Mayfield excited for first start in Browns-Steelers rivalry

Rookie watched from the sidelines in opener

Mayfield excited for first start in Browns-Steelers rivalry
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield looks to throw in the first half during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) (Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On Sunday the Browns will look for their first win in Pittsburgh since Tim Couch authored a 33-13 beating of the of the Steelers in prime time. Since then they have dropped 14 in a row to their division rival in Heinz Field. They rarely beat the Steelers in Cleveland, which made the 21-21 tie in the opener a bit of a statement. “It is always tough with Pittsburgh," said guard Joel Bitonio. “They always seem to have a good gameplan for us, and we hurt ourselves a little bit. I know our defense gave us a lot of opportunities in the first game to score, and there were some chances there that we had to convert even more plays into scores. There is encouragement there."

Baker Mayfield watched from the sidelines that day, he’ll be on the field and in the middle of the storm on Sunday. Despite not playing that day, he got a sense of the rivalry. “Absolutely. Can feel it from our crowd," said the rookie. "That was the first game of the year so a little bit different, but yeah, absolutely. Can sense the physicality of this game. That is kind of how all of our division games go. I got a good taste for it.”

Mayfield is no stranger to rivalries. At Oklahoma he played in two big ones, the Red River Showdown between his Sooners and the Texas Longhorns, and the in-state rivalry with Oklahoma State. He loves these games. “Football is a physical game, and when it comes to rivalry games, that is when it is the most physical. A lot of things, assignment errors and stuff like that can be overcome by imposing your will on the other team. That is what AFC North is about, and that is what this rivalry is about. When it comes down to it, you have to do your job, but a lot of the time, the team that runs the ball the best and is the most physical wins.”

Some day the tide will turn in this rivalry. The Browns hope the drafting of Mayfield will signal that change. He will get his first chance Sunday, in a place they haven’t won, since the last quarterback they took #1 overall lead them to a win.

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