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#1 24-08-2018 08:23:33

linhui95
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Date d'inscription: 13-04-2018
Messages: 518

itely had other

Baker Mayfield stood 15 yards away from a semicircle of cameras with a member of Cleveland's media relations staff as Browns starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was peppered with questions.

Mayfield held his ground and waited his turn in line.

For now Sam Darnold Jersey , this is life for the No. 1 overall draft pick 鈥?and the No. 2 QB in Cleveland.

Along with learning a new playbook, offensive system, football-obsessed city and everything else that comes with being a rookie, Mayfield is getting a crash course in patience in the initial stages of his NFL career.

He's a backup, and unless there's a dramatic change over the next two months, it will likely be Mayfield's role this season for the Browns.

"I'm not worried about it," Mayfield said when asked if he felt like a backup. "I'm just trying to get better every day. We're still early in June, this is just the second minicamp day and so I'm not worried about that now."

This is new, and yet not unfamiliar territory for Mayfield, who went from being a walk-on at Oklahoma to a gun-slinging, trash-talking Heisman Trophy winner last season.

The Browns drafted him first to be their long-term starter, their franchise QB, their franchise's face. But right now, Mayfield is slotted behind Taylor, who took Buffalo to the playoffs last season and has been so impressive during his first few months in Cleveland.

Mayfield is not only accepting his role, but he's modeling himself after Taylor. It's easy now because the season seems far away and each day brings a new challenge to overcome.

But when training camp rolls around next month, Mayfield knows it's going to be much harder to accept that he's not the one taking snaps with Cleveland's starters.

"It's human nature Leighton Vander Esch Jersey ," Mayfield said. "Yeah, you want to play, but I wasn't brought here to just start. I was brought here to help turn this thing around and whatever my role is that's what I need to do 鈥?whether that's playing scout team or being the best backup possible or playing. So for me, I'm not worried about that. I need to be prepared for when I do get my shot to be ready to play, but other than that I just gotta continue getting better and improving this team as well."

Mayfield believes he's made significant strides since rookie minicamp. With each practice, he senses the game slowing down. He's getting more confident in the pocket. He's seeing the field. He's deciphering complicated defenses.

He's better, but Mayfield is far from being a finished product.

"Human nature, especially for me, I want to have it all figured out all right now, but that is just not how it works," he said. "It is about realizing that we are going to have to take baby steps right now to get to where I want to go. You do not build a great castle all at once. You have to build it block by block. For me, that is how I need to handle it."

Taylor does, too. He was once in Mayfield's shoes, sitting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore. He also knows how quickly things can change after being benched last season by the Bills despite having them in the playoff race.

Taylor has been impressed with Mayfield's thirst to improve.

"He is asking questions," Taylor said. "He is trying to learn the playbook, as well as everyone else is. He is competing. He is a rookie. He is trying to gain as much knowledge as possible."

Mayfield's getting some major help from veteran quarterback Drew Stanton, who is serving as a mentor/tutor for the 23-year-old.

It's a role the 34-year-old Stanton has performed and excelled at previously while working with Matthew Stafford and Carson Palmer Mike Remmers Jersey Elite , both former top overall picks.

Like Taylor, Stanton feels Mayfield has all the intangibles to succeed.

"He has a great mindset," Stanton said. "Just coming in here, wanting to work and get better and learn how to do all those things. He's asking questions that are relevant. He's engaged and he's doing it the right way, so I think it's a relationship that will continue to progress over a period of time. It's not just something you build overnight, but he has all those tools that you're excited about. Obviously, there's a reason why he was drafted No. 1 overall."

The last time the Atlanta Falcons picked an Alabama receiver in the first round of the NFL draft, it worked out pretty well.

So, when Calvin Ridley was still on the board Thursday night at No. 26, they knew what to do.

Roll Tide!

The Falcons landed another Nick Saban receiver for their offensive arsenal, adding Ridley to a unit led by Julio Jones .

Jones, of course, played at Alabama.

Now, he's one of the NFL's best pass catchers.

Ridley can't wait to team up with him.

"I'm very excited to be coming in with Julio," Ridley said in a conference call, shortly after the Falcons announced their pick near the end of the draft's first day. "I know I'm going to learn a lot from him and become a better player, a better wide receiver. I'm just very http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/a … rty-jersey , very happy to be in that organization."

His excitement was tempered somewhat by where he was picked in the draft .

Flashing the confidence that is a trademark of all great receivers, Ridley was clearly surprised that he didn't go much higher.

"I'm going to prove a lot of people wrong," he said. "I'm happy the Falcons selected me, but I could've been picked way before. I'm going to work hard and I'm going to prove everybody wrong who always doubted me. I'm going to make everybody believe."

The Falcons were eager to give quarterback Matt Ryan another deep threat, bolstering an offense that dipped in production last season after leading the NFL in scoring in 2016.

While defensive tackle was a priority, Atlanta couldn't pass up the chance to grab the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Ridley, who managed to stand out even while playing in a run-oriented offense on Alabama's national championship team . As a junior, he had 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns.

"This is another firepower weapon for us," general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "He will mix in very well in our offense."

In 2011, the Falcons pulled off a major trade with Cleveland to move up to No. 6 overall so they could grab Jones. He quickly emerged as one of the league's most dominant receivers, including 88 catches for 1,444 yards last season.

While Mohamed Sanu has put up decent numbers as the No. 2 receiver, he's not the sort of game-changer who can draw coverages away from Jones.

The Falcons feel Ridley has that potential.

"His ability to create separation from the defender is really powerful and explosive," coach Dan Quinn said. "We have a clear understanding of how to feature this guy in our system. We're real excited about the things he can do."

In an interesting twist, the final game of Ridley's college career was at the home of the Falcons. Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosted this year's thrilling national championship game , in which Ridley caught a 7-yard touchdown pass that tied the game in the closing minutes of regulation before Alabama defeated Southeastern Conference rival Georgia 26-23 in overtime.

Ridley will also be reunited with Steve Sarkisian Youth Ryan Switzer Jersey , who was briefly the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator before taking the same role with the Falcons.

"He was real cool," Ridley recalled. "He was trying to get me that ball, I know that."

While the Falcons had no overly pressing needs after their second straight trip to the playoffs, they were looking to bulk up the interior of the defensive line. Dontari Poe was lost in free agency, signing with division rival Carolina to leave a hole in Atlanta's run defense.

But with Ridley still on the board, the Falcons decided to address those needs later in the draft. They passed on the chance to draft another SEC player, Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan, who went shortly afterward to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 29.

"We definitely had other guys in our sights," Dimitroff said. "They're both very good football players. In the end, we decided to go with offense."

It was a change of philosophy from the last three years.

Since Quinn came aboard as coach in 2015, defense had been the No. 1 priority. The last three first-round picks were all from that side of the line: defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. in 2015, safety Keanu Neal in 2016 and end Takkarist McKinley a year ago.

Quinn smiled when asked if it was difficult to pass up another defensive player.

"We were prepared to go a couple of different ways," Quinn said. "When this opportunity came about, we felt it was the best one for our team."

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at shmm/apnews/search/paul%20newberry

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