The Browns started the team’s first preseason game on Thursday night with a torrid pace, simulating a two-minute drill. It ended with Baker Mayfield finding Rashard Higgins on a 24-yard pass over the middle of the field for a touchdown. In all, Cleveland drove down the field in a little over two minutes, going 89 yards.
Quarterbacks coach Ryan Lindley revealed that they had informed the Redskins that they were going to start the game in that kind of fast-paced, no-huddle look.
“We let them know pre-game,’’ said Lindley. “That was the deal. In preseason, we didn’t necessarily want to go blitzkrieg on and catch them off guard. I don’t know how it went down. I just know we talked about like, ‘hey, you know, the referees knew, the other team knew and everybody was on board.’’
Baker Mayfield Shines in Only Series Against Redskins
The first drive was Baker Mayfield’s only series and he went 5 of 6 for 77 yards and the TD before trading in his helmet for a hat the rest of the way. Lindley noted it meant just a little more knowing the Redskins were somewhat prepared and still succeeding.
“The regular season, obviously we’d be ‘let’s catch them off guard and let’s roll. Let’s get them on their heels and knock them down.’ But for us, we want to work it. We want to work against a guy who knows what he’s doing and knows what they’re expecting.
“When you’re rolling like that, as long as we execute and we’re in the right spots and we got the quarterback making the right decisions, we shouldn’t be stopped.”
Browns Don’t ‘Risk’ Putting Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry on Field
Adding to the degree of difficulty on the opening drive was that the team’s new No. 1 receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry weren’t on the field. The duo rested for the outing. Head coach Freddie Kitchens noting post game it wasn’t worth the “risk.”
“They have been trying to fight through a couple of minor things, nothing to write home about, per se,” Kitchens said. “No reason.”
Without his top options, Mayfield didn’t miss a beat. His first pass against the Redskins fell incomplete and never missed again. Lindley saw pleased to see the second-year QB run the team’s two-minute offense to perfection.
“Save for the first play, he was a little amped up which he can be, he probably was a little quick throwing that one to Derrick,” he said. “If he puts that on him, it’s pretty much picture-perfect how you want him to run a no-huddle drive. We said, ‘hey, let’s let’s try and get it done in two minutes on the clock. Another thing we didn’t take into account obviously, with clock-stoppage rules, we got out of bounds that one play, they still rolled the clock. So we got it done in two minutes and 13 seconds. If you take that into account. I mean, we’re probably just under that in a normal two-minute situation.”