#1 CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield stepped onto the stage von liny195 12.07.2019 09:34

and took a handoff from former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar.At least he got one postseason trophy.Mayfield https://www.brownsfanshop.com , who finished second to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley in voting for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, was named Cleveland's top professional athlete at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards on Wednesday night. Following a season in which he broke the league's rookie touchdown record and made the Browns relevant again, Mayfield was selected over Indians All-Stars Corey Kluber and Jose Ramirez and Browns cornerback Denzel Ward.LeBron James was not a finalist despite leading the Cavaliers to their fourth NBA Finals last June — a month before the superstar left for the second time as a free agent.If James crushed the feelings of Cleveland fans, Mayfield helped soothe them by leading the beloved Browns to a 7-8-1 record following an 0-16 season.The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, Mayfield began the season as a backup to Tyrod Taylor before coming off the bench in Week 3 and leading the Browns to a win over the New York Jets to snap Cleveland's 19-game winless streak.His performance last season has Browns fans convinced a first Super Bowl visit isn't far away."That should be the expectation," Mayfield said backstage. "It shouldn't be that the whole town goes crazy over one win on a Thursday. It should be the expectation that we need to be competing in the playoffs every year."He was introduced by Kosar, who didn't even bother opening the winner's envelope.Last week, Mayfield finished as a runner-up to Barkley, who received more votes from a panel of 50 media members for the AP's rookie award."I'll use it as motivation, but the more important thing is winning football games," Mayfield said. "Yeah, it's more frustrating than anything because Saquon, that's my guy, and he'll hold it over my head forever. But you know what? I'll use that as motivation, and I'll be better in the long run."Mayfield owes Barkley a chain necklace for winning the award, and said he'll use the jewelry to make fun of Barkley's massive quadriceps."It'll say ‘Quads' on it, not ‘Sa-quads' but just ‘Quads,'" Mayfield said. "The two extra letters in there cost a little bit extra money, so we'll stick with just ‘Quads.'"Mayfield was featured along with numerous football Hall of Famers in the NFL's 100th-anniversary commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl.In the spot, Brady handed Mayfield his Super Bowl rings, which Clevelanders hope is a symbolic passing of the torch."Obviously, being a part of something like that is very special," Mayfield said. "Some of the names in that, if you told me last year that I would be a part of a commercial like that, I would've told you you're absolutely lying. So to be able to be a part of a commercial with legends like that and actually be next to Tom Brady, no matter what you think about it, that's the greatest of all time."To be able to actually hold those rings — and they are heavy, those were the real rings, it's something fun. Getting to talk to him a little bit and just get to know him and just be around like that Browns Customized Color Rush Jerseys , his presence is something that you feel as soon as he walks into a room. That's the kind of stuff you admire and I want to have when I finish playing."The annual black-tie event at the downtown Renaissance Hotel brought out some of the city's biggest sports celebrities, including new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, general manager John Dorsey and Cavaliers legend Austin Carr.Former Indians All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. received a lifetime achievement award. A six-time All-Star, Alomar, who currently serves as the team's first-base coach, got choked up when talking about his manager, Mike Hargove."I'm honored to be a part of Cleveland," said Alomar, who was traded to the Indians from San Diego in 1989. "Cleveland has been the best thing that ever happened to me. Cleveland is about humble people. And I love to make a difference here. That trade changed my life forever." TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — There was a time when teams with defensive woes similar to those of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could count on the Cleveland Browns for relief.Not anymore.A little over a month into the NFL season, the Browns (2-3-1) have already surpassed their win total for the past two years combined, heightening expectations for what they might be capable of accomplishing with Baker Mayfield at quarterback.The reeling Bucs (2-3), who’ve lost three straight and are allowing a league-high 34.6 points per game, certainly aren’t in position to assume anything other than they could have their hands full when they face the No. 1 overall draft pick on Sunday.“The work that he’s put on film — you can see why he was picked where he was picked,” coach Dirk Koetter said.“This guy’s going to be a really good quarterback in this league,” Koetter added. “He can spin it. He can move around. He makes good decisions. He gets the ball out on time. He’s tough. He makes plays outside of the pocket, both as a thrower and as a runner. He’s impressive so far.”That’s not encouraging news for a Tampa Bay defense that’s 31st in yards allowed (439.8) and dead last in passing (355.6).The Bucs, who fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith and replaced him with linebackers coach Mark Duffner on the heels of consecutive losses to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Atlanta, have allowed 30 or more points in four of five games.Opponents have scored 40-plus twice.Duffner isn’t promising a quick fix. Improving an inconsistent pass rush will be a challenge against Cleveland if Pro Bowl tackle Gerald McCoy and end Vinny Curry can’t play because of injuries that kept them from practicing this week.“I believe our approach has always been we play defense as aggressively as we possibly can. That doesn’t mean necessarily all blitz or pressure,” Duffner said, not shedding much light on his philosophy.“That means that you play hard, that you play physical, you play smart — all those words kind of go into that word, ‘aggressive,'” Duffner added. “You can play aggressive coverage and be in zone defense. You can play aggressive run defense and not be in a pressure situation.”For their part, the Browns are preparing for Tampa Bay’s scheme.While Hue Jackson suspects Duffner will make adjustments and try to “put his personality on play calls,” the Cleveland coach firmly believes “the scheme, and who they are, is not going to change too much.”Mayfield is keeping an open mind.“Teams have thrown the ball. We will see what we can do Cleveland Browns T-Shirts ,” said Mayfield, coming off a poor performance in a 24-point loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.“We will need to still be able to run the ball and establish that, but it is never about what they are doing,” the rookie added. “If they stick with what they have been doing or if they change it up, we just have to be able to do our job and adjust on the fly.”Some things to know about the Browns and Bucs:BOUNCE BACKMayfield was hard on himself following last week’s 38-14 loss, which he described as “the worst” of his career.The top overall draft pick completed 22 of 46 passes for 238 yards in his third NFL start and was sacked five times by the Chargers, who were successful in keeping the rookie contained in the pocket. He struggled to find receivers, held onto the ball too long and didn’t check down to shorter routes.Jackson expected a roller-coaster ride with his rookie and he’s getting it.“I said this a long time ago, quarterbacks might as well start on their knees because they are going to be brought to their knees in this league,” he said. “He has to bounce back and you bounce back in a good way, you lead this team to victory this week — it is what you do. Everything we are doing and everything that we are trying to accomplish is leading to that. That is the goal.”SHARING BLAMEPressure had been mounting on Koetter to replace Smith ever since the Bucs gave up six touchdown passes to second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Tampa Bay’s 48-10 loss at Chicago on Sept. 30.Linebacker Lavonte David stressed, however, that the players are just as responsible for what’s transpired as the coaches.“At the end of the day, it all falls on our shoulders,” David said.“This is a team game,” Koetter agreed, “so whether it’s success or failure, everybody has to share in it — all the coaches, all the players.”CORNERED MARKETThe Browns are down two starting cornerbacks with E.J. Gaines out Sunday because of a concussion.Gaines was placed in league protocol on Thursday, leaving the Browns little time to adjust as they get ready to face the pass-heavy Bucs, who have the second-most TD passes in the league with 16. Gaines had started the previous two games for starter Terrance Mitchell, who was placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury.T.J. Carrie will take over for Gaines, with rookie Denzel Ward on the other corner, and the Browns will try to slow Tampa’s terrific trio of receivers: Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin.“They’re good,” Jackson said. “One’s averaging 23 yards a reception, another guy with 14 yards a reception and another guy with 13 or 12. They’re all making plays and scoring touchdowns. They have some weapons. It’s a big challenge for us.”

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