The Browns rookie quarterback 鈥?and perhaps their QB of the future 鈥?will make his NFL exhibition debut Thursday night as Cleveland visits the New York Giants in a game that will feature the top two overall picks in this year's draft: Mayfield and Giants running back Saquon Barkley.
Almost from the time he first picked up a football, the Heisman Trophy winner has been looking forward to his first game action as a pro. But he won't let that thrill overwhelm him.
"Played this game for a long time, I don't get nervous," said Mayfield, currently No. 2 on Cleveland's depth chart behind Tyrod Taylor. "So I'm going to say I'm not going to have to worry about that part. Anytime I get the chance to play ball, yeah, I get excited, but however much I play I've got to take advantage of the opportunity, that's for sure."
Coach Hue Jackson want to play Mayfield two quarters, sending him in after Taylor gets in some work leading Cleveland's first-team offense for a series or two.
The Browns' plan 鈥?at this point 鈥?is to have Mayfield spend the season watching and learning behind Taylor, who led Buffalo to the playoffs last season and has quickly established himself as a leader in Cleveland.
Mayfield understands he has to be patient, and while waiting for his turn he's had an impressive training camp. He releases the ball quickly and accurately, and Mayfield seems to have a solid grasp of coordinator Todd Haley's offense.
But although Jackson said Mayfield has exceeded expectations, he's committed to opening the season with Taylor behind center.
"We are going to grow our quarterbacks http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-durham-smythe-jersey ," Jackson said last week. "Tyrod Taylor is our quarterback. Baker Mayfield is competing and getting better each and every day, still learning the National Football League. Has done a really nice job of learning our system and improving every day."
The 23-year-old Mayfield showed poise during an intrasquad scrimmage last week. He led Cleveland's backups on an opening touchdown drive, but later struggled in the red zone against Cleveland's starting defense and also threw his first interception of camp.
He knows the tempo and intensity will be even higher against the Giants.
"When you get the energy level up, you've got to be able to execute, so that's why I'm excited about Thursday as well," he said. "You get people hyped up, you actually get some contact in and you can focus in and do your job when there are distractions around, so I think we handled the first one pretty well, but it definitely can go a lot better."
Although he became a major college star, Mayfield had to fight every step of the way. He was a walk-on at Texas Tech and with the Sooners, and Mayfield feels those experiences prepared him to handle not starting now.
He's a backup, and Mayfield is making the most of being one.
"Whenever I got to Texas Tech I wasn't given an opportunity to get out there, as well, then when I got to OU Anthony Miller Jersey Bears , I was on scout team," he said. "It's how I've always handled it, whatever opportunity I get, to make sure I get better I need to take advantage of that. So right now that's doing second-team reps, or that's even translating now doing some card offense, scout-team stuff. Whatever I can do to learn and keep getting reps, that's the best thing."The Nationals broke out of their offensive funk in a big way.
Juan Soto hit two of Washington’s seven home runs, finishing with four hits and five RBIs, and the Nationals routed the Philadelphia Phillies 17-7 on Friday night.
Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Brian Goodwin and Mark Reynolds also homered for the Nationals, who set a season high for homers. Washington hadn’t homered while losing its last three, getting outscored 16-3 in those defeats.
”We’re back Cheap Rashaad Penny Jersey ,” Soto said.
Rendon added two doubles and three RBIs, and Harper also contributed three hits and three RBIs. With his drive, Harper became the first NL batter to reach 20 homers.
”We needed that,” manager Dave Martinez said. ”Bats came alive and they came alive big.”
Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery and Carlos Santana homered for Philadelphia. Kingery was a triple shy of the cycle.
The teams combined for 28 hits, including 16 for extra bases, on a steamy night in Philadelphia with the game-time temperature 90 degrees.
Erick Fedde (1-3) earned his first major league win in his eighth career start, allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings with three strikeouts and three walks.
Nick Pivetta (4-7) continued to struggle against the organization that drafted him. The right-hander was shelled for seven runs on seven hits, including three homers, in 1 2/3 innings to fall to 0-3 with an 11.94 ERA in five career starts against Washington. Pivetta, a fourth-round pick in 2013, finished June 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in six starts.
Already leading 12-7, Washington sandwiched solo homers from Goodwin and Reynolds around Soto’s second of the night, a three-run shot off Hector Neris in the ninth.
Washington jumped on Pivetta for four runs in the first. Adam Eaton led off with a single and Turner quickly made it 2-0 by sending a 94-mph fastball into the seats in left.
”That sparked everyone http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kendall-wright-jersey ,” Martinez said.
It was 4-0 three batters later when Soto also cleared the wall in left with a two-run shot.
Soto said he didn’t put a home run swing on either of his drives.
”I just try to make a good swing,” he said.
Rendon blew the game open in the second with an opposite-field, three-run drive to right that made it 7-0.
Two innings later, Harper’s three-run homer to left off Yacksel Rios put the Nationals ahead 10-0. And it was 11-0 later in the frame after Wilmer Difo’s two-out RBI double to left.
”Everybody had fun,” Soto said. ”I hope we can do the same thing tomorrow. Same plans.”
The biggest Phillies highlight came in the fifth when Hoskins culminated a 14-pitch at-bat with a line-drive homer to left-center. The Philadelphia slugger fouled off eight pitches, including seven in a row with a 3-2 count. It gave him eight homers and 22 RBIs since returning from the DL (broken jaw) on June 9. Hoskins has gone deep in three straight games.
”It was one of the better at-bats I’ve seen,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ”Really special.”
WALK THIS WAY
Santana had a walk to give him a free pass in six straight games and up his total this month to 27, which is the most for the Phillies in June since Greg Luzinski walked 28 times in 1980.
Nationals: 3B Ryan Zimmerman (oblique) took batting practice on Friday and could begin a rehab assignment as early as Monday. Zimmerman has been out since May 12.
Phillies: Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek, out all season with a right shoulder strain, allowed a run on two hits while striking out the side in one inning during a rehab outing at Double-A Reading on Friday night.
RHP Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69) takes the mound for the Phillies in the third game of the four-game set on Saturday afternoon. Washington RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.28) is expected to return from the DL. Hellickson has been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain..