Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

November 08, 2018 at 1:32 am.

–It’s too soon to know if it will be a trend, but running back Duke Johnson Jr., with only 20 catches through the first eight games, caught nine passes against the Chiefs with Freddie Kitchens, previously the running backs coach, calling plays as offensive coordinator. There is no reason to think Kitchens wouldn’t make Johnson a focal point of the offense in the game plan for the Falcons.

“I think it’s possible,” Johnson said. “Just going out there and showing what I’m capable of doing. Basically, just showing the reason why I’m here. It was a great showing for myself, but not so much for the team, and we’re about team here. That’s what’s most important.”

Johnson led the Browns with 74 catches last season.

–The Browns’ Baker Mayfield, the first pick of the 2018 draft, has the highest passer rating (81.5) among rookie quarterbacks. Josh Rosen of the Cardinals has a 69.9 rating. Sam Darnold of the Jets a 68.3 rating and Josh Allen of the Bills a 61.8 rating. Mayfield, with 10 touchdown passes and seven interceptions thrown, is the only one among the rookies with more touchdown passes than interceptions.

–Interim head coach/defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been defending linebacker Jamie Collins a lot recently. Collins led the Browns with seven tackles against the Chiefs last week, but he is not making impact plays and seems to disappear at critical times. Collins played all 64 snaps against the Chiefs.

“It’s not him,” Williams said. “All of us have to play better on defense. When we understand that, then you understand the importance of playing as a team. We have to tackle better. Not just him; we all do. Those things are addressed daily, and we have to practice better in those kinds of things and we’ve talked about it. As a team on defense – not just one guy – we have to play better. I have to coach better.”

Collins was held out of practice Wednesday with an ankle injury.

–Cornerback E.J. Gaines is done for the season. Gaines missed the games against Buccaneers and Steelers with a concussion and was concussed again in his first game back when the Browns played the Chiefs.

BY THE NUMBERS: 134 – Points allowed by the Browns in their current four-game losing streak.