Browns notes: Baker Mayfield continues to impress with live arm

Center JC Tretter is back in a boot, another award handed out, 2019 cap update

Daryl Ruiter
December 11, 2018 - 6:03 pm

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) Every week Baker Mayfield seems to show off something new in his game.

In Sunday’s 26-20 win over Carolina, it was the strength of his arm – in cold weather.

With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, Mayfield threw a pair of rockets deep – the first was a 66-yard completion to Breshad Perriman on the first offensive snap of the day and he later unloaded a 51-yard touchdown to Jarvis Landry.

“I am trusting Jarvis to make that play. Obviously, Breshad creates space for himself. Just putting it up there for him to make a play,” Mayfield said. “That makes it easy for me. To see those, it builds trust. Next time, I am trusting those same guys to make plays.”

Mayfield apparently picked up in practice Tuesday where he left off on Sunday with the deep throws.

“Today it was off the charts,” interim head coach Gregg Williams said. “He had a live day on Sunday, but came back today and it looked like it was even more live today.”

Mayfield credits the work they do in practice for the success on deep balls more than he credits his arm strength.

“I think you just become more accurate and trusting those guys letting the deep balls go and where to put it,” Mayfield said. “It might seem like it is getting better, but that is just chemistry.”

Even Rashard Higgins, who admitted that it’s hard for Mayfield to impress him because he sees it every day, was impressed Sunday – especially on the TD to Landry into double coverage.

“It impresses me that he put it on the money,” Higgins said. “To throw a ball that far and to put it right on the money, man, it really did impress me.”

Play through pain – Center J.C. Tretter is back in a walking boot after his sprained left ankle got stepped on again Sunday, which isn’t the first time that’s happened since he originally suffered Oct. 14 against the Chargers.

“We strung a few good weeks together before this last week and I was feeling pretty good going into the last game, then sometimes it gets re-rolled up on and you kind of half to start the process back over again,” Tretter said. “We’ve been through it, it’s happened a few times, Pittsburgh, last week, in Cincinnati a few times we’ve been rolled up, but we’ll start the process over again and go through it.”

Despite the painful injury Tretter has not missed a snap this season, although he came close against the Panthers when he hobbled to the sidelines following a third down.

“I’m still having fun,” Tretter said. “Obviously it’s painful sometimes but it’s still fun to be out there and play with your team and play with your brothers and go out there and battle. And obviously, we’re having some really good results right now as a team, so it’s something you want to be a part of. You want to be a part of turning this team and this organization around, and that’s why you keep playing.”

Tretter’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed within the locker room either.

“It just shows that guys want to do what they can to help the team win games,” safety Damarious Randall said. “Whenever you have guys like that in the locker room, it spreads. Guys will play through different types of bumps and bruises that will help us win games on Sundays.”

Popular guy – Williams is one of the most popular coaches in the NFL among his former players, at least if you ask him.

“I talk to and I believe that I have been a mentor to an awful lot of people,” Williams said. “I think I teased you guys early on that on Father’s Day – how many phone calls or texts do you get? I get 500 or 600 every year. Now, over 2,000 NFL players that I have coached. On Father’s Day, I get tons and tons. My phone just blows up.”

Cap bump – The NFL informed teams the projections for the 2019 salary cap will range between $187.0 million to $191.1 million, marking the sixth straight year the cap will increase more than $10 million.

This year’s cap was $177.2 million.

According to the most recent figures from the NFL Players Association, the Browns currently have $56,786,174 in salary cap room and unused room can be carried over into the 2019 league year.

Ed Block Courage award – Cornerback Terrance Mitchell was voted by his teammates as their 2018 Ed lock Courage award recipient.

The annual award is given to a member of each of the 32 NFL teams who exemplifies the qualities of Ed Block, the former head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, based on courage, compassion, commitment and community.

“That is a lot of love,” Mitchell said. “It makes me really appreciate my teammates for them to even think that way about me. That was a blessing. I love my team. I love this organization.”

Mitchell returned from injured reserve last week in the 26-20 win over the Panthers after suffering a broken right wrist Sept. 30 at Oakland.

High school coach of the year – Kirtland’s Tiger LaVerde was named the Browns High School Football Coach of the Year during Sunday’s win over Carolina.

LaVerde, who led Kirtland to a perfect 15-0 season and his fourth Division VI state championship, will represent the Browns at the Pro Bowl as Cleveland’s Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year nominee.

Injury report – DNP: CB Denzel Ward (concussion), C JC Tretter (ankle), TE Orson Charles (ankle), DT Larry Ogunjobi (bicep), OL Austin Corbett (foot)

Limited: DB Phillip Gaines (knee)

Full: CB Justin Burris (shoulder), LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), CB Terrance Mitchell (wrist), TE David Njoku (knee), LB Joe Schobert (knee), DB Tavierre Thomas (abdomen), DL Brian Price (Achilles)