Quick Hits is my new series of short takes, probably typed from my phone, on topics I can’t find the time to write full articles on. If you want straight to the point analysis and commentary on a bunch of topics, this is the place to go.
If you’ve followed any of my Cavs and Indians stuff, you could probably ascertain that I’m also a Browns fan. (insert your choice of bullshit cliche punchline that I’ve heard 1,000 times already here). But, after last night’s pre-season win over the Giants, Browns fans woke up today with a real sense of optimism about the future. Several players and position groups looked to be much improved from last year, but the real bright spot was the obvious chemistry between controversial first-round QB Baker Mayfield and embattled, off-field controversy loving WR Antonio Callaway.
Mayfield had an objectively fantastic game for someone seeing his first NFL action. Sure, he was playing against mostly second-string guys, but most of them at least have NFL experience. Baker hadn’t taken a live NFL snap in his life, yet, even from the first drive, he didn’t look the least bit unprepared or unready for it. All of his throws had a beautiful tightness and sharpness to them. He extended several drives by picking up first downs with his feet. He spread the ball all over the field. It was not at all what Browns fans have gotten accustomed to seeing from our young QBs and it resulted in over 200 yards, 2 TDs, and a 125 QBR. Pretty damn impressive in my book.
Baker’s favorite target (by a long shot, really) proved to be fellow rookie Antonio Callaway. It’s no surprise, really, as most scouts believed Callaway to be a first-round talent. His issue was allegedly going to be his off-field issues, having most recently been involved in Florida’s credit card scam last year which cost him his entire junior season. Despite another run in with the law just days ago, Callaway still suited up and had a hell of a game. He made a beautiful catch while dragging both feet on the sideline, thrown by Mayfield, before ultimately hauling in this 54 yard TD, also from Mayfield:
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) August 10, 2018
As long as the kid can stop himself from going the way of Josh Gordon (who should be back soon, hopefully), Browns fans are going to have a passing game to be excited about for years to come.