The last time I played quarterback was in 4th grade for a flag football team. Thus, I am not exactly an expert on the position itself, but I do know a bit from watching the Browns and Buckeyes all of these years.
My understanding is that a quarterback goes through his progressions on each passing play. Thus, he drops back and looks to the primary receiver (OBJ). If he is not open, then to the secondary receiver (Landry). Then, (Callaway) and so on and so forth.
The key is that the receiver has to be open to get the ball thrown his way, or else it could end up getting intercepted or at least batted away. That’s “Football 101.”
Quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Browns are currently running with this idea of “force-feeding” the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. and frankly, I do not like it.
Now, looking to OBJ first on most pass plays is smart. However, if he is not open, it would be ill-advised to just chuck it his way to appease him. That will result in turnovers and horrible plays.
A big thing in really all sports is pleasing the star.
The Cavs found that out with LeBron…twice. The Indians are going to have to do it with Frankie Lindor and upcoming contract negotiations. With Odell, it hasn’t gone as planned this first half of the first season.
His stats so far are 39 catches, 575 yards and a touchdown.
It has been a struggle for Baker to get on the same page with OBJ, Landry or really anyone this season.
In summation, the key is to always look for OBJ, but don’t just throw it to throw it because that will result in turnovers and make everything even worse than it already is. Yes, give the guy a chance to make plays because he will. However, there is a reason more than one wideout is on the field.
The best quarterbacks do a fantastic job of spreading the ball, keeping the defense on its toes and thus moving the chains in that sense.
I want OBJ to have success in Cleveland.
I like his style and moxie. There is simply a fine line between forcing the ball to him or making the smart read each play.
Baker hasn’t done either and it shows.
This week, the Browns host the 6-2 Bills at First Energy Stadium. It would be a great time for Baker and company to implement this idea of getting the ball to the right receiver at the right time.
Each week, it was a math problem to see how many games the Browns had to win in order to make the playoffs here in 2019. Now, it may almost be figuring it out for next season.
Yes, the team could technically make the playoffs if they rip off eight wins in a row, but I would bet that isn’t going to happen.
Mayfield must focus on getting on the same page with his receivers. The rest will come as this year progresses into 2020.