BEREA — Quarterback Baker Mayfield appreciates running back Kareem Hunt’s point of view and willingness to share it.
Even if it might ruffle a few feathers.
“Kareem has been in a place in Kansas City that knows how to win, so his level and his standard of accountability for everybody to do their job is very high,” Mayfield said Wednesday of Hunt, who was drafted by the Chiefs in 2017. “That is the type of guy you want to bring in here. I don’t think it was anything personal to anybody, but Kareem, bringing him in was a huge part for us raising the standards.
“We want that. We want guys to be able to have accountability. It does not need to just come from me all the time. Nick Chubb is our silent assassin, so having Kareem being a vocal leader is important for us.”
Hunt questioned the effort of his teammates Monday after a 38-24 loss to the Cardinals that all but extinguished the playoff hopes of the Browns (6-8).
“Everybody didn’t leave their 110 percent out there through the whole play, through the whole whistle,” Hunt said. “And we’ve all got to do that if we want to be successful.”
Coach Freddie Kitchens was OK with Hunt’s decision to criticize.
“Kareem is a great competitor,” Kitchens said. “Kareem puts everything out on the field every time he walks out on the field — practice, games, it doesn’t matter. He loves the game of football, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with challenging your teammates.”
Mayfield, a team captain, talked at the end of his rookie season in 2018 about the team playing with supreme effort after the playoffs were out of the picture. The message is applicable again this year.
“We are seeing exactly who is in it for the right reasons,” he said. “There is still that small slim chance that we can make (the playoffs). We have to have a lot of help, but we are playing to get better. We have to.
“We are playing to finish this thing out the right way and the way the people that have worked so long for this season — it has been a long, grueling season — but people around here deserve for us to finish the right way.”
He believes the team has stuck together despite a season of struggles, losses and unrealized expectations. As the Browns try to rid themselves of the losing culture and become a perennial playoff participant like the Chiefs, Mayfield said the blueprint is simple.
“Guys doing their job every single play,” he said. “It does not matter who we are playing or what the situation is, you better be giving 100 percent effort each play. You better be doing your job without a doubt, doing the work during the week so you get out there on Sunday and you do not hesitate. That is where Kareem is coming from and I respect that a lot.”
Mayfield stressed that winning must be the constant focus of the entire organization.
“Everybody needs to be on the same page,” he said. “If we are not doing it the right way, it is a waste of time. We do not need to be wasting our time right now. You only get so many opportunities to go out there and show what you can do. We need to get better.”
Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t expect a rematch of his Sept. 29 fight with Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“Just good football,” Beckham said.
He added it wouldn’t be hard for him to control his emotions after Humphrey choked him.
“Nah, like I told you, I’m over it,” he said. “Like I told you, I’ve had the candy dangled in front of me before. It’s just football.”
During Cleveland’s 40-25 Week 4 victory in Baltimore, Beckham and Humphrey were locked up as Beckham blocked on a screen pass, then he punched Humphrey, who took him to the ground and held both his fists against Beckham’s throat while he on the ground. Each was fined $14,037 by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he didn’t think the altercation would carry over to Sunday.
“It just happened. It is football,” he said. “Those are two really good players and big competitors. It is not something that I have even thought about.”
Chubb, the league’s leading rusher with 1,408 yards, and receiver Jarvis Landry were the team’s only two players voted to the Pro Bowl. Chubb, the No. 35 pick in 2018, made his first Pro Bowl and was voted a starter. Landry made his fifth straight team.
“It is very well-deserving,” Kitchens said. “Jarvis has had an excellent year. He has done a great job in the run game. He continues to be an asset in the pass game, third down and all areas of the pass game he has done a great job. It was great to see him get recognized.
“Nick Chubb is one of the hardest workers we have, and his success has shown on the field every week. It feels great for the guys to get recognized for their accomplishments.”
Left guard Joel Bitonio is the first alternate after making his first Pro Bowl last season.
“Obviously you want to get in first ballot, but it is one of those things where you are still getting honored,” he said. “People are recognizing that you are a good player and there are other good players in this league.”
The AFC guards are Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda, Indianapolis’ Quenton Nelson and Pittsburgh’s David DeCastro.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (back), JC Tretter (knee) and offensive lineman Kendall Lamm (knee) didn’t practice.
Richardson finished the game against the Cardinals, hasn’t missed a game this year and has been the best lineman recently on a depleted front four. He watched the linemen go through drills during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Lamm made his second straight start against the Cardinals before getting hurt in the first half. He was replaced by Chris Hubbard, who missed the previous week with a knee injury.
Tretter is playing through a knee injury but hasn’t missed a snap.
Defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee) has missed five of six games, including the last two. He was limited again Wednesday.
“I think he is close. I do not know if he will get there or not,” Kitchens said. “We will see at the end of the week.”
Hubbard and cornerback Denzel Ward (ankle) were among those limited. They finished the game Sunday.
** For the Ravens, no one missed practice with an injury.