Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky discusses what he saw in the debut of Baker Mayfield for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football
This Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns got their first win in 635 days. They started the season out 0-1-1, which followed a 0-16 season. Then we finally saw hope when rookie Baker Mayfield hit the scene and the offense started moving. We all know what came next as they upended the Jets in a comeback win.
It’s easy to get carried away — and Browns fans will be forgiven if they do. What we wanted to do here was talk to someone who spent time in the NFL and get their take on the game Mayfield played.
Enter 12-year NFL veteran, Dan Orlovsky. He was kind enough to take some time to discuss what he saw on Thursday night from a professional quarterback’s perspective.
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DPD: Was it just me, or did the entire offense open up when Baker Mayfield came in? And why would that be?
"Orlovsky: The offense certainly played better. The big thing was there was rhythm. They got into a rhythm and started getting some first downs, which opens up the playbook.Confidence is a big part of football, and once someone walks into that huddle that drips confidence, and not in a fake way but in a genuine, who you are way, everyone else feels that. Everyone else becomes more confident in it, themselves, the moment, what you’re doing."
DPD: Baker made the one bad throw in the end zone that could have been picked. Outside of that one, is there anything you weren’t thrilled with out of him?
"Orlovsky: No he played very well. His feel, seeing color and windows, timing of throws, aggressiveness downfield. All were top notch."
DPD: After seeing how well the rookie played, do you still think the team handled the situation correctly in sitting him?
"Orlovsky: The situation was handled as it was because it was so unique to Cleveland. If you’re them from afar post draft and in the summer and camp you know if you’re Hue-you have a month-if you don’t win a game in the first month you’re 100 percent gone.And it’s easy to sit here now and armchair stuff, but it’s not like Tyrod is a bum. I would imagine the plan was start Tyrod, get a win early to make sure we can hang around past the first month, and get Baker in the mix after we get a win. And you can justify that within those moments I understand starting Tyrod because you needed that win, you just didn’t expect it would be Baker to give it to you."
DPD: Lastly, I know it’s one game and that’s not enough to make judgment calls. Still, does it seem like Cleveland finally has their guy under center?
"Orlovsky: It’s a really good half of football, that was performed at a very high level without any practice of what was asked of Baker or with the people he had to do it with. Awesome evening and that should be celebrated. A long long away from saying they found their guy, but there’s been nothing that has happened on or off the field since the moment he was drafted that says otherwise."
We would like to thank Dan for taking his time to talk some Browns football with us. It’s always helpful to get insight from those who have played the game and can see it unfold better than we can. It’s also encouraging to see he came away with positive feelings like we did, here’s to hoping the team only improves from here.