News

Browns' David Njoku continues to grow after breakout game in Los Angeles

Posted Dec 5, 2017

'You're starting to see signs of what the offense is leading to with him in there'

David Njoku put together one of the best games of his young career in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers.

But the following day, the Browns rookie tight end shrugged off that big performance and said he could’ve done more.

“I did some good things,” Njoku said Monday, "but I also left some plays that I wish I had back.”

In another game that saw Cleveland stumble in the fourth quarter, Njoku was a bright spot and difference-maker on an offense that’s struggled this season. The first-round NFL Draft pick from Miami caught four passes for 74 yards, including an acrobatic 28-yard touchdown grab that gave the Browns their first and only lead of the game.

It was something of a breakout game for Njoku, who has shown flashes of becoming a big-time playmaker. It caught the attention of head coach Hue Jackson, who said the rookie has grown in recent weeks.

“I thought he competed hard. I thought he blocked better. Obviously, the touchdown catch was really, really good,” Jackson said. “He made some other plays with the ball, another catch down the middle of the field, which was big. I think you're starting to see signs of what the offense is leading to with him in there.”

To be sure, Njoku, who has 28 catches for 332 yards and four touchdowns (the most by a rookie tight end in team history) this year, expects more out of himself moving forward. So does Jackson, who pointed to a long pass the youngster couldn’t haul in along the sideline early in the game.

“That was one I wish I would have gotten by second foot inbounds,” he said.

Jackson said he expects Njoku to continue developing over the final month of the season. 

“He has to continue to grow and get better. He can’t just be one-dimensional because people know when he comes into the game, here comes the ball,” he said. “There are other things he is trying to get better at, and he’s going to continue to improve that way.”

But Sunday offered reason to believe why Njoku could have a big role in coming seasons.

“I’m very comfortable now. I think the game has slowed down a little more,” he said. “Just have to keep working at it every single day, me and the whole offense. We’re going to be OK.”

Recent Headlines