Baker Mayfield says Browns need to 'force-feed' Odell Beckham Jr. early in games
The former Giants star has had a relatively quiet debut season in Cleveland
Not much has gone right for the Cleveland Browns in 2019 despite lofty expectations coming into the season, and that includes quarterback Baker Mayfield's connection with star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Acquired in a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants during the offseason, Beckham has caught at least five passes in three straight games, but he's also lacked the kind of big plays that have defined his career. The three-time Pro Bowler went off in Week 2 thanks to a 161-yard performance against the New York Jets, but since then he's topped 100 yards just once, averaging 57 receiving yards per game in the last six weeks.
Mayfield, who's had his own struggles in a lousy follow-up to his breakout rookie campaign of 2018, told reporters Wednesday that Beckham's transition to Cleveland was never going to be easy, then suggested the team should "force-feed" No. 13 moving forward.
"I think people have this picture-perfect thing where it was going to be sunshine and rainbows and he was going to have a whole lot of one-on-ones," Mayfield said. "It's Odell Beckham. He's going to have double coverage. We have to find ways to format things to get him the ball and force-feed him early on to where he can make an impact before we can have the perfect look to give him a shot play. And I think that's something we learned the hard way, but I think as the weeks have gone on, we'll continue to improve on how to get the ball to him."
Mayfield, Beckham and the Browns (2-6) are running out of time to turn things around. Third in the AFC North, they've lost four straight and will be up against the Buffalo Bills (6-2) on Sunday.
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