Demetric Felton Jr.’s instincts sent him spinning in the end zone
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Let’s start with the spinning motion, because that’s what everyone remembers Demetric Felton Jr.’s first catch as a pro.
He had already picked up around 13 yards after taking Baker Mayfield’s screen pass as Texans safety Justin Reid moved closer to his left. But Felton saw it coming.
And he had prepared a little something.
Not only did Felton avoid Reid, the move also led to Reid eliminating one of his teammates. Felton said his spinning motion was something the Browns worked on in practice. Representatives make the difference. But there was more.
“I would say it’s instinct,” Felton said. “I kind of saw it coming out of the corner of my eye and saw where his momentum was pulling him and so I went the other way around.”
Simple. Effective. Explosive.
After avoiding a restricted tackle by cornerback Desmond King II, it was a 15-yard sprint to the end zone for his first touchdown in the NFL. Officially, he covered 33 meters.
“It was an incredible play. He broke a few tackles, he messed the guys up, ”said Nick Chubb, who knows a thing or two about breaking tackles and lapses of the guys. “I mean, these are things that I always knew he could do and I’m happy he could show everyone here that he could do it.”
Baker Mayfield noted during training camp that Felton should be a big part of the offense this season. But Felton’s 15 snaps against the Chiefs came on special teams. Instead of Felton, it was rookie Anthony Schwartz doing plays in Week 1.
On Sunday, Schwartz was only targeted once and didn’t get a take.
Felton’s touchdown was the first score of the second half and broke a 14-point tie. It also saved the Browns from their previous game, which ended with right tackle Jack Conklin appealing for detention. Facing the second and 19-year-old Texans 33, the Browns turned to Felton on the receiver screen, who had Kareem Hunt, Austin Hooper and Joel Bitonio in front, trying to make his way through.
“It was great. It was a great experience,” said Felton. “Everyone did their job blocking for me and I was able to reach the end zone.”
Felton led the Browns with 51 receiving yards, adding an 18-yard catch in the fourth quarter. This game showed the problems defenses face when putting a linebacker on Felton. When Mayfield saw nothing on the field in the Browns’ first and 10 30s, he passed into the apartment for Felton, who was head-to-head with former Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey. Felton swerved to the right and rounded Kirksey before going out of bounds at the Texans 48.
“We’re going to keep trying to involve (Felton) and see how the teams are going to try to defend him because he’s one of those hybrid guys who creates lag issues,” Mayfield said. “And if they want to take a safety or some other DB to cover it, that means one of our tight ends has a linebacker. We have to play to our advantage and we are lucky to have it.
Two pieces were enough for Felton to remind everyone of his potential. One piece was all it took to show how he can make an impact.
“It’s been a lot for my confidence, and I think it was a big boost for the confidence of the team as well,” Felton said of his touchdown. “I felt we had a lot of energy to come after that. So, I was really happy that I was able to be a part of that.
Felton had so much energy after the touchdown that he sent the ball flying into the seats.
The memory was not lost, however,
“Oh yeah,” Felton said, “we got it back.”
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