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Anyone else extremely worried about the Baker-OBJ connection and how it will affect the offense and the Browns season in general?

Here is my worry. Chemistry and continuity. It appears OBJ is going to be kept "on-ice" the entire training camp and then just appear on the field week one. So the assumption is he is just some part that can be plugged into this complex machine that is an NFL offense at the last minute and everything will go smoothly. Or that his supreme talent will override the continuity that Baker has been building and maintaining with Higgins or DPJ. I don't know that is correct. Let's face it, despite a great o-line, against NFL defenses Baker will be pushed off his spot and also receivers will need to adjust to break free. In those not so uncommon situations Baker needs to make correct, split second decisions, I believe through instinctual connections with the receivers. This is not to mention the interplay between receivers in the passing game and RBs knowing how receivers block in the running game, which could all be thrown off by the lack of practice together. This is not all hypothetical, it is what has happened in practice. Per last year, and also in most of Bakers Cleveland career, that is he plays better when loose, comfortable, and in control, rather than when the best raw talent is on the field.

This is not even to mention the "OBJ star" factor, meaning the idea that Baker does not let the game come to him when OBJ is on the field, but rather has some ulterior motive, namely that he needs to feed OBJ. Don't know if that's true or not, but it could only compound the former proposed issue.

None of this is an attack on OBJ, he only does what the coaches allow him to do. More a question about the wisdom of the coaching staff thinking a key part of the offense can be plugged in last minute and do better than the "less" talented guys (DPJ, Higgins) bringing the lunch pail everyday and building an on-field relationship with Baker and the team.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, and the OBJ-Baker and OBJ-Browns offense connections will suddenly become magical.

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Originally Posted By: Baker_Dawg
Anyone else extremely worried about the Baker-OBJ connection and how it will affect the offense and the Browns season in general?



Im not should be just fine... if not we got plenty of other weapons


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It’s a big concern to see how they can connect. There’s no secret that Baker has had way more success without OBJ. You know the coaching staff will do everything possible to make things work … it’s the story line of the offense this season IMO


"First down inside the 10. A score here likely puts us in the Super Bowl. Landry is far to the left as Hooper settles into the slot. OBJ is flanked out wide to the right. Chubb and Hunt are split in the backfield as Baker takes the snap ... Here we go."
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Originally Posted By: Dawgs4Life
… it’s the story line of the offense this season IMO


I definitely agree with this thought, however most think about it like its isolated in some way, meaning Browns still win but they score 7 less points if it doesn't work.

I'm worried we go from a very good to an average offense. a la Cincinnati game, obj goes out and the offense catches fire

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I'm not worried at all, actually. They have deliberately been getting a TON of 1-on-1 work this summer.

In fact, I think Week 1 just might be a "Holy Crap!" kinda week... ya know, like the Eli to OBJ days, but with a QB with an arm throwing the ball.


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I disagree with the premise that Odell and Baker can't and don't fit together in the Browns offense. I could try to explain it but Bret Kollmann does it much better and more thoroughly than I can.

Youtube would not allow this video to be embedded in my post. So take the 17 minutes to view the video in its entirety.

The OBJ narrative makes no sense.


Last edited by guard dawg; 08/26/21 06:50 PM.

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Baker and Odell will be quite fine.


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I agree with you....JMHO, coach SKI is real, he talks up the guys, yet doesn't sugar coat stuff- I think IF OBJ acts out, the other leaders on team will talk to him AND I think he'd honor SKI and them. I don't think Bake in his second season will think he has to force the ball the OBJ- we have LOTS of weapons and I think all will go well IF we win. Losing could cause some issue, yet I don't see that happening....GO Browns!!!


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Great question.

I think AVP's presser today is excellent in answering your question.

https://www.clevelandbrowns.com/news/van-pelt-browns-offense-has-ability-to-punch-and-counter-punch

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I was worried last year, but not this year. I think both Baker and OBJ found out that the ball needs spread around. And as luck would have it, we got plenty to spread it around to. I'm very confident in Kevin Stefanski and his planning

Very excited that Baker is Mature beyond his years.. I think they'll figure it out..


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Originally Posted By: guard dawg
I disagree with the premise that Odell and Baker can't and don't fit together in the Browns offense. I could try to explain it but Bret Kollmann does it much better and more thoroughly than I can.

Youtube would not allow this video to be embedded in my post. So take the 17 minutes to view the video in its entirety.

The OBJ narrative makes no sense.



I was just going to share this


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I think it's possible that the Baker-OBJ connection could get off to a rocky start. I choose to believe it won't be as bad as the beginning of last year because much of the offense's struggles were Baker getting comfy with the O and 'settling into' operating the O. I also think, at this point, he's gotta realize that he's at his best when he's distributing. I've noticed him kinda "remember" that he's got Landry out there and will feed him like 3-4 passes in a row after him being quiet for whole quarters, but Baker's best games are when he's looking in everyone's direction.

Oh yeah, and we have these other guys called Chubb and Hunt.

Baker-to-OBJ might take a minute or two to really mesh once the season starts, but it won't hold back the O.


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Where is OBJ being kept on ice? There is plenty of footage of him working with Baker in practice. You state this as if OBJ is not in the building and is off working alone.

IMO, it wasn't a case of OBJ needing to be the center of Baker's world last year, causing the offense to stumble. I think it was more the growth that happened to Baker after OBJ went down. IMO, it was just coincidence, and nothing else.

Baker improved in many ways after OBJ's injury. Thinking he improved because OBJ wasn't there is foolish.

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A few thoughts on this subject , and I do think about it from time to time (full disclosure: I really didn’t want OBJ when we traded for him). Most of this is deductive reasoning.

1. I believe that even OBJ could see that our O was a different animal after he got hurt. So that may have humbled him (I’m not even sure he needed to be humbled, so to speak, and no one can be sure his absence was the factor that ignited our O).

2. Baker is now in his fourth season. With his success and growing maturity and self-assuredness, by this time Bake should feel no obligation to force the ball to Beckham.

3. OBJ was a star in NY, but it’s possible he’s tired of that, and would rather win. (I personally feel he’d do some heavy damage as a slot receiver)

I wouldn’t feel bad if we traded him, and we might get some serious return for him. I wouldn’t be unhappy if we kept him, considering his talent. I do believe that we don’t need him.


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They shouldn't trade OBJ just bench him.
I'm listening to a game reaction after the week 1 38-6 loss to the Ravens in 2020.
The consensus is clear after that one loss, they should bench OBJ, and Baker is never going to be a quarterback, there is no connection.

So, after this time, back to reality, could we consider,
that OBJ doesn't excel at being a team player who could just do his job and not make it all about him personally.

The comment was made that everytime Odell makes a catch he takes two steps backwards, why is he trying to more than finish the play.
Odell is not faster than the others in the NFL
Is OBJ a player living off the reputation of the past.

What does OBJ have to prove, to prove he can play in the NFL? nothing.
But
What does OBJ have left in the tank? He's Excellent.
Excellent on 3 catches a game?

If the Browns go into the season, and
and OBJ, and Hodge are two of the targets and the offense looks like a dumpster fire, then they'll have to change the targets.

And listening to this 38-6 loss review after the Ravens opener, Chubb and Hunt both played, and they were saying Hunt looked much better than Chubb.

Anything can be a reaction, They need to find a way to get the ball to their playmakers.

If this Browns defense gets run all over, it won't matter how good the Browns runners all because they'll be abandoning the run trying to play catch up even in the first half.

Fundamentals.
Turnovers! Pass protection.
The offensive line in the pre season has looked sloppy.

if the Browns go into the regular season and the Starting OL is rusty, they won't be able to pass protect.

At some point we have to ask, if OBJ is still special.
and if special receivers can get 6 catches a game.


And if the Browns can't get 6 passes complete to OBJ, what gives.
And why does it matter? Should OBJ be a #1 option, or is he a #2 option.

OBJ is going to be facing a #1 corner, a whole defense is going to be gplaning to shut him down the whole day.

Can we get a coach who can figure out how to get the ball to this guy, beyond the line of scrimmage.


If Baker Mayfield can zing the ball in there, that 99 mph fastball, and OBJ doesn't come down with it, then:
is it, that Baker and OBJ don't practice enough reps.

If Odell Beckham is going to get, #1 defender coveage,
but if he is a superstar, can he still get separation?

Is OBJ only good on a 40 yard downfield pass, or is he Never good on a 40 yard downfield pass.
What I mean is,

Can OBJ put in the lunch pail, work-a-day catch, and get out of bounds, the rhythm of stacking completions, without everything, every touch trying to be some highlight reel that eventually messes up the flow.

Is OBJs best year 5 years ago?

Can the Baker and OBJ relationship, be strong enough that if there is one really bad game, that it doesn't end in pouting, giving up, or finger pointing.

Can the Browns just focus on the fundamentals. Can this team match the success of last year.
How are the coaches going to design things so that Odell can be one of the players who can be put in a position to be open in space.

Is Beckham motivated to prove, he's going to have ,you know, 50 yards per game. 100?

Can OBJ, work off the Tight ends and other Wideouts, where it ends up that OBJ is in the favorable open position.

How do the Browns offensive players come together as a team, if we're talking about the starters.


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J hope you are wrong, too. We know OBJ has been working hard, along with BM. Training camp counts for a lot. Protecting OBJ coming back from injury is a huge priority. Some of your worries and concerns may be legitimate IF they materialize, but right now it is mere speculation.

I believe the team, especially these two will be fine, and there will be enough success to go around. brownie


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Thanks for this


"First down inside the 10. A score here likely puts us in the Super Bowl. Landry is far to the left as Hooper settles into the slot. OBJ is flanked out wide to the right. Chubb and Hunt are split in the backfield as Baker takes the snap ... Here we go."
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Count me as in the camp that Baker began mastering the offense COINCIDENTALLY with OBJ's injury last year. This coaching staff is too smart to allow Baker to be receiver dependent on one guy.

I saw somewhere that AVP says Baker's footwork is vastly improved from this time last year. That, plus heavy work with OBJ in the off-season and on the side in practices, obvious attention to physical conditioning, consistency in offense from one year to the next, and consistency in personnel...strap in guys!

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I think there is a far more logical explanation for what we saw last year than "Once OBJ was out of the line up the O caught on fire".

Sure, one can make the correlation but I think an even bigger factor was at play here. When a QB is unsure and in the beginning stages of learning a new O, he will often try to find a security blanket with which to depend on. That's exactly what we saw.

As time passes that QB becomes more comfortable in that offense and as such performs better. The stark contrast of what we saw in the first half of the season verses the last half of the season was far more about Baker becoming comfortable within the new system than having anything to do with OBJ being on or off the field.

Now did OBJ being injured cause Baker to be forced to spread the ball out more? Probably so. But it's the QB who makes the decision where to throw the ball, not the WR. And now that Baker is more comfortable and confident with his other WR's, I don't see where OBJ plays a role in Baker's performance.


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Yes, Baker will take the hometown discount, as well as Jarvis and Odell.

This core isn’t going anywhere.


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I would only be scared if OBJ or someone like OBJ weren't on the Browns. The issue was and is that Baker wasn't ready to run the offense in the 1st half of the season nor was the coaching staff. A leftover from Covid we are so past that now. Baker is past it and so is the coaching staff.

What OBJ brings to the Browns is someone that can take the top off, who is quick and who has a top end speed that most if not all of the corners in the NFL can't handle without plenty of help. These issues at this juncture are or will be laid to rest. The connection between OBJ under the coaching of Ski and company will get these 2 on the same page. The adjustments will be choreographed and OBJ and Baker will work to predetermined adjustments. It will give Baker the confidence to let it fly. The biggest part of the connection issues between OBJ and Baker were that nobody laid out the ground rules for adjustments and how and where they would be made. That at this point I believe has been laid to rest.

OBJ will change every aspect of the Browns offense even if he doesn't catch a single ball. Last season when we played the Chief's they played man press coverage and that allowed the Chiefs to blitz and to load up to take away Chubb and Hunt. With OBJ in the fold I dare them to give man press coverage another go will burn them repeatedly. OBJ changes all of that it means pulling out another safety to help contain OBJ over the top it means one less safety to man up on our TE's who if we had game planned more for a TE with dynamic skills like say Njoku who LB can't cover and who towers over safeties and whom is easily one of the most athletic TE in the NFL we create all sorts of matchup issues for anyone including the Chiefs.

What we become is the Chiefs with Hunt and Kelso with a much better backend. In effect we will beat them at their own game, because wait for it we are far more talented then they are. That is plain to see so fear no there is nothing to fear.

Two things are going to happen this season, because I said so... Hahaha Njoku and OBJ are going to shine and that will make Chubb and Hunt more deadly then ever. I have no fear and welcome what I have no reason not to believe will happen. Forget about everything that has transpired between OBJ and Baker to date and as far as that goes forget about everything to do with Njoku that combo is going to light the league on fire.

Add in a healthy dose of Landry, Hopper, DPJ, and Higgins and you shouldn't be in fear of things not working out you should be salivating at what these guys are going to do to other teams.

Enjoy the ride guys the days of us being outcoached and outplayed are over with. Why ??? Because I said so....Hahaha


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Originally Posted By: BuckDawg1946
Yes, Baker will take the hometown discount, as well as Jarvis and Odell.

This core isn’t going anywhere.


What makes you think this? I think the exact opposite.

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As usual there not a point you made that I don't agree with.

What I will add is; where is Baker?

He is in charge.

The league has not seen the full Baker.

Josh Allen went to the Bills and has been under the same coaches since.

Baker this year is the first time he is under the same coaches and system. AVP has had a huge impact on Baker. Baker respects him. And for all Baker has gone through. He really needed that.

AVP is a former qb. He is a very good teacher. He came in and saw what had to change in Baker.

It is all about getting your feet and eyes in sync to route steps. He changed his footwork. The today Baker under center is not the Baker from the past.

Last year after the break. KS and AVP adjusted. What we saw after that point was a glance of what will be.

OBJ is a talented receiver. So is a healthy Jarvis. They are parts of the offense. As is the rest of the backfield and TE's.

It is all about Baker as the trigger. He is the one making decisions. First he had to get right mechanically. Check. Then he had to gain confidence in the new mechanics. Check. Then he had to trust his throws. Get the ball to the right guy at the right time.

Starting since the loss to KC. It is all about Baker being ready to lead the team. He came in physically ready. But more importantly he is refining where he left off.

Odell and Jarvis will both make big plays.

But this year is really where Baker ends anyones doubts.

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Originally Posted By: cfrs15
Originally Posted By: BuckDawg1946
Yes, Baker will take the hometown discount, as well as Jarvis and Odell.

This core isn’t going anywhere.


What makes you think this? I think the exact opposite.


It was even reported he won't
https://www.wkyc.com/article/sports/nfl/...b4-2afec343a43e


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Based on what I have seen I have no reason to doubt for a moment that is exactly what will happen Bone well said as usual I agree.

This team is stacked and Baker is ready you can bet on it.


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Found a kick returner:



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Stumbled across a little "food for thought" today during the grueling, never ending search for answers as to why this just doesn't seem to work.

Over the past three years I've searched in other places... "Does OBJ freelance too much? Is Baker forcing the ball to him? Does OBJ know the playbook?" etc, etc...

First I'll preface with my initial thoughts as there has yet to be anything to dispel them... OBJ is a big-play receiver, he does special things with the ball in his hands, the real problem seems to be getting the ball in his hands (which in and of itself makes no sense as he has some of the best hands in the NFL).

I'm no football guru, but from the beginning I've questioned "the window". In my eyes, the best receivers throw the window wide open and a QB has a pretty good idea of how open that window is... and how long before it closes. With OBJ, that window seems to open in short bursts and closes pretty quickly... His routes are nowhere near as fluid as elite receivers, the term that always comes to mind is "herky-jerky". I think that makes it really hard for a QB to have trust and confidence.


And the screams from the aisles are always "Yeah, but Eli Manning had no problems, he was great with the Giants!"

Was he? And what did that mean for the Giants?

Second thing first... The Giants averaged five wins all but one season of his tenure. That outlier was an 11-5 season in which their defense gave up more than 24 points once all year.

Was he great? He certainly made a lot of great plays and put up a lot of yards. Personally, I think he was a walking highlight reel that made little difference in the success of his team. He was a lot of fun to watch.


From the beginning with the Browns I've always wondered "why so many targets and so few catches". Never thought to dig very deep before today...

NFL RANKING IN CATCH PERCENTAGE (receptions divided by targets)

Rookie season (2014): 58
2015: 130
2016: 133
2017: 128
2018: 137
2019: 174
2020: 191
2021: 191

First, I don't have access to stats that will tear this down to just WRs, and the top is loaded with TEs, RBs, and players with way fewer targets. But here is Michael Thomas for comparison's sake:

2016: 26
2017: 66
2018: 4
2019: 19
2020: 66

Yeah, yeah, yeah... Drew Brees.


Bottom line: Every season there are at least 15 WRs in the top 50, all catching at least 75% of their passes. Different teams, different QBs, different roles and situations.

OBJ, for his career is at 60.7%. In eight seasons that percentage has only gone up twice from the previous season. He's never cracked the top 50 and his best season (percentage wise) was his rookie year at 70%.


As a disclaimer, I'll say that I love OBJ, I think he is a great "team player" and an asset to any offense. Also, this is not to take away any responsibility from Baker to "be better".

What is more and more evident though is that he his nothing more than a solid NFL WR that just happens to have a penchant for making electric plays. Outside of three seasons early in his career, with a TON of targets, the numbers don't really support the "gotta get the ball in his hands" narrative... because evidence shows that the task is not really as easy as it may seem. I think it's fair to say that the Browns have already figured that out, now the fans need to follow suit.


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U must have missed the Dallas game last year … he can do things others can’t!

Odell was a top 3 WR in the league in every ones opinion before coming here … i have no clue what’s wrong here and why his production is basically non existent this year other than he’s on a team now that doesn’t need him to carry it like he was in NY …

This is a prime example of why STATS ARE FOR LOSERS … pulling out one stat and using it as the be all end all to prove your point witch in this case is NONSENSE!

With that said his injuries very well could have taken a toll on him and he isn’t what he used to be physically … if that’s the case everyone in our Org lied to us about how great he looked since the start of camp ….


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Great post! And done without poking fingers and making accusations.

I think your assessment is spot-on. It's no one's "fault"...it just is-what-it-is. They can BOTH do better...and it's been that way since they have been together.

How can Baker connect with Higgins and DPJ and not OBJ? Maybe it's just one of those things that can't be figured out?

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Nah, I saw the Dallas game. He took over that game. So did TE Dawson Knox Sunday night with the Bills.

These stats are no "be all end all", they're just proof that over eight seasons and over 800+ targets it's not really that easy to "gotta get the ball in his hands". Nothing more, nothing less.


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Quote:
U must have missed the Dallas game last year … he can do things others can’t!

Odell was a top 3 WR in the league in every ones opinion before coming here … i have no clue what’s wrong here and why his production is basically non existent this year other than he’s on a team now that doesn’t need him to carry it like he was in NY …

I think that is the entire intention of his post.. yes, he comes with a big reputation but is it warranted or is it largely based on some spectacular highlight real catches that he has made?

So he can do some things that other guys can't (I don't really agree with that, but let's go with it).... Jerry Rice wasn't Jerry Rice because he could do spectacular things other guys can't... he was Jerry Rice because he did all the stuff a great WR is supposed to do, all the time. He didn't disappear for 3 quarters and then show up with a phenomenal 1 handed catch over his head, then strut around like he accomplished something. I'm not an OBJ hater, I like the guy, I hope we get it figured out, I hope we get our entire passing game figured out.

To make an analogy, some WRs are like Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, they do all of the little things well all the time.. OBJ seems to be more like Vince Carter who shows up once in a while with a tremendously entertaining dunk.... but is not great the rest of the time..


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I’m not a big fan of shiny things, never have been …

OBJ when he came here had ELITE burst, acceleration and speed … the plays he made in the Dallas game there are only a few WR’s in the NFL that could have made those plays …

He had/has ELITE physical skills and has had proven success in the past …. There’s a reason why when we made the trade he was a top 3 WR in the league and it wasn’t because he was just a shiny object …

Y’all can disagree all u want … THOSE ARE THE FACTS … just like Bake has the arm to make throws only a few can, OBJ had/has physical skills very few WR’s do … Bake has other issues that don’t allow him to get the most out of his arm talent, why OBJ isn’t making plays is beyond me, I have no clue ….

What i do know is it isn’t because of the BS stat Fate used to prove his point that OBJ is nothing more than a solid NFL WR even though he tried to deny that in his next post … I must have struck a nerve, he’s a good dude and better than that … wink

Y’all can have the last word … I’m out …

LETS GOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo thumbsup


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Originally Posted By: DiamDawg

What i do know is it isn’t because of the BS stat Fate used to prove his point that OBJ is nothing more than a solid NFL WR even though he tried to deny that in his next post … I must have struck a nerve, he’s a good dude and better than that … wink

Y’all can have the last word … I’m out …

LMAO. Man, if we couldn't read the username, who does this sound like?? rofl

I know you're packing your toys and going home, but I have no idea what I "tried to deny". Oh well. "Struck a nerve"? Alternate universe type talk there, my friend.

How you keep comparing the Dallas game to what I posted is beyond me... actually it mostly verifies what I posted. I'm talking about "getting the ball in his hands" and you keep bringing up a game where two of his biggest plays had the QB practically handing it to him. As far as the catches... EVERY receiver in the NFL should make those catches every time.

Why don't you watch the highlights and tell me what I'm missing...



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I’m not usually the “trade him” guy. With that said, I think an exploration of OBJ’s value is probably wise. I don’t think OBJ is bad and I don’t think he somehow makes Baker a worse QB. He is just not being used and I think that whatever we could get back in a trade is more valuable than the value OBJ brings on the field.

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I think you need to give Baker a little more time. He is learning to play with OBJ. OBJ needs to learn to play with the other talent.

Personally, I thought Baker sent a message. Do you want the ball? Catch the ball. Baker took charge.

DawgTalkers.net Forums DawgTalk Pure Football Forum The OBJ-Baker Connection: Linchpin to the season?

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