Skip to main content

Need to Know: Cleveland connections bind Browns TE Pharaoh Brown with Chiefs stars

— Sunday is Pharaoh Brown's homecoming — not just Kareem Hunt's and Travis Kelce's.

It will be good for Brown to see his old friends. 

The Cleveland connections run deep. Brown's cousin went to Willoughby South High School at the same time Hunt did. Brown, a Lyndhurst native, saw some of Hunt's games in person. 

"He was sick (in high school)," said Brown, who could make his Browns debut Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

Kelce used to share the field with Brown when both players lived in Cleveland Heights -- Brown as a player, Kelce as a referee. When Brown, an undrafted tight end, posted about his recent elevation from the practice squad, Kelce applauded with a trio of eye emojis. 

And though Kelce and Hunt are the enemies Sunday, Brown's roots run deeper than that. 

"It's just good to see guys from Cleveland putting on for our city," Brown said. "When we see each other (on Sunday), it's all love."

— Baker Mayfield has his hands full. 

On top of two coaching changes, his left tackle (Desmond Harrison, illness) and No. 2 receiver (Antonio Callaway, ankle) appeared on Friday's injury report as questionable. Outscoring the league's top offense just got even harder. 

"Baker has to cope with (the injuries)," interim head coach Gregg Williams said. "It is never easy." 

It never has been for Mayfield. The Browns' midseason overhaul is a snug fit for his beat-the-odds narrative arch. And as usual, Mayfield isn't shying away from the challenge. 

"Bring it on," Mayfield said. 

-- Williams knows his audience. 

Yes, he's a proponent of his outdoor voice. And yes, he's very familiar with the American curse word. But he adjusts his coaching style for each player. 

Take kicker Greg Joseph, for instance. Williams has a say in every phase now, special teams included. Kickers missing kicks is frustrating. But Williams knows a kicker's confidence is his livelihood. Williams has other modes of communication. 

"(My personality) is fiery with different kinds of people," Williams said. "You are not the same with a quarterback as you are with a kicker. I change it up. Whatever the player really needs."

So if Joseph misses against the Chiefs like he did in Pittsburgh, Williams won't berate him into an unfortunate "Hard Knocks" clip. Williams does have an affinity for the players that respond to the intensity, though. 

"With Baker, you can be however you want to, which is kind of fun," Williams said. "Jarvis (Landry), you do not have to worry about that either. Jarvis has that, 'Let's go get some.'"

Related Content