ATLANTA — Sunday night’s preseason finale might not have meant much when it came to the result — the Browns won, 19-10, but Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was excited to get out there.
“I thought Baker was sharp, he was really sharp through warm-ups,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “He was very excited to play.”
Stefanski said Mayfield didn’t push him to play in the game, but knows his quarterback loves to compete.
“I just think Baker’s such a competitor,” Stefanski said. “So he loves to go out there and compete against the team and so it was good to get them out there.”
Mayfield thought it was important to go through the process of getting ready to start a game.
“For an 8 p.m. game especially, the mental preparation and waiting around the hotel and getting ready to go, you have to get used to that,” he said. “So, that was good for me to get that under my belt and to get to feel that routine again.”
Then there’s the playing football part.
“Yeah, I was excited,” Mayfield said. “Anytime I get to play football, I’m excited.”
Kicker Chase McLaughlin has the Browns kicking job right in front of him, but these things are never easy. He hit kicks from 32 and 28 yards on Sunday night but pinged a 57-yarder at the end of the first half off the crossbar. Then he missed an extra point after Davion Davis caught a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Stefanski remained coy when asked if he was comfortable with McLaughlin as his kicker.
“I will tell you all these guys are working very hard,” he said. “He’s competing for a spot, and I know he had that miss, but he’s done a nice job in camp. Again we value those practice reps the joint practice reps, the game reps, it’s all of it.”
Demetric Felton showed off his versatility
We know Felton has been working as both a running back and a receiver throughout camp and the preseason. Sunday night, he got to show off his kick returning.
Felton returned a second-quarter kickoff for 37 yards.
“It was definitely huge,” Felton said. “I’m definitely not satisfied, I want to score, but I feel like I showed that I could handle that and that’s pretty much all I wanted to do this camp is show the coaches that I’m able to handle a lot of things on my plate.”
Two plays later, Felton broke off a 15-yard run. He also returned a punt on Sunday night for 11 yards.
“We got a steal on him getting him late,” Mayfield said, “and he’s just a good athlete.”
KhaDarel Hodge makes his case
Hodge is battling for one of the few wide receiver spots on the roster and he caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield on the Browns’ second offensive series. It was the second week in a row Hodge hauled in a touchdown pass.
“My confidence right now is through the roof,” Hodge said after the game.
“He’s a constant guy no matter what’s going on,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said. “He provides so much to our special teams, part of this unit as well. He’s making plays consistently, obviously. He doesn’t get a lot of recognition but he does a lot of the dirty work.”
Hodge, for his part, said he can’t worry about his future on the roster or where he might end up.
“As long as I end up somewhere, that would be great. It could be here. It could be elsewhere,” he said. “But that’s not what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about just going out there, playing ball and doing what I know I can do.”
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