Baker Mayfield made sure to savor his NFL debut.
During Thursday night's preseason win over the Giants, the Browns' rookie quarterback turned toward the huddle and took it all in for a brief second in between plays.
"This is kind of fun," he told teammates in a clip previewing the second episode of "Hard Knocks," which airs Tuesday night on HBO.
Mayfield, the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft, further described that feeling in interviews Tuesday, making clear it's something he won't ever take for granted.
"It's something that I have dreamt of for a long time. When you go out there and have a chance to do it, why not make the most of it? Why not put everything you have into it?" Mayfield said.
"When you have some success – football's hard – you better enjoy it. It doesn't come easy. It's a lot of work. You have to be able to enjoy it with the guys."
In the process, Mayfield showed plenty of promise that night at MetLife Stadium, passing for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He'll try to continue that momentum against the Bills in Friday's preseason home opener.
"I've always had a one-day-at-a-time mindset. But for me, I do have that sense of urgency to get better," he said. "Every opportunity I can get, I need to seize that day. It is about taking it one day at a time, making sure that I am getting better every day."
— Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is set to face his former team for the first time since Buffalo traded him to Cleveland in March. While Taylor — a three-year starter for the Bills who led them to the playoffs last season — dismissed the preseason contest as some sort of revenge game, his experience in Buffalo still motivates him.
Browns coach Hue Jackson echoed a similar sentiment. "I just think he's a pro NFL quarterback who likes to compete, likes to play, wants to win, wants to be the leader, wants to lead an offensive football team and a football team that our organization," he said. "He was the right fit for us at the right time, and to me he has been everything that I think he should be when he walks in and more. The guy is a tremendous leader, tremendous worker and he is trying to do everything the right way."
— Speaking of Taylor, he confirmed the pronunciation of his first name is "TUH-rod" not "TY-rod." While happy to set the record straight, he seemed indifferent to the whole controversy. "That's a big deal, huh?" he asked Tuesday. "TY-rod is definitely what I've heard the most in my life."
— Dez Bryant is reportedly meeting with the Browns on Thursday as Cleveland's wide receivers room remains in a state of flux. While general manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson have been clear they're open to signing the former Cowboys star, it'll have to be the right for both parties.
"We do all of our homework prior to. I think that you have open and candid conversations about what your locker room is, how your team is run, how we go about doing things and see if it fits," Jackson said. "The player has to be honest and we have to be honest with what our expectations are. You just lay it out. I think that is the only way that you can do it at this time."
Bryant, who caught 69 passes for 838 yards receiving and six touchdowns, was released by Dallas in April. He would join a room that includes three-time Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry and rookie Antonio Callaway. The Browns are still awaiting the return of Josh Gordon, who announced an indefinite leave of absence before the starting of training camp.
— The dynamic Duke Johnson is as good of a receiver as he is a runner. It's why the fourth-year player said earlier this month he was lobbying the Browns to play the former more than the latter. Presented with that information, running backs and associate head coach Freddie Kitchens offered a smile. "I think that he's blowing smoke up all your whatever," he said, laughing. "Duke is a running back. He's going to be out wide some, but so is Carlos (Hyde) and so is Nick (Chubb). Those guys are going to be everywhere. Duke may like to hear himself a little bit." Johnson had 1,041 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns last season.