NFL

Browns expect Mayfield to 'bounce back' after difficult 2021 season

By Sports Desk January 11, 2022

The Cleveland Browns "fully expect" Baker Mayfield to be their starting quarterback in 2022 despite a difficult 2021 season as the side missed the playoffs.

The Browns finished their 8-9 season with a 21-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals after a three-game losing skid which saw them fall out of postseason contention.

Mayfield started 14 games, completing 253 of 418 passes for 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and 43 sackings.

The 2018 NFL Draft first pick, however, played through a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder, with Case Keenum finishing the season as the Browns starting QB.

"It's easy to forget at this point of the year what we've seen with Baker over the past several years," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said.

"We've been with Baker for a long period - we know his work ethic, we know his drive, we've seen him [be] a talented passer in this league, and we're looking forward to him getting healthy and continue to make improvements."

Berry added: "We fully expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back."

Mayfield's completion rate of 60.5 percent was well down on the NFL's quarterbacks list, with teammate Keenum throwing at 65.3 percent in his two starts and seven games overall.

"We're looking forward to Baker getting healthy in the offseason," Berry said, "Then putting in good work through the spring and with his coaches for having the type of season that we know he can have."

Mayfield will undergo surgery on the torn labrum next week with a view to fully participating in preseason team activities in late May.

"Baker, he's team-oriented, he's a competitor, he's super tough," Berry said. "He truly wants what's best for the team and really to take the steps he needs to improve to become the quarterback that we know that he can become."

Related items

  • Doncic 'still learning' after Warriors go three up against the Mavericks Doncic 'still learning' after Warriors go three up against the Mavericks

    Luka Doncic said he is "still learning", with his 40-point haul not enough to prevent the Dallas Mavericks from going 3-0 down in the Western Conference Finals series to the Golden State Warriors.

    The 109-100 defeat in American Airlines Center means the Mavs have the unlikely task of needing to win the next four games in a row to make the NBA finals.

    Doncic top scored in the game, while also making 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, but felt he did not play well enough in the first half.

    Spencer Dinwiddie (26) and Jalen Brunson (20) offered assistance but the hosts just could not keep up with the Warriors, with Stephen Curry coming away with 31 points and 11 assists.

    "I'm still learning," Doncic said after the game. "I think the first two quarters, I played very bad. That's on me. But I'm still learning. I think after this season is done, whatever we are, I think we're going to look back and learn a lot of things.

    "It's my first time in the Conference Finals in the NBA. I'm 23, man. I'm still learning a lot."

    Despite Doncic's concerns about the first two quarters, it was the third where the game got away from Dallas, with the Warriors extending their half-time lead of one point to 10 points by the start of the fourth quarter.

    However, the Slovenian praised the Warriors for their form and credited their development as a team over recent years.

    "I think the Warriors are playing incredible," he added. "Everybody knows their role. Everybody just stays together.

    "They're a long-built team. They've been together for a long time, and I think they're playing good basketball, so that's what I think is going to be really difficult. And these past three games, it's been very difficult."

    Mavs head coach Jason Kidd offered similar thoughts, and insisted his team are just at the start of their "journey".

    "This is just the beginning of this journey," Kidd said. "I know you guys had us winning the championship before the season started, and that's a joke if you didn't get it. But this is a lot bigger than just this one game or this one series. This is huge for our franchise because none of you guys had us here.

    "So it's cool to go through this, and we're going against... you can call them a dynasty. They have three great players who will be hall of famers, and this is a great lesson learned from us.

    "This isn't the end. This is just the beginning."

  • Cagliari suffer Serie A relegation as Salernitana survive for first time despite Udinese thrashing Cagliari suffer Serie A relegation as Salernitana survive for first time despite Udinese thrashing

    Cagliari were relegated from Serie A after only managing a draw against Venezia as Salernitana retained their top-flight status despite being thrashed by Udinese.

    Salernitana looked in serious danger of going down when Davide Nicola took charge in February, sitting bottom of the table with three wins from 23 games.

    Nicola inspired a resurgence, though, with his side picking up 15 points in a run of seven league games to head into the final matchday two points clear of Cagliari.

    However, Udinese were rampant as Gerard Deulofeu, Ilija Nestorovski and Iyenoma Destiny Udogie put Nicola's side 3-0 down before half-time on Sunday.

    Udinese captain Roberto Pereyra added a fourth after the interval as the Friulians achieved their best Serie A points haul (47) since the 2012-13 season (66).

    That meant Cagliari would have stayed up with a win at already-relegated Venezia, but Alessandro Agostini's could only muster a draw as the Rossoblu were relegated to Serie B for the sixth time in their history.

    Cagliari's failure handed Salernitana their first-ever Serie A survival, having failed to do so on their other two attempts in 1947-48 and 1998-99.

    Salernitana also became the first team to stay up despite conceding at least 78 goals in a single top-flight campaign after Livorno (79 in 1929-30) and Lucchese (82 in 1947-48, 79 in 1949-50).

    Meanwhile, Cagliari join Venezia and Genoa in Serie B and the trio will aim to bounce straight back up next season.

  • Outrageous rabona strike among five for Balotelli in historic final-day display Outrageous rabona strike among five for Balotelli in historic final-day display

    Mario Balotelli finished the Turkish Super Lig season in stunning fashion with the first five-goal haul in Adana Demirspor's top-flight history.

    Ninth in the table heading into Sunday, Balotelli's ADS had little to play for against already-relegated Goztepe but put on a show.

    Vincenzo Montella's side ran out 7-0 winners, with Balotelli hitting five to finish the season on 18 league goals – behind only Kasimpasa's Umut Bozok (20).

    The Italy international's outstanding display represented a club first, while Alex in May 2011 had been the last Super Lig player to net five in a match, for Fenerbahce against Ankaragucu.

    This was Balotelli's first hat-trick since scoring three for Manchester City against Aston Villa in December 2010, making him the first foreign player to hit a treble for ADS.

    As if these achievements were not enough, Balotelli's fifth goal was an outrageous effort perhaps set to be considered for the FIFA Puskas Award.

    Seven step-overs tied Atakan Cankaya – who had earlier scored an own goal – in knots, finally working space seemingly for a left-footed shot before the striker executed a sublime right-footed rabona finish across the goalkeeper and into the bottom-right corner.

    "Five goals for me today," Balotelli posted on Instagram. "There was no better way to finish the championship! Thank you to everyone."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.