also downplayed the lean away from the passing game.
“We’re just finding ways to win right now, to be honest,” Beckham said. “It is like you play basketball and someone is right-handed and you can’t force them to go left. Why would you even go left? That is what I always say. We are just doing what works right now and what is getting us wins.”
What’s working at the moment is Nick Chubb and the running game, but the fact Mayfield feels compelled to keep his receivers encouraged underscores the concern for keeping his big-name receivers on board.