The Cleveland Browns didn’t get the result they wanted against the Tennessee Titans, losing 43-13 and looking terrible in the process.
Odell Beckham had a so-so debut, but did put to bed any concerns about his health.
Baker Mayfield and OBJ got off to a quick start, connecting four times for 30 yards in the first quarter. However, the entire Browns offense went on a lull follow a strong opening touchdown drive.
Beckham finished with seven grabs for 71 yards on 11 targets.
Baker Mayfield tossed three picks — including a late pick-six — while collecting 285 yards and one touchdown on a pass to tight end David Njoku.
Beckham arrived in Cleveland this offseason via a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants. With a clean slate and a fresh start, Beckham was eager to get back to football and to put the dramatics of New York behind him.
“I just see the potential of this team,” Beckham said at mandatory minicamp. “But we’ve got to put the work in. I feel something in the air, something special that Cleveland hasn’t had in awhile and I’m happy to be a part of that.”
If Sunday’s result against the Titans is any indication, the Browns have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball so they can be considered a contender.
Odell Beckham Puts Any Injury Concerns Behind Him
Beckham missed the preseason and a good chunk of training camp dealing with a hip injury that he said has had kept him from opening up fully.
“Especially with what I’ve had going on, I’ve been kind of afraid to just open up,’’ Beckham told reporters on Thursday. “It’s something that hinders me from fully sprinting as fast as I can. I’d rather get to Sunday and open up than be running around and hinder myself before the game.”
He showed no hint of a problem during the Browns opener, in particular on a grab before half where he cut all around the field looking for a hole for a miracle TD.
He didn’t make it, but the play showed that he looked just fine.
Injuries have hampered Beckham the last two seasons, with him missing a combined 16 games with a quad injury and fractured ankle.
While he looked healthy, OBJ seemed to lack chemistry with Mayfield. Their connection seemed a bit off and the duo would have surely benefited by some more preseason reps.
Browns Were Interested in Addition Antonio Brown
Beckham and Landry almost had some more Pro Bowl company in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns were one of the teams to call about Brown, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. If John Dorsey was somehow able to bring Brown aboard, it would have given Cleveland and quarterback Baker Mayfield a spoil of riches in three perennial Pro Bowlers.
Signing with the Browns was likely appealing for Brown, allowing him to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers — his former team — twice per season in the AFC North.
But, catching balls from future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady was worth more than revenge to AB.
“I’ll just tell you that the Patriots are obviously a very solid, strong organization,” Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN. “They do things the Patriots Way. They expect everyone to be accountable. They don’t make any exceptions. I’ve discussed this with Antonio. And he wants to be a Patriot. He’s prepared to go there, fit in, work hard, be like every other player on the team, do what’s asked of him, do his job and make it work. He’s honored with the opportunity and he’s looking forward to taking advantage of it.”