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Need to Know: Hue Jackson says Baker Mayfield didn't blink in debut as NFL starter

OAKLAND — Baker Mayfield didn't flinch in a game that wasn't for the faint of heart.

That dynamic stuck with coach Hue Jackson the day following Sunday's 45-42 loss to the Raiders in overtime, a bout in which the Browns rookie quarterback put the team in position to win despite four turnovers.

"I'm being very honest with you, I didn't see any blink in Baker on any of those things. That is what was very pleasing to me," Jackson said Monday. "I get a chance to look in his eyes and he didn't flinch. Matter of fact, he was like 'Come on guys, let's go.'"

Indeed, Mayfield, who passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start, helped ignite an offensive explosion that saw the Browns post almost 500 yards of offense and their highest point total since 2007.

To be sure, Jackson stressed Cleveland can't turn the ball over like that and expect to win. Mayfield echoed a similar sentiment in his postgame news conference and took ownership of those miscues despite Jackson's belief that not all of them were his fault. 

"They're not all on Baker, but at the same time, I appreciate him taking responsibility for it," he said. "I think, as a unit – I'm going to say it again –we got to continue to do better, and assist and help him be the best version of himself as we go through it."

For every obstacle — self-inflicted or not — Jackson said Mayfield bounced back when it mattered most. 

"I think when you have a young man like that who one, takes responsibility, but two, I mean I'm not going to say it's just water off of a duck's back in a bad way, but in a good way. That, 'Hey, look here. This is not happening again. Let's move on to something else and let's keep going,'" he said.

"'I'm going to make enough plays and we are going to overcome this.' That's what he did. In the end, we were right there. He put us in position again to have a chance to win that game. We just didn't do it."

— The Browns will be without cornerback Terrance Mitchell for significant time after he underwent surgery Monday morning to repair a broken wrist. "That's a tough loss because I truly believe that he was playing well," Jackson said. "I think he was one of the guys who created turnovers in our secondary."

The good news, Jackson said, is there's a chance Mitchell will return at some point this season. Mitchell, who signed with the team in free agency this past spring, had an interception and two forced fumbles in four starts. 

— Rookie running back Nick Chubb had something of a breakout performance, rushing just three times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson said the Browns need to figure out a way to get the former Georgia standout more carries moving forward behind vets Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. 

"He has to get some. Hyde is playing well, but this guy is scoring touchdowns from long ways away. I was impressed. I watched those two touchdowns on tape today, they were even better than they were on the field," Jackson said. 

"He ran away from some people on the first one, ran away from some people on the second one. It just looked natural and easy. He was gone. They could not touch him. He made a guy miss, broke a tackle. It was impressive. But again, we have good backs. We know that. Sometimes it is going to be hit and miss, where some other guy is making it happen, then the other guy goes in and does it. Between those two guys, they had big days. Carlos has been the bell cow. We have handed it to him a lot. Obviously, Chubb has gone in there and made some plays lately."

— Jackson said the Browns had nine drops Sunday and lamented those missed opportunities in a game that came down to the wire. "We had way too many drops," he said. "We had nine drops. Nine. That is not winning football."

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