Berea, Ohio — Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield’s baptism with the Browns is complete. Some coaching chaos made it official.
Mayfield admitted Wednesday he was stunned by the firings of coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who were dismissed within an hour of each other on Monday.
Owner Jimmy Haslam cited “internal discord” as the primary reason behind the team’s latest reboot.
“It was just surprising to me,” Mayfield said before practice as the Browns began preparing for their game Sunday against quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs.
“I have never gone through anything like that. That is my ‘welcome to the business moment,’ I think.”
Sadly, coaching swaps and front-office purges are a rite of passage for any Browns player over the past 20 years.
“This is my third head coach in five years,” said linebacker Christian Kirksey.
“I am used to it, being able to adjust and stuff.”
It’s mostly new to Mayfield, who went through something similar at Oklahoma when Bob Stoops retired and was replaced by Lincoln Riley.
“It was different. It was new to us. We used that to come together,” he said.
“I expect the guys in here to be grown men, to be experienced football players and to handle it that way and keep that same mindset of that we have the same goal. We need to reach that and work with each other.
“With all the distractions, we will see what kind of men we have in this room.
“Not what kind of team that we have but what kind of men can handle a distraction the right way, can come together and focus on doing their job and doing it at a high level against a great team come Sunday,” Mayfield said.
As the No. 1 overall pick and fresh face of Cleveland’s franchise, Mayfield knows he has to be the one to guide the Browns through more turbulence.
“Bring it on,” he said.
The Browns (2-5-1) practiced Wednesday for the first time under the guidance of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Buffalo’s former coach who will serve as the team’s interim coach while general manager John Dorsey takes the initial steps in finding Cleveland’s ninth coach since 1999.
Ex-coach Patera dies at 85
Jack Patera, the first head coach in the history of the Seahawks, has died at age 85.
Patera died on Wednesday, the team said. The cause of death was not clear, but Patera had been battling pancreatic cancer. Patera was Seattle’s head coach for parts of seven seasons, beginning with the team’s inaugural season in 1976.
Patera’s best seasons came in 1978-79 when the Seahawks went 9-7 in consecutive years, but failed to make the playoffs. Patera was named the NFL coach of the year in 1978 when the Seahawks missed the playoffs by one game.
Seattle never reached the postseason until 1983. Patera was fired after starting the 1982 season 0-2 and finished his career with a 35-59 record.
Jets, MGM sign deal
The New York Jets and MGM Resorts International have agreed on a multiyear deal that is the first of its kind in the NFL.
With the announcement Wednesday, MGM Resorts is now the official gaming partner of the Jets. The agreement is the most comprehensive and integrated gaming partnership in the league, and the first to go beyond a casino sponsorship.
The NHL announced a multiyear agreement Monday to provide MGM Resorts with data for use in betting. It was the second major U.S. professional sports league to strike a deal with the casino since the Supreme Court opened the way for expanded gambling last spring.