Saturday, August 6, 2022

Brown’s pass catcher subtly fires at Baker Mayfield

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Demetric Felton praised his new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson but threw his former teammate Baker Mayfield under the bus in the process.

Felton was specifically asked about the difference in catching balls from Watson versus Mayfield and the hybrid RB/WR sophomore had an interesting answer.

“It seems like Deshaun, he sees things very early. When you come out of your breaks, sometimes the ball is there right away. And it gets there with some touch too,” Felton said while appearing on The Afternoon Drive in 92.3 The Fan. “He’s really good at spotting things, seeing the openings in defense and he’s very good at getting that across to us. I really liked that about Deshaun.”

To be fair, Felton wasn’t exactly a top target during his lonely year at Mayfield. He finished his rookie season with 18 catches for 181 yards. However, Mayfield’s decision-making and accuracy drew much criticism last season as he struggled with multiple injuries, including a torn labrum that required him to wear braces.

Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns against 13 interceptions as the Browns stumbled to an 8-9 finish. Now he’s fighting for the starting spot with the Panthers.

There were some rumors that the Browns’ wide receiver corps was underwhelming and unproven heading into the season, compounded by a few injuries in training camp. Felton admitted he heard some of the noise, but it’s nothing that bothers him or his teammates.

“We can’t pay too much attention to that. We always just come here and try to get better. Overall, we feel like we have what we need to be successful,” said Felton. “I would just say, ‘sit back and watch us work.’ That’s all I have to say about it. I’ll just work as hard as I can and this year we’ll do our best.”

Felton was a sixth-round pick, but his versatility has earned him a spot on the Browns’ roster. Head coach Kevin Stefanski – who also names the offensive plays – has appreciated having Felton around to take on reps on both receivers and running backs.

“You heard me talk about Demetric. He is a very versatile footballer. He’s a football player first,” Stefanski said on July 29. We can always send him back to the running back room. Really, he’s smart enough to do both within a given workout. So if you have injuries in either position, he’s a bonus player who can go into either room if you will.

The Browns redesigned their wide receiver room during the offseason, with the big signing being Amari Cooper, who came over by trade from the Cowboys. He will hold the top spot on the depth chart for the Browns and sets the bar for his teammates.

“He’s such a pro the way he goes,” Felton said of Cooper. “I always study him and see how he does things.”

Cooper is a four-time Pro Bowler with four 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. He is currently suffering from a minor ankle injury but is expected to be back on the training ground soon.

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