BEREA http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-james-reimer-jersey , Ohio (AP) — Baker Mayfield had some typical rookie ups and downs. Tyrod Taylor was his steady self.
Mayfield threw his first interception in training camp while Taylor had a pair of touchdown passes to Jarvis Landry, who made a spectacular, one-handed grab on the second one, as the Browns held their annual intra-squad scrimmage Friday in front of Cleveland fans desperate to see if a team that went 0-16 last season has improved.
“There was some good, some bad,” coach Hue Jackson said of his team’s overall performance.
Same could be said of his quarterbacks.
The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Mayfield has been impressive so far during his first NFL camp. Although he’s expected to spend the season as Taylor’s backup, Mayfield has shown why the Browns believe he can lead them in the future.
The Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma took the field first and immediately led Cleveland’s second-team offense on a TD drive. He completed a 30-yard pass to C.J. Board and a 29-yarder to Devon Cajuste to set up rookie Nick Chubb’s 1-yard score.
But later, while going against the Browns’ defensive starters, Mayfield botched a handoff and was picked off by linebacker Jamie Collins, who hauled in a ball tipped at the line by defensive tackle Jamie Meder.
Mayfield also struggled toward the end of the hour-long scrimmage during a simulated goal-line situation, taking two sacks while waiting for receivers to get open.
Despite a clumsy finish, Jackson was encouraged by Mayfield’s outing.
“I am not going to say that he tapered off,” Jackson said. “What our defense does down there is tough. We are not game-planning our defense right now. He did get off to a hot start and led the team down there to score, but that is what we expect. He threw some good balls. The guy is throwing the ball extremely well, and I think that you guys see the accuracy. He had a good day.”
So did Taylor, who connected with Landry on a 26-yard TD before hooking up with the playmaker on the day’s best play — a 36-yarder that drew a huge roar from fans battling bright sunshine on one of the warmest days of camp.
During a two-minute drill, Taylor fired the ball at Landry, who reached back and snared the ball with his left hand. He celebrated by launching the ball into the stands.
“It was kind of my fault, honestly,” Landry said. “I started bending (his route) in too early and the linebacker kind of got in the way and Ty kind of had to throw around him a little bit and that made me have to reach back and catch the ball. But Ty trusts me in those situations to make those kind of plays and I can’t let him down.”
It’s the type of play Landry made routinely in Miami while making 400 catches and three Pro Bowls over the past four seasons.
Jackson isn’t surprised by anything Landry does on the field.
“He does it every day. He works at it,” Jackson said. “The guy will stay after and go to the JUGGS machine and catch anywhere from 200-300 balls. That is just how important it is to him. As you see, if the ball is anywhere around him, there is a good chance that he is going to come up with it.”
NOTES: The Browns will be without starting DL Trevon Coley for several weeks because of a severely sprained ankle. Coley http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-arden-key-jersey , who started 15 games last season, got hurt on Thursday. Jackson described Coley’s injury as “one of those super-duper sprains.”… DL Caleb Brantley limped off with a thigh injury. … DB Damarious Randall got up slowly following a collision but was cleared and returned to the field. … TE David Njoku, who has had some problems with drops, hauled in a 34-yard pass from Taylor.
Donte DiVincenzo’s plan was to come out and test the NBA draft waters this spring, with the expectation that he would be returning to Villanova for another season.
And then the national championship game happened.
The hero of Villanova’s win over Michigan picked the perfect moment to play the game of his life – 31 points on 10 for 15 shooting, five 3-pointers, five rebounds, one epic wink as the Wildcats put the game away. That’s what probably got him an invite to the Draft Combine, the event where DiVincenzo saw how he might fit at the NBA level.
His name will likely be called in the first round on Thursday night, guaranteed millions set to come his way. Not bad for a kid who came off the bench for most of his college career and wasn’t even picked as a Big East first-teamer, second-teamer or even honorable mention this past season. He did get recognized by the league as its top sixth man after a season where he averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
”When I get into a system, I’m so worried about the team,” DiVincenzo said. ”I’m not worried about the numbers. I’m just worried about one, winning and two, the impact I have on a team whether it’s in the locker room or on the court. If I can do anything to help the team, then I’ll do that. That’s what I tried to do at Villanova this past year.”
His numbers at the combine were probably as eye-popping as what he did in the national title game. No one at the combine in Chicago last month had a higher vertical leap than DiVincenzo – 42 inches with a running start, 34 1/2 inches when standing. He also impressed scouts with his shooting ability, and didn’t need long to decide that his best move was to stay in the draft.
Some may have been surprised by his numbers in Chicago. Nova Nation was not.
”He works his butt off and he deserves all this,” said now-former Villanova guard Jalen Brunson, The Associated Press’ national player of the year this past season who’s also in this draft. ”And just to see where he’s come from since us rooming together freshman year to seeing how his work ethic has gotten better every day … he just goes at everybody. He just has that mindset that he’s a killer. And that’s what makes him special.”
There’s a price of fame, in that it also comes with a much higher level of scrutiny – which put DiVincenzo in a tough spot after the national championship game. While the Wildcats were celebrating and he was being named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, some of his old tweets were creating headlines as well.
Those posts, mostly from between 2011 through 2013 http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jonathan-allen-jersey , included racially insensitive and homophobic comments. DiVincenzo’s account, which had been dormant since 2016, was shut down not long afterward.
”It’s crazy, good and bad,” DiVincenzo said when asked if he was surprised how much more attention he’s gotten since the national championship game. ”Everything with the Twitter thing that came out, that was bad. But people who know me, people who know who I am, they understand that’s not me. I just try to carry myself as more than just a basketball player.”
If teams had reservations about his tweeting choices from years ago, their concerns seem to be satisfied. DiVincenzo came away from the combine process convinced that he’ll be a first-rounder.
”Donte has handled this process intelligently and received very positive feedback from the NBA teams about his prospects in this year’s draft,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said last month when DiVincenzo opted to stay in the draft. ”We fully support this decision.”
He has some interesting nicknames.
For a while teammates called him Buddy Hield, because when the Wildcats were getting ready to play Oklahoma in the 2016 Final Four – a 44-point national semifinal romp for Villanova – DiVincenzo’s role in practice was to mimic the game of the Sooners’ star. And once in practice, where DiVincenzo was apparently showboating, Wright dubbed him ”the Michael Jordan of Delaware.”
Truth be told, Wright doesn’t remember that exchange with the Delaware native.
”He said I said it to him facetiously in his freshman year when he was acting like a superstar and I said to him: `You act like you’re the Michael Jordan of Delaware,”’ Wright said.
Those days are gone, regardless.
DiVincenzo might be going to Jordan’s league, but he knows that he still has plenty to prove – to others, and himself.
”Even if I work out by myself, I try to always prove something and not try to prove that I’m good or not trying to prove that I’m athletic,” DiVincenzo said. ”I try to prove that there’s something deeper in me and that I’m just scratching the surface right now. I try to get better every single day and that’s what I’m trying to prove – that I’m getting better, that nothing will stop me from getting better.”
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