CLEVELAND — Stray observations about the Browns as players enter the summer vacation portion of their schedule, not to be confused with the spring and winter vacation portions of their schedule:
- As best as we can tell, the criticism of Odell Beckham from the end of OTAs to his first sighting at this week’s mini-camp went like this:
Why doesn’t he want to be here to establish chemistry with new teammates and a new coaching staff? Isn’t that the prima donna behavior…oh, my God, never mind, did you see that catch? He makes Baryshnikov look like Chris Farley on ice skates.
- They say Beckham won the press conference — a development that really only beats losing the press conference.
- ”Mentally, physically, spiritually, I’ve grown to a different place,” Beckham told the assembled media. “People that know me know I’m in a place I’ve never been in my entire life. And I’m just happy where I’m at.”
Pre-mini camp take: By different place, did he mean Monaco? Or the Met gala?
Mini-camp take: Wow. This guy makes Bran The Three-Eyed Raven sound like a neanderthal. All hail, King OBJ.
- Baker Mayfield said you’re either on the train or you’re not. Either way, the train is moving. Get on or get out of the way. Good for him. That's what leaders should say.
By the way, if you instantly flinched and thought of Chris Palmer’s “runaway train,” you may believe you’re all-in on the 2019 season but it is proof you are not yet on the Baker Express.
- Wide receiver Antonio Callaway doesn’t shy from sharing his goals for the season: 1,000 yards and 10 TDs.
Pre-camp take: He’s getting way ahead of himself.
Camp take: He’s getting way ahead of himself.
- I’ll believe Odell Beckham when he says the Browns playbook “won’t be hard to pick up.” Provided he isn’t hiring Josh Gordon who always said the same thing) as a tutor.
- All in all, it’s difficult to explain how much things have changed in less than a year in Berea.
Only last August Gordon’s return was the source of much excitement.
Baker Mayfield called Gordon’s return “something that’s great for our team, not just our offense.”
Also speaking highly of Gordon’s impact was the Browns starting quarterback.
Whatshisname. It'll come to me.
- Gordon, by the way, picked up a Super Bowl ring at a team gathering at Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s house Thursday.
Considering the self-inflicted obstacle course that has been his NFL career, Gordon getting a Super Bowl ring while under suspension can be seen as proof that anything short of Dwayne Bowe getting a Super Bowl ring is entirely possible.
(And that fulfills our required one-Dwayne-Bowe-or-Kenny-Britt-per-column mention).
Almost makes the Browns in the Super Bowl seem reasonable.
- The Browns are in a much better place 10 months after Gordon's return was a big development on Hard Knocks. Remember Hue Jackson telling Todd Haley, "The eagle has landed." Good times.
- Coming off a 7-8-1 season and the acquisition of Beckham, who joins Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Callaway, David Njoku, Nick Chubb and (eventually) Kareem Hunt, the offense could be quite prolific.
If it’s not, I believe the expiration date can still be extended on blaming either Jackson or Sashi Brown.
- Pre-camp take on all that roster talent (compliments of Freddie Kitchens:) Whoopty-hell.
One final camp take: Whoopty-hell they look good.
- Besides three home runs allowed to Minnesota’s Max Kepler, Trevor Bauer only allowed two other hits in Thursday’s 5-4 loss that left the Indians 10 1/2 games out of first place.
And except for Jamal Lewis five long runs, Butch Davis defense kept him under wraps when he ran for 295 yards for the Ravens in 2003.
- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wants to play until he’s 45.
If that’s what it takes to finally have a better season than 57-year-old Tom Brady.
- This picture of Brady showing off his six Super Bowl rings made the rounds on social media. If this is the end, if he never gets another ring, I know you'll join me when I extend my thoughts and prayers.
- Police say two female acquaintances of Le’Veon Bell made off with more than $500,000 in jewelry from his South Florida home while he was working out at a nearby gym.
The police report says the jewelry went missing on May 25. The two women are described as Bell’s “girlfriends.”
No explanation for why they left behind the manuscripts of his self-help book, “Winning Friends and Influencing Teammates.”
- Bell, who did not attend the voluntary portion of the Jets OTAs, participated in New York’s mandatory minicamp.
“I picture this scheme being amazing for me,” he told the media.
Forgetting to add, “But it’s not all about me.”
- Ibrahim Uzulmez lasted just four hours and 36 minutes as manager of Kasimpasa in the Turkish football league before employer and employee parted ways.
Why so long, said former Jets head coach Bill Belichick.
- If there’s a more romantic baseball park name than Guaranteed Rate Field where the White Sox play it must be all the other ones.
- Former Indians prospect Clint Frazier says he had no regrets ducking the media after his errors in the outfield cost the Yankees a game against the Red Sox.
"And to be fair, I don't think I owe anyone an explanation, because it's not a rule that I have to speak," Frazier said.
Just an unwritten rule that you don’t leave your teammates having to explain what happened on your behalf while you’re moping in the shower.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, to ESPN, on the Lakers dysfunction:
"The more screwed up they are, the happier I am.”
Cuban then made it a point to say he feels the same way about every franchise not named the Dallas Mavericks.
And there we have it. The definition of a half truth.
- Fans wearing Boston Bruins gear fought each other in the stands at the end of Thursday’s Game 5 Stanley Cup Finals loss to St. Louis.
I’m sure it somehow made sense to them.
But for the rest of us it was hard to know whether to root for the tool or the igit.
Have a weekend.