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Armando Salguero’s OutKick QB Talk: Case Keenum, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Daniel Jones

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One of the things Case Keenum did when he was told he’s starting for the Cleveland Browns against the Denver Broncos Thursday night was text former teammate and pass rush machine Von Miller.

“I tried to text him,” Keenum said Wednesday. “I think we came to the agreement that he’s just going to go out there and not rush the quarterback. I think he’s going to take a knee every time on third downs. So I think we’ll be good.”

Yeah, um, Keenum was kidding because he actually never got a reply from Miller. The Denver linebacker must’ve changed his number.

But nice try.

A nice game is what the Browns hope they get out of Keenum while starter Baker Mayfield is out with a left shoulder injury that seems serious because his labrum in that non-throwing shoulder is torn.

In comes Keenum to make his 63rd career start but first since 2019. And Keenum believes he’s, well, ready.

“I feel very ready,” Keenum said. “You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready. I’ve been ready since I got here so I’m excited. I’m ready.”

Keenum started 14 games in Minnesota in 2017, and the Vikings won 11 of those games. Current Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski was the Vikings’ quarterback coach at the time.

So it made sense Keenum’s familiarity with Stefanski’s offense would land him in Cleveland after stints in Denver and then Washington didn’t work out.

“Over the last year and a half, two years really, we’ve gotten to work and put in this Cleveland Browns offense and even more specifically what it is in 2021,” Keenum said. “We’re right in the middle of it. I’ve been right in the middle of it the whole way, getting reps — millions of reps, honestly, with my mind.”

The Browns have a lot of uncertainty on the injury front. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (shoulder), offensive tackles Jack Conklin (knee) and Jedrick Wills Jr. (ankle) are questionable and running backs Kareem Hunt (calf) and Nick Chubb (calf) are out.

“I’m built for this,” Keenum said when asked about all the roster uncertainty. “This is what I’ve done my whole career. Not knowing if I’m going to start up until game time, to not knowing who’s out there with me, to introducing myself to players while I’m calling the play.”

Patrick Mahomes watched the interception again

Patrick Mahomes has 13 interceptions in his last 14 games, but the one that’s going to stand out for a while is the one he threw last week against the Washington Football Team.

Yeah, pretty bad.

“It happened and it’ll probably be shown for a long time, but you just have to move on to the next play and at least I’ll be able to say we won the football game after that.”

Mahomes admitted Wednesday he re-watched the play in a self-deprecating way.

“Oh yeah I watched it,” he said, “and everybody just started laughing, including myself.”

Story time with Uncle Aaron Rodgers

This week’s story from Uncle Aaron is about his adventures at a cross walk near Lambeau Field that players, who typically ride bicycles to and from their practice field, have to cross.

“I was minding my traffic laws, and I pushed the little button for the crosswalk, right, because the lights kind of flicker,” Uncle Aaron said Wednesday. “So I turned to my left and there was a car coming and it actually stopped. And everytime they stop I’m overly thankful. Like, ‘Thank you so much, big wave, smile.’ And so I started to pull out and the woman who had stopped started to go again.”

So now the Green Bay Packers QB, on a bicycle, is about to get hit by a car.

“And then she gave me a real mean look,” Uncle Aaron said. “What is this, OK, go ahead. And then she kind of waved me on. And it became one of those, ‘You go,’ ‘No you go,’ whatever. And then I started to go again and she started to go again as well. And so we had this standoff.

“And I finally waved her through. Nice, cordial smile, but I don’t think she was having a great day. And she also might have been a little confused by what the lights and the crosswalk meant. Because I thought her slowing down, ‘Hey, thank you so much, have a great day.’ She was thinking, ‘I’m going to ram you.'”

Maybe it was one of those Bears fans that gave Rodgers the finger last Sunday.

“Might have been,” he said. “Might have been.”

Tom Brady’s got jokes.

The quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is known for his great awareness in the pocket, but he also is keenly aware what’s going on around the entire NFL.

So Brady, whose team plays the Bears on Sunday, took a moment from his weekly guest spot on SiriusXM NFL radio to talk about Aaron Rodgers’ now famous “I still own you” moment last week at Soldier Field.

“I was studying a little bit on the Bears and the Packers and watched a lot of that. It was another great game. And I actually, before we get started, I wanted to say congrats to Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, I know he’s a great quarterback, but I guess now he’s a shareholder of the Bears. I saw a clip of him enthusiastically telling the crowd how happy he is to own Soldier Field and it’s really great stuff. He owns the [Milwaukee] Bucks now. Part owner of Soldier Field . So he’s got a great career beyond football.

What does Brady own?

How about the New York Jets? Brady is 30-8 against the Jets lifetime.

Ready for the zinger?

“Oh, no, I’ll just take the color green,” Brady said. “I don’t need the Jets. I’ll just own the color green. I think that’s a little bit better.”

Daniel Jones wasn’t that concussed

We all saw a wobbly Daniel Jones need help and leave the game against the Dallas Cowboys a couple of weeks ago because of a concussion.

He said last week the concussion wasn’t too bad, and he emerged from the NFL concussion protocol in time to play against the Los Angeles Rams. But the most enlightening illustration that Jones wasn’t severely hampered by the Dallas hit happened on the Giants’ plane ride home.

Jones read a book on the flight.

“What was I reading? I think it was Ryan Holiday, one of his books, Stillness Is the Key,” Jones aid. “Yeah, I was good to read, and I felt good.”

In the book, Holiday professes slowing down, which he calls stillness, as the secret weapon for remaining steady while the world spins frantically.

The Giants play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Panthers are tied for fifth in the NFL for most sacks with 16.

Jones might need some stillness to manage with left tackle Andrew Thomas on injured reserve.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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