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#pounditThursday, September 16, 2021

Austin Hooper stayed with Baker Mayfield to get head start on training camp

The Cleveland Browns got Baker Mayfield a big new weapon this offseason, and it sounds like no time was wasted between the two in terms of getting to know each other.

New Browns tight end Austin Hooper said Wednesday that he stayed with Mayfield at the quarterback’s Texas home for several weeks during the offseason, where the two got in practice reps and also spent time together doing leisure activities.

“I was in contact with Baker before I signed,” Hooper said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “At the end of the day, that’s how it works, to be honest with you. You want to get a feel for the person you’re going to work with. I told him that I like to work, do stuff in the offseason. He was ready, more than willing.

“I was staying at Baker’s house for like 2-3 weeks. We had a good time when we were practicing and when we weren’t practicing. I definitely think that was the initial spark that really helped our chemistry.”

This may be some of that quiet offseason leadership we’ve heard about from Mayfield. It certainly counts as going above and beyond what would reasonably be expected of a quarterback.

Hooper got a huge contract to join the Browns after catching six touchdowns for the Atlanta Falcons last season. This kind of rapport with his quarterback should help the 25-year-old live up to the expectations that come with that kind of money.

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