If I had to give the Browns receiving core (which includes the receivers, tight ends and occasionally running backs) a grade, then I would give them a C-.
The reason is that they have not been consistent enough to help Baker Mayfield. Although, in the first half of the Week 6 32-28 home loss against Seattle, it looked like the receivers were starting to get on the same page as Baker, by utilizing the short dink and dunk passing game which would set up long passing plays like the long throw to OBJ.
In the second half, that passing game seemed to evaporate and we were back to the same problem of the receivers and tight ends not being on the same page as Mayfield.
Now, I think part of the reasons that the receivers haven’t been able to get on the same page with Mayfield is because of the following:
Calloway’s four-game suspension, Njoku getting injured and not being able to play and Hunt being suspended the first eight games of the season. More importantly than any of those reasons is two overarching reasons. The first one is that the team didn’t get enough repetitions with each other in the preseason. The Browns were more worried about the players’ safety than their chemistry.
On one hand, this is the right decision because player safety is a very important part of the game. On the other hand, by not having the receiving core on the field with Mayfield consistently, they were never able to get on the same page, hence why you’re seeing the disconnect. The other reason is the coaching/play calling. When Freddie Kitchens was the offensive coordinator, he was designing creative plays such as the deep pass that he dialed up against the Panthers last season. This season, I haven’t seen that and so the offense hasn’t been as exciting. But, again, the reason that the receivers and Baker haven’t been on the same page is that they didn’t play together enough in the preseason.