Browns Receivers Coach: Improved Passing Game Not Result of OBJ’s Absence

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In the first game without Odell Beckham Jr., the Cleveland Browns were awful. They dropped an ugly 16-6 decision home decision to the Las Vegas Raiders. Everything was way out of sorts — Baker Mayfield, the receivers, the entire offense.

But since then, the Browns have won four straight and looked like a well-oiled machine. That included a big win at the Tennessee Titans last weekend. Now, the Browns are 9-3 heading into another biggie Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Does OBJ’s absence have anything to do with this?

“That question is one I have never even thought about,” Browns receivers coach Chad O’Shea told reporters.

As the passing game coordinator, O’Shea may want to start. Both Mayfield and the rest of the Browns receiving crew have been more consistent without Beckham, who suffered a season-ending knee injury Oct. 25 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

Of course, not long after Beckham went down, the Browns were blessed with an opportunity to regroup via a bye week — and clearly benefited immensely with the return of running back Nick Chubb.

“What we try to tell our players and ask our players, ‘Let’s get better,” O’Shea said. “The Odell injury happened when it did. Obviously, regardless of if Odell was hurt or not, we are going to ask our players to improve on a daily basis. That is all we ask of them is we need to get better.”

Actually, most coaches want their players to win at this level. This isn’t a developmental league. This is the NFL. And for the first time in a while, the Browns look like a real NFL team.

Does OBJ being out have anything to do with that? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s a fair question to ponder.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. The Browns are a better “team” without Odell and that is just a fact. Odell is a very talented player, but he embodies the ‘me” generation. Baker isn’t a great QB, but it was more than obvious that he tried forcing too many passes to Odell. Baker is better when he can just look for the open receiver. It doesn’t make anyone a hater by saying this. Like Ben Shapiro says, “My facts don’t care about your feelings.”

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