Browns notes: Baker Mayfield says Lincoln Riley would fit in NFL

Mayfield focusing on remainder of season, not recruiting next head coach

Daryl Ruiter
October 31, 2018 - 6:32 pm
Bakler Mayfield Cleveland Browns

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley didn’t close the door on a leap to the NFL, despite saying he didn’t have the “itch” at the moment, when asked on Monday about the newly open Browns job.

On Wednesday his former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft Baker Mayfield was asked if Riley would be a fit in the NFL.

“All coaches are different. You have your guys like Gregg Williams, the fiery leaders, and then you have your guys that don't talk as much, and Lincoln's one of those guys,” Mayfield said. “But what it comes down to is the players trusting the coach, who's in charge and they have to believe in that, and without question, they have to follow him.

“I think his style would work, but that's just because of who he is. He's smart. He gets his guys to believe in him. And that's what it is. So does Gregg.”

Williams, who remains as the defensive coordinator on top of being the interim coach, will be leading Mayfield and the Browns the rest of the way but it appears unlikely he’ll earn the job full time in 2019.

So, will Mayfield recruit Riley to come coach him in Cleveland?

“I love Linc, but we have what we have,” Mayfield said. “He's doing his thing, and I'm doing mine. I'm not worried about that. Coach Williams is our head guy now. Freddie is our offensive coordinator, and we need to roll with that. We need to believe in that. We have the team that's capable of winning in that locker room, so we've got to trust that.”

Top pick material – Mayfield knows Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes well considering they almost ended up teammates in college and they also played one of the most incredible games ever – a 66-59 Oklahoma victory for Mayfield over Mahomes and Texas Tech in 2016.

Mahomes has taken the league by storm this season as Kansas City’s starting QB. He leads the NFL with 2,526 passing yards and 26 touchdowns this season.

“Not a surprise at all. He’s been very talented,” Mayfield said. “Everybody’s known that since he got to Texas Tech. I hosted pat when he was on his official visit and we knew what type of athlete he was, he’s a two-sport guy, has it in his genes, dad was a baseball player, can throw from any angle, can make plays and extend it. And he’s not easy to bring down, and I’ve seen that firsthand. He’s a big guy with a strong arm.”

Mayfield was asked Wednesday if he was surprised Mahomes, who was picked 10th overall in the 2017 draft, wasn’t the No. 1 selection last year.

“You know, talent-wise I thought he should’ve been,” Mayfield responded. “I love Myles but, no, coming from the Texas Tech system there’s always your skeptics, about people doubting the fact that all he did was sit back there and throw the ball. I mean he threw it 88 times in our game, but when it comes down to it, throwing the ball is throwing the ball and he’s really good at it.”

Support group – Kicker Greg Joseph got a bit of a pick me up from his teammates after missing 2 more kicks Sunday against the Steelers.

“It’s an immense amount [of support],” Joseph said. “They know what I can do. They know I’m here for a reason as well. Everyone has a bad game. We just gotta clean up some things and move on. I’m past it, way past it. It’s not a thought in my mind.”

Had Joseph made a 41-yard field goal early in the second quarter and a PAT in the third, the Browns could’ve been tied 16-16, but instead trailed 16-12 with 5:24 remaining in the third quarter before Pittsburgh pulled away in the second half.

Joseph is 6 of 8 on PATs and 6 of 10 on field goals in 6 games this season.

Cast off – Cornerback Terrance Mitchell is no longer wearing a cast on his right wrist.

Mitchell, who is on injured reserve but can be designated to return, broke the wrist in the second quarter of the 45-42 overtime loss at Oakland.

Under league rules concerning players designated to return from IR, Mitchell is required to miss 8 games meaning the earliest he could play again is against Carolina Dec. 9.  

Staff add – With Freddie Kitchens’ promotion to offensive coordinator, the Browns added former NFL quarterback Ryan Lindley as their running backs coach Wednesday.

Lindley, a graduate assistant at San Diego State the last 2 years, played 2 seasons for Kitchens, who served as Arizona’s quarterbacks coach from 2013-16, with the Cardinals.

Lindley also worked with Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Mitchell Trubisky prior to the NFL draft.

Injury report – Did not practice: WR Rashard Higgins (knee), S Damarious Randall (groin), LB Joe Schobert (hamstring), C JC Tretter (ankle)

Limited: TE David Njoku (knee), CB Tavierre Thomas (abdomen), WR Da’Mari Scott (shoulder)

Full: CB E.J. Gaines (concussion), RT Chris Hubbard (toe), RB Duke Johnson (back)