Nick Chubb believes the Browns will make the playoffs in 2019(VIDEO)

There is a lot of excitement in Cleveland when it comes to talking about the Browns. First, the team won 7 games in 2018, which is the most since 2014. Next, they may have found their franchise QB in Baker Mayfield, who threw 27 touchdowns in 2018, which is the most by any rookie QB in NFL history. Furthermore, they have talent on defense with Pro Bowlers Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward. Finally, according to ESPN, the Browns are going to have close to $80 million in cap space in 2019, and a new head coach in Freddie Kitchens, who helped turn Cleveland’s offense around in the second half of the season after the team fired head coach Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley.

All these things are enough for Browns fans to have a lot of optimism in 2019, which is shared by their RB Nick Chubb. The rookie RB, who got the bulk of the carries after the team traded RB Carlos Hyde in October, and ran for close to a 1000 yards and eight rushing touchdowns in 2018, believes the Browns will take that next step and make the playoffs in 2019.

When asked by TMZ Sports if he believes the Browns will make the playoffs next season, Chubb said, “Yea, we will.”

The AFC North will probably be wide open next season. The Steelers have some internal issues going on, the Ravens have a good defense, but they’re questions on the offensive side of the ball, and the Bengals are the Bengals. So, If Mayfield is what he showed in 2018, and management improves the team even more in the offseason, the playoffs are a possibility, but the NFL is a weird league, and sometimes players don’t develop and take that next step, or sometimes injuries derail things, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Video/courtesy: TMZ Sports

 

 

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Damien Woody to Baker Mayfield: Why you worried about Hue Jackson?(VIDEO)

Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns got a little revenge on their former head coach Hue Jackson on Sunday as the Browns dominated the Bengals 35-20 in Cincinnati. Mayfield did his part by throwing for 258 yards and four touchdowns.

Jackson joined the Bengals coaching staff as a special assistant after getting fired by Cleveland back in October. Unfortunately for the Bengals, he was not much help against the Browns on Sunday.

After the game, Mayfield barely shook Jackson’s hand and had this to say about his former coach:

Today, former NFL player and ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody had this to say to Mayfield:

In the end, Jackson has to make a living. The Browns fired him. Therefore, he needed a job, and he found it. You can’t begrudge a man for wanting to make a living for him and his family — something the 23-year-old Mayfield might not know too much about at this stage of his life.

Ex-Brown Byner: ‘You wonder what was the process or what made them bring Hue (Jackson) back’

After winning only three games in two and half seasons, the Browns finally decided to part ways with head coach Hue Jackson on Monday. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named the interim coach. Also, Cleveland fired offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Jackson was hired by the Browns in 2016 and compiled a record of 3-36-1.

The Browns have shown some promise this season, but at times they have been shaky, including yesterday as they were beaten up by the Steelers 33-18 at Heinz Field.

Former Browns RB Earnest Byner is a little confused about the decision to bring Jackson back only to fire him after eight games.

“You wonder what was the process that they went through, especially when they hired (John)Dorsey when they had maybe four or five games left last year,” Byner told TMZ Sports. “You wonder what was the process or what made them bring Hue back, especially after going through so much losing.”

While Byner is fond of Jackson, he believes that the firing was justified.

“You look at the record, a lot of people say he should have been gone after the first year, after the second year, and when you play a game the way they did yesterday, I didn’t like how that team looked, like a lot of people,” Byner said. “I never want to see someone lose a job. You’d have to say this firing has been earned.”

Jackson did deserve to get fired, but If the Browns were not going to give Jackson a full season, why bring him back? With a new quarterback in Baker Mayfield and a new GM in John Dorsey, the Browns should have just started over at the end of last season.

Jim Brown believes Cleveland can win the AFC North

The city of Cleveland is rocking right now after the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft Baker Mayfield helped lead the team to their first victory since 2016 when the Browns beat the Jets last Thursday night.

Many were surprised when the Browns picked Mayfield number one, including Hall of Famer and former Browns great Jim Brown, who has high praise for the former Oklahoma star:

“You have to understand that the administration drafted this young man number one,” Brown told TMZ Sports. “They had a reason for doing that. We are starting to recognize why now, right? He’s a gunslinger, he can throw the ball; he’s got a great attitude, he’s young. I like everything about him.”

Before the draft, Brown wanted Cleveland to draft RB Saquon Barkley, who was selected number two by the Giants after Mayfield, but Brown is happy that the Browns did not listen to him:

“They picked him because they had confidence in their ability to judge probably character and the talent,” Brown said. “And they didn’t go with what everybody said, including myself. They went with what they thought was correct, and I really appreciate being able to say to them, ‘Well, I guess you were right. It’s only been a couple of games, but I know you’re right.’ So, I give them my apology for not understanding how brilliant they were to pick a guy number one, and have it come out this way.”

Brown is so excited about Mayfield that he believes the Browns can make the playoffs this season.

When asked by TMZ Sports if Cleveland can win the AFC North, Brown had this to say:

“Absolutely!”

At this point, it seems the AFC North is fairly wide open, and if Mayfield can continue to play well, the playoffs are a possibility. However, Mayfield is a rookie, and sometimes young players can be inconsistent. Therefore, it’s hard to have complete trust in Mayfield.

We’ll see if Mayfield can keep the magic going against the Raiders on Sunday.

 

Jets-Browns: Highest rated Thursday night game on NFL Network since 2015

NFL Network’s telecast of Thursday Night Football between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, which featured the professional debut of number one pick Baker Mayfield against number three pick Sam Darnold, averaged a 5.2 US HH rating and over 8.6 million overall P2+ viewers ranking as the network’s highest rated and most-watched exclusive Thursday night game since December of 2015 (MIN@ARI, 12/10/15; 5.47 US HH rating / 8.74M P2+ viewers).

Overall, the game was up +17% in US HH rating and up +16% in overall P2+ viewership compared to NFL Network’s Week 3 Thursday Night Football game from 2017 (LAR@SF: 4.4 US HH rating / 7.5M P2+ viewers).

With Cleveland down 14-0, Mayfield entered the game at the end of the first half and ultimately led the Browns to a 21-17 victory. The game peaked at 10.3M viewers during the game’s final six minutes (11:30p-11:36p).

Compared to NFL Network’s seven exclusive Thursday Night Football games in 2017, the Jets-Browns was up +43% in US HH rating and up +41% in overall P2+ viewership (3.6 US HH rating / 6.1M P2+ viewers).

The Jets-Browns game outperformed last week’s Thursday Night Football game by +24% in US HH rating and +22% overall P2+ viewership (BAL@CIN; 4.2 US HH rating / 7.1M P2+ viewers).

The 2018 Thursday Night Football Presented by Bud Light season continues Thursday, September 27 when the Minnesota Vikings visit the Los Angeles Rams. The game will be broadcast on FOX, simulcast on NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, and distributed digitally to a global audience on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital properties, FOX Sports digital properties, and Yahoo Sports on mobile devices. Coverage from Los Angeles begins at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network with NFL GameDay Kickoff.

 

Dede Westbrook on Mayfield: ‘If you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup’

The number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft QB Baker Mayfield is expected to make his preseason debut on Thursday night against the Giants. While Browns QB Tyrod Taylor is expected to be the starter for Cleveland in 2018, Mayfield is expected to be the franchise quarterback moving forward. Cleveland has started 28 different quarterbacks since 1999.

Some have questioned the Brown’s decision to draft the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner number one, but according to one of his former teammates at Oklahoma, Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, the Browns made the right move:

“Big-time plays. Baker’s a baller. I’m not just saying that because I played with him,”  Westbrook told the Go4it podcast host Paul Gant. “I took a step back, and I was trying to see what all the critics were saying. Trying to see what they see. You ask me after watching the tape and watching him play, he’s a passionate guy who loves the game of football, and regardless of anything me and him have ever been through, he’s a baller. He knows how to win, so if you pretty much want to win football games, that’s the guy you need in your lineup.”

High praise from Westbrook. Mayfield, 23, made a lot of plays in college, but some have questioned whether his height(6’1) could be an issue on the next level, and some have questioned whether he will be an issue off the field after his arrest in 2017, but he is young and young people make mistakes.

Mayfield is not a slam dunk pick for the Browns, but the organization thinks he is the right guy. Hopefully, for Browns fans, he is more Bernie Kosar and less Johnny Manziel.

 

2018 NFL Draft notes from Round 1

In a surprise move, the Cleveland choose former Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield number one in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Here are some notes from the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

QUINTET OF QBSFive quarterbacks – Oklahoma’s BAKER MAYFIELD (No. 1 overall, Cleveland), USC’s SAM DARNOLD (No. 3, New York Jets), Wyoming’s JOSH ALLEN (No. 7, Buffalo), UCLA’s JOSH ROSEN(No. 10, Arizona) and Louisville’s LAMAR JACKSON (No. 32, Baltimore) – were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

It marks the third time that at least five quarterbacks have been selected in the Draft’s opening round since the inception of the common draft in 1967. The 1983 NFL Draft holds the record with six quarterbacks selected in the first round, including Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN ELWAYJIM KELLY and DAN MARINO.

The four quarterbacks selected in the top ten – Mayfield, Darnold, Allen and Rosen – are the most in a single draft since the inception of the common draft era in 1967.

THE NFL DRAFTS WITH THE MOST QUARTERBACKS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND
(since 1967)

1983 6 (John Elway*, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly*, Tony Eason, Ken O’Brien, Dan Marino*)
2018 5 (Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson)
1999 5 (Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, Cade McNown)
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

HEISMAN QBSThe Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma QB BAKER MAYFIELD with the first overall pick and the Baltimore Ravens chose Louisville quarterback LAMAR JACKSON with the 32nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Mayfield, who won the Heisman in 2017, and Jackson, who won the award in 2016, are the third pair of Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks to be selected in the same draft since 1967.

THE NFL DRAFTS WITH MULTIPLE HEISMAN TROPHY WINNING QUARTERBACKS SELECTED
(since 1967)

YEAR NAME COLLEGE NO. CHOSEN TEAM
2018 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma 1 Cleveland
  Lamar Jackson Louisville 32 Baltimore
2015 Jameis Winston Florida State 1 Tampa Bay
  Marcus Mariota Oregon 2 Tennessee
2010 Sam Bradford Oklahoma 1 St. Louis
  Tim Tebow Florida 25 Denver

 

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

FOOTBALL IS FAMILYLB TREMAINE EDMUNDS (No. 16, Buffalo) and S TERRELL EDMUNDS (No. 28, Pittsburgh) are the first pair of brothers to be selected in the first round of the same NFL Draft.

Tremaine and Terrell’s brother, TREY EDMUNDS, is a running back for the New Orleans Saints. Their father, FERRELL EDMUNDS, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end during his seven-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. 

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

TOP BACKSThe New York Giants selected Penn State RB SAQUON BARKLEY with the second choice of the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley’s selection marks the third consecutive draft in which a running back was chosen in the top five, tied for the third-longest such streak in the common draft era.

Barkley is the highest running back selected since REGGIE BUSH in 2006 (No. 2 overall, New Orleans).

THE MOST CONSECUTIVE NFL DRAFTS WITH A RUNNING BACK SELECTED IN THE TOP FIVE

(SINCE 1967)

DRAFTS YEARS
5 1974-78
4 1998-2001
3 2016-18*
3 1993-95
*Active streak

— 2018 NFL DRAFT — 

TEAMMATES IN THE TRENCHESNotre Dame offensive linemen QUENTON NELSON (No. 6, Indianapolis) and MIKE MC GLINCHEY (No. 9, San Francisco) are the third pair of offensive line teammates from the same college to each be selected in the top ten of the NFL Draft since 1967.

THE NFL DRAFTS WITH OFFENSIVE LINE TEAMMATES SELECTED IN THE TOP 10
(since 1967)

YEAR NAME COLLEGE NO. CHOSEN TEAM
2018 Quenton Nelson Notre Dame 6 Indianapolis
  Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame 9 San Francisco
1991 Charles McRae Tennessee 7 Tampa Bay
  Antone Davis Tennessee 8 Philadelphia
1968 Ron Yary* USC 1 Minnesota
  Mike Taylor USC 10 Pittsburgh
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

BOOMING BUCKEYESOhio State CB DENZEL WARD was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the fourth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, marking the fifth Buckeye defensive back to be drafted in the first round since 2016.

Ohio State becomes the first school in the common draft era to have five defensive backs selected in the first round over a three-year span.

THE OHIO STATE DEFENSIVE BACKS SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PAST THREE NFL DRAFTS

YEAR NAME NO. CHOSEN TEAM
2018 Denzel Ward 4 Cleveland
2017 Marshon Lattimore 11 New Orleans
2017 Malik Hooker 15 Indianapolis
2017 Gareon Conley 24 Oakland
2016 Eli Apple 10 New York Giants

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

ROLL TIDE: Alabama DB MINKAH FITZPATRICK (No. 11 overall, Miami), DT DA’RON PAYNE (No. 13, Washington), LB RASHAAN EVANS (No. 22, Tennessee) and WR CALVIN RIDLEY (No. 26, Atlanta) were each selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Crimson Tide, who have had at least one player selected in the first round in each of the past 10 drafts, passed Florida (1983-91) for the second-longest consecutive streak of players drafted in the first round since the advent of the common draft in 1967.

Miami (1995-2008) holds the longest streak with 14 consecutive drafts having at least one player selected in the first round.

THE LONGEST CONSECUTIVE STREAK WITH AT LEAST ONE PLAYER SELECTED IN THE FIRST ROUND

YEAR SCHOOL CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH A FIRST-ROUND PICK
1995-2008 Miami 14
2009-2018 Alabama 10*
1983-1991 Florida 9
*Active streak

— 2018 NFL DRAFT —

QUICK HITSOther items of note from tonight’s first round…

  • USC’s SAM DARNOLD and UCLA’s JOSH ROSEN became the first pair of quarterbacks from the same conference to be selected in the top ten since the 2012 NFL Draft (Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill of the Big 12).
  • North Carolina State DE BRADLEY CHUBB (No. 5 overall, Denver) is the third player in school history to be selected with a top-five pick in the common draft era, joining DE Mario Williams (No. 1, 2006) and QB Philip Rivers (No. 4, 2004).
  • Georgia’s ROQUAN SMITH was selected eighth overall by the Chicago Bears. Smith became the fifth defensive player from Georgia to be selected with a top-ten pick in the common draft era, joining Leonard Floyd (2016), Johnathan Sullivan (2003), Richard Seymour (2001) and Champ Bailey (1999).
  • Tackles MIKE MC GLINCHEY (No. 9 overall, San Francisco) and KOLTON MILLER (No. 15, Oakland) were both selected in the first round. At least two offensive tackles have been selected in the first round of 12 consecutive NFL Drafts and in 27 of the past 28 drafts dating back to 1991.
  • With the selections of Arkansas C FRANK RAGNOW (No. 20 overall, Detroit) and Ohio State C BILLY PRICE (No. 21, Cincinnati), the 2018 NFL Draft marks the fifth time in NFL Draft history that multiple centers were selected in the first round of a single draft and the first time since 2009 (Alex Mack and Eric Wood).
  • San Diego State RB RASHAAD PENNY (No. 27 overall, Seattle) is the second running back in school history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the common draft era, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK, who was selected No. 2 overall by Indianapolis in 1994.
  • UCF DB MIKE HUGHES (No. 30 overall, Minnesota) is the first defensive player in school history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.