With the Browns’ practice center closed at least until the end of the month due to the coronavirus epidemic, Mayfield invited some of his receptors and relatives to his hometown of Austin, Texas, to practice.
Those showing this week included receivers Rashard Higgins and Damion Ratley and bar relatives David Njoku and Austin Hooper, according to league sources. Higgins, who signed again with the Browns just two weeks ago, left his Dallas hometown earlier this week.
A source said that Hooper, whom the Browns had signed this off-season with the Atlanta Falcons, had actually started the rally by telling Mayfield that he wanted to go to Austin to pick up his passes. After Hooper reached out, Mayfield invited the rest of his pass-catchers.
Starting debaters Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, who are both rehabilitating themselves from off-season surgery, did not make the trip.
Last off-season, Mayfield worked with his receivers in California before training camp.
The Browns face the challenge of learning a new pattern from each other via the NFL-mandated offseason. With Cleveland’s hiring of coach Kevin Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt during this off-season, Mayfield has been playing for his fourth head coach and offensive coordinator since being selected first in the 2018 draft.
“We are going to expose some things in which we want it to improve. We are going to tell him things in which he is really good and double up and we hope he will take a step forward like the rest of our players. “Stefanski said of Mayfield in an interview with ESPN Cleveland on April 28. “I think we’ve added a few things to the attacking side of the ball, which can only help develop a young quarterback. We are going to work as hard as possible with this kid. We will keep our thumb on it. “
After finishing second in the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year vote, Mayfield struggled last season as the Browns finished 6-10. To better support Mayfield in its third season, the new Browns’ regime led by first-year general manager Andrew Berry has taken several notable steps, including the signing of Hooper and right forward Jack Conklin. The Browns used the 10th draft pick last month from Aledama’s Jedrick Wills Jr., who is expected to take over in the left tackle.
“It’s just a matter of the players who are up to the task,” said Stefanski. “I think Baker has done this throughout his life. He won in high school. He won college and won a few games in the NFL. … I have a lot of confidence in Baker, but I’m not going to speak and neither will it be. It will be a matter of hard work on the part of Baker, our coaches and all of our offense. “