Cleveland Browns stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield haven’t been able to link up in a real NFL game yet — even preseason for that matter.
With Beckham missing both joint practice sessions against the Indianapolis Colts this week dealing with what’s being described as a minor hip injury, all of his reps with Mayfield have come exclusively in practice against their own teammates. He also missed the first preseason game and is likely to miss the second on Saturday against the Colts as well.
But the chemistry between the two is evident nearly every time OBJ opens his mouth and gushes about his new QB.
The latest instance came on Thursday, when Beckham was speaking to the media about if he would be on the field for Week 1 against the Titans and if the chemistry with Mayfield was suffering because of the missed time.
“We talk every day,” Beckham said. “We talk football. We talk about just the little ins and outs of football. Even when I’m watching him make other throws, I’m still coming to ask him what is it that you’re seeing.
“So it’s not something I’m worried about. It’s two competitive, fiery people, just the way that he is, I don’t want to let him down. So I’m going to do everything in my power to be exactly where I need to be when I need to be there and, as I’ve seen already, he’s going to deliver that ball.”
Odell Beckham, Baker Mayfield Carry Similar Swagger
Beckham came over to the Browns via a blockbuster trade in March from the Giants. The move ended his rocky relationship with quarterback Eli Manning, which spiraled nearly out of control toward the end of his tenure.
Beckham even did a bizarre interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson — which featured Lil Wayne as OBJ’s sidekick — where the star pass-catcher criticized Manning’s ability to get out of the pocket and go down field.
“Like I said, I feel like he’s not going to get out the pocket,” Beckham said. “We know Eli’s not running. But is it a matter of time can you still throw it? Yeah. And it’s been cool catching a shallow and taking it to the house but I want to go over the top of somebody.”
It’s an entirely different story with Mayfield, who plays with a similar chip on his shoulder and swagger in his game as OBJ does.
Beckham has embraced that style of leadership.
“I was around him a lot during the offseason,” Beckham said. “We would go out to eat. We would do all that. But to be able to see him in his element in football, I love the leader he is. I love his attitude, his swagger. I love all that about him. It’s what made him, him.
“I had heard something [Kitchens] said: [Mayfield is] one of those people who had been told no all his life, so he wants to show you yes. It’s similar for me, so I understand him. That’s why I say I don’t really want to let him down. He’s somebody who’s worked to get to where they’re at and who was doubted pretty much all their life, so I understand him. I get him.”
Will Odell Beckham be Ready for Week 1?
Beckham said the injury was “nothing” and responded with a nod when asked if he would play through the injury if it was a game that counts rather than just the second preseason game.
“I’m too competitive to be out here and not go 110 [percent],” Beckham told reporters. “I don’t know any other way. But I also don’t like being out here and not being able to go. So it’s tough, but you just trust their plan. It’s really all I can do.”
It’s uncertain how much the Browns starters will play against the Colts on Saturday. In a 30-10 win against the Redskins in Week 1 of the preseason, Mayfield and most of the starters saw just a series. Both Beckham and Landry — the team’s top two wide receivers — did not play.