Tom Brady and the New England Patriots handed the Pittsburgh Steelers an embarrassing 33-3 loss in the NFL on Sunday.

Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-36 passing while Ben Roethlisberger could not get anything going for Pittsburgh.

The win showed how dangerous New England can be, even without their newest star. On the other hand, the loss exposed what can happen when teams lose their biggest names.


Three takeaways from the Patriots' dominant win over the Steelers

It was all Patriots, all night

For anyone expecting a high scoring affair on both sides, they were disappointed. It was all Patriots, all night as they built a 20-0 lead at half-time and later extended it to a 30-point victory.

Brady once again escaped the clutches of Father Time and the Steelers' defense all at once. 

"We made some big plays on the pass game which always helps," Brady told the NBC broadcast after the game.

Brady's passes included a 58-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett and a 42-yarder to Josh Gordon.

Brady was so effective, he joined elite company. He now has 88 career 300-plus-yard passing games for the third most of all-time behind only Peyton Manning (93) and Drew Brees (115).


The Steelers' offense struggled with their veteran leading new stars

Pittsburgh lost some of their biggest names in the offseason with Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell both leaving. The Steelers hoped for a younger core of players to step up in wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner led by the veteran quarterback Roethlisberger.

But Big Ben was big bad and neither the pass or run ever got going. Even in the red zone, Roethlisberger could not get the Steelers a touchdown. At the start of the third quarter, Pittsburgh had to opt for a field goal after coming up short at the Patriots' one-yard line.

Roethlisberger finished 27-of-47 passing for 276 yards with one interception. Smith-Schuster led all receivers with six receptions for 78 yards and Conner had 21 yards on 10 carries.


The Patriots offense could be even more dangerous, starting next week

Do the Patriots even need Brown? Certainly not, but they will be an even more dangerous team with the seven-time Pro Bowl player.

Brown, who joined New England just hours after getting released by the Oakland Raiders to end a training-camp long saga, was not eligible to play on Sunday but is "excited to get to work" and that will certainly be exciting to watch.

"We're excited to have him," Brady said after the game.

New England had their eyes on Brown when he first expressed his desire to leave Pittsburgh, but the Steelers did not want to trade him to AFC rivals.

But in the end, per usual, the Patriots won.

NFL Sundays are back and there was no shortage of headlines during the first full slate of games for week one as the league continued the kick-off of its 100th season.

Le'Veon Bell bounced back in his debut with the New York Jets despite a loss to the Buffalo Bills, while Odell Beckham Jr. was less than thrilling as he and Baker Mayfield were routed by the Tennessee Titans in the Cleveland Browns' opener.

But Kyler Murray was perhaps the most interesting as his dull start turned into an exciting overtime thriller in which the rookie quarterback kept the Arizona Cardinals alive for a tie with the Detroit Lions. It was not an ideal start for first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but it was an even worse outcome for second-year coach Matt Patricia.

Elsewhere around the league, Julio Jones disappointed after getting his long-awaited contract extension, while Ezekiel Elliott was outstanding despite the holdout that kept him away from the Dallas Cowboys until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers fared just fine without Melvin Gordon as he extended his absence while he continues to wait for a new deal.

Injury report

Tempers were as high as the temperature in Jacksonville, where the Chiefs-Jaguars game turned chippy. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles was ruled out with a broken left collarbone, while Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was carted off the field with a shoulder injury and later ruled out. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes also sprained his ankle and limped off the field but was able to play through the pain.

Los Angeles Rams safety Eric Weddle was carted off the field and evaluated for a concussion after Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey made contact with his head while leaping over him. Weddle was motionless on the field for a few minutes and visibly bloodied with a head laceration.

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley was ruled out against the Bills after suffering a groin injury late in the game while rookie defensive tackle and 2019 third draft pick Quinnen Williams left with an ankle injury.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson was carted off due to an apparent foot injury against the Washington Redskins.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield left FirstEnergy Stadium with his right wrist wrapped, though it was reported to be just a bruise and not considered serious.

By the numbers

The Browns committed 18 penalties for 182 yards — their most penalties in a game since 1951 — as they dropped their 15th straight regular-season opener. That winless streak is now the league's longest.

Bell, playing his first game in 602 days on Sunday, did not skip a beat as he became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards. He finished his Jets debut with 17 carries for 60 yards while adding six catches for 32 yards and a score.

The Ravens set a franchise record with 42 first-half points to begin their season, and Lamar Jackson had himself a day as he helped them secure their eventual win over the Dolphins.

Baltimore racked up 640 yards of total offense against Miami, which is the most by any team in their first game of the season since the Rams in 1951. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first player in league history to start for eight different NFL teams.


Vernon Davis, who was raised by his grandparents and coped with the death of his grandfather one day earlier, on his emotions when the tight end scored against the Eagles: "I was just grateful when I scored that touchdown. I was grateful to contribute to the team. A lot of people asked me if I was going to be able to play today. Of course, I'll be able to play. They probably didn't think I'd come out and be effective for the team as well, but it worked out.

"Just that feeling of being able to be successful, meaning contribute to the team. Not individual success, but success as a team. That whole play was everybody ... but that play is going to have to be irrelevant to me because of what went on today."

Mayfield on why it is too early for Browns fans to worry:  "Everybody is going to throw this in the trash. I think that is good. I know what type of men we have in this locker room. I know how we are going to react. I know what we are going to do. We are going to bounce back. We have a Monday Night game [against the Jets] coming up so we do not really care. We are ready to go."

Week 1 NFL scores

Thursday's game

Packers 10, Bears 3

Sunday's games

Chiefs 40, Jaguars 26
Vikings 28, Falcons 12
Titans 43, Browns 13
Bills 17, Jets 16
Ravens 59, Dolphins 10
Eagles 32, Redskins 27
Rams 30, Panthers 27
Chargers 30, Colts 24, OT
Seahawks 21, Bengals 20
Cowboys 35, Giants 17
49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
Lions 27, Cardinals 27, OT

It seemed as though Kyler Murray would have a rough debut but the number one NFL draft pick helped the Arizona Cardinals secure a 27-27 draw against the Detroit Lions in overtime.

Rookie Cardinals quarterback Murray was sacked by his own guard and almost immediately threw an interception in the first quarter of Sunday's opening matchup.

Murray – who swapped MLB for NFL – was said to be Arizona's saviour along with newly minted head coach Kliff Kingsbury. As the game played out, that became the case — kind of — for now.

The 22-year-old was just shy of completing the comeback as Arizona tied Detroit in overtime.

Murray finished 29-of-54 passing for 308 yards with two touchdowns and the lone interception against the Lions.

He relied heavily on veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the pair connected eight times, including for the game-tying touchdown in regulation and a 45-yard pass – the longest completion of the night, to set up the first score in overtime.

Fitzgerald led all receivers with 113 yards and one score.

Ryan Fitzpatrick said "it's never good to be embarrassed like that" after the Miami Dolphins were humbled 59-10 by the Baltimore Ravens in their NFL opener.

The Dolphins were no match for the Ravens, who took early control, scored touchdowns on their first four drives and cruised to victory at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.

Dolphins quarterback Fitzpatrick was asked about the team's performance during his post-game news conference.

"It's never good to be embarrassed like that, especially at this level," Fitzpatrick told reporters. "What we had talked about: nobody is going to feel sorry for you and your situation. That's what happens. 

"You go out there and if you don't execute, you're going to get beat bad like that. Obviously we need to play better, which is an understatement."

Fitzpatrick, 36, completed 14 of his 29 passes for 185 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss. He was replaced by Josh Rosen late in the game with the outcome already decided. 

"Obviously we all had a much different outcome dreamt about in our head of how it was going to go today," Fitzpatrick said. "I think the only thing we can do moving forward is continue to try to string good practices together and continue to keep a positive attitude, and in doing that, hope that the results follow."

Miami head coach Brian Flores said the ugly loss "starts with" him. 

"We talked about playing penalty free," Flores said. "We talked about having a clean operation, alignments, assignments, trying to play turnover free, and we didn't accomplish any of that. We talked about starting fast. We didn't accomplish that. 

"But the good thing is, like I just said, we'll come back tomorrow. We'll make the corrections. We'll try to get this team better on a daily basis, and that's all we can do."

The Dolphins will host Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots in week two.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles revealed he will undergo surgery on Monday after suffering a left shoulder injury.

Foles' debut with the Jaguars did not go according to plan following Sunday's 40-26 NFL loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

After throwing a touchdown in the first quarter, the 30-year-old was taken back to the locker room and quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game.

It was later reported that Foles has a broken left collarbone, though the Jaguars have yet to address the severity of the injury.

"It's not the way you want to start your time here. It's unfortunate," Foles - who arrived from the Philadelphia Eagles - told reporters. "But at the same time I'm going to stay positive and trust the good Lord in this time.

"Sometimes things don't happen like we expect them to, but we just have to have faith that it's for a reason. I'm still grateful I get to be a part of this team. 

"I'll have surgery tomorrow to get this thing rolling and trust the good Lord for healing and be ready to roll when I am."

Foles was hit by Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones during a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark. 

The Jaguars medical staff tended to him and took him to the locker room. Minutes later, he was ruled out for the game.

Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew took over for Foles. Before the injury, Foles had completed five of eight passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.

This past offseason, Foles signed a four-year, $88million deal with Jacksonville.

Baker Mayfield is still confident in the Cleveland Browns despite a loss to begin the NFL season.

Cleveland entered the season with high expectations yet surprisingly struggled at home against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, eventually falling 43-13.

Mayfield, however, is not panicking. 

"Everybody is going to throw this in the trash. I think that is good. I know what type of men we have in this locker room," Mayfield told reporters after the game.

"I know how we are going to react. I know what we are going to do. We are going to bounce back. We have a Monday night game [against the New York Jets] coming up so we do not really care. We are ready to go."

Mayfield completed 25 of his 38 passes for 285 yards with a touchdown in the loss. But, he threw three interceptions and was sacked five times. 

"We just need to rally together," Mayfield said. "Don't flinch. It is game one of a long season. To get to where we want to go, you are going to have bumps in the road. How to react to it, we are going to come together. We are going to push forward. We are not going to let it define us and let's see what type of men we have in this locker room. I am pretty sure I have a good idea about it.

"The easiest out right now for anybody on our team or in our building to use is the expectations were high. We said it from the very beginning, we did not care about those. It is not that. It is just the fact that we did not play well today. We did not show up and do our job."

Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens said he believes the team can still accomplish all of their goals. 

"We have a locker room full of disappointment right now, which we should have," Kitchens said. "That is not the way we want to be represented. We lost our discipline and we lost our composure, but it is one game and we are going to be tested. You either take adversity and run together and run toward each other or you run away.

"I think we have a bunch of guys who are going to run toward each other and we are going to be fine. It is one game. I do not care. It counts on the scoreboard, but each game counts one time. That is the way we are going to approach it."

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught seven passes for 71 yards in his first game for Cleveland. 

Patrick Mahomes played through an ankle sprain in the Kansas City Chiefs' 40-26 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Mahomes appeared to suffer the injury with a little less than nine minutes to play in the second quarter after he ended up on the bottom of a pile in Sunday's NFL opener.

The reigning MVP and Chiefs quarterback was attended to by trainers and limped off the field, but re-entered the game moments later at TIAA Bank Field.

Mahomes completed 25 of his 33 passes for 378 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the victory.

"He said he's had [sprained] ankles before [from] basketball and so on,'' Reid told reporters afterwards. 

"He felt comfortable going. I tried to keep a close eye on him as best I could. ... It didn't look like it was hindering him.''

Mahomes added: "Just got it taped up and was able to finish the game… definitely the adrenaline helped out of course, going out there and playing football. 

"Obviously I wasn't as mobile as I usually am. The team helped me out," he continued.

"I told the trainers to just tape it out but they wanted to look at it. They gave me the okay and I was able to get back out there."

The Chiefs will take on the Oakland Raiders in week two action. 


The Philadelphia 76ers are looking into claims Mike Scott was involved in an altercation with Philadelphia Eagles fans before Sunday's NFL match against the Washington Redskins.

The 76ers forward, who is a Redskins fan, sported a Washington jersey and hat and was participating in tailgate festivities before kick-off.

Footage of an incident alleged to have involved Scott was shared across social media, with the Sixers responding to the claims about their player. It was unclear what may have led to the apparent altercation.

"We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering more information," the Sixers said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this time."

Kansas City star Tyreek Hill will not play any further part against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday due to a shoulder injury, the team announced.

The Chiefs wide receiver was injured on his second catch when he was tackled by Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Hill, who was in obvious pain, had two catches for 16 yards before leaving.

Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles also exited the game with a shoulder injury and was later ruled out for the remainder of the matchup.

The Chiefs led 23-13 at half-time.

Nick Foles was injured on his starting debut for the Jacksonville Jaguars after he threw a touchdown in the first quarter of the game.

Foles was taken back to the locker room and quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game with a left shoulder injury, the team announced.

Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew took over for Foles.

Before the injury, the 30-year-old had completed 5-of-8 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.

Foles was hit by Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones during a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. The Jaguars medical staff tended to him and took him to the locker room. Minutes later he was ruled out for the game.

This past offseason he signed a four-year, $88 million deal with Jacksonville.

Antonio Brown is the latest player Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have taken a punt on.

Seven-time Pro Bowler Brown is certainly not a risk when it comes to production but his acrimonious exits from Pittsburgh and Oakland means Belichick is rolling the dice again on a free agent with character concerns.

More often than no, though, Belichick gets it right - he has six Super Bowl rings as the Pats' head coach and de facto general manager after all.

Here we take a look at Belichick's personnel gambles to see which were hits and which were misses.



Harrison was one of the most-fined players in NFL history when with the San Diego Chargers following a series of illegal hits, but New England took a chance in 2003 and reaped the rewards.

The hard-hitting safety replaced Lawyer Milloy in New England's secondary and was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams.


Running back Dillon was approaching 30 and coming off the first down year of his career when the Patriots parted with a second-round pick to bring him to Foxborough.

Having made no secret of his desire to play elsewhere, Dillon proved his 2003 season was a mere blip, rushing for 37 scores and winning a Super Bowl during his three years with Belichick.


There were no character concerns over Welker, yet New England's decision to part with second and seventh-round picks appeared bold given the undrafted receiver had tallied just 1,121 yards and one touchdown in three seasons in the league.

Belichick saw the potential, though, and Welker caught more passes than any player in the league in his six seasons with the Patriots, while he was also named to the Pro Bowl in each of those half-a-dozen campaigns.



Acquiring a disgruntled but extremely talented receiver from the Raiders? New England have been here before.

In 2007, New England traded for Moss, who had courted controversy in Minnesota and then outstayed his welcome in Oakland, and he proved to be the final piece of the jigsaw for one of the greatest offenses ever.

He brought in 23 touchdowns in his first year (a figure that remains a single-season record) as the 16-0 Pats went to the Super Bowl only to be beaten by the New York Giants. Moss led the league in receiving scores again in 2009 (finishing in a tie with Vernon Davis and Larry Fitzgerald on 13) before he was sent back to Minnesota - with Belichick again judging when the time was right to move on from the future Hall of Famer.


Two years after signing a seven-year, $100million deal with the Washington Redskins, defensive lineman Haynesworth was traded to New England for a fifth-round pick having failed to make an impression in the capital amid concerns over his attitude and fitness.

His time in Boston was also short-lived, though, with Haynesworth waived less than four months after signing having clashed with assistant Pepper Johnson. He would play just seven more games in the NFL.


One of the NFL's biggest characters hardly seemed suited to 'The Patriot Way'. Wide-out Ochocinco, formerly Johnson until he changed his name to correspond with his jersey number - a move he later reversed, was brash - once wearing a jacket that suggested he was a future Hall of Famer - but productive, with seven 1,000-yard seasons in his 10 years in the league.

Ochocinco joined New England on the same day as Haynesworth in 2011 and cost the Patriots two draft picks. However, he lasted only one season, making 15 catches for 276 yards and one touchdown in what proved to be his final NFL stop.


A former first-round pick, Talib was considered surplus to requirements in Tampa Bay after his time with the Buccaneers was blighted by off-field issues.

The cornerback's New England debut was delayed by a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances, but Talib made his first Pro Bowl in 2013 before leaving for Denver - where he won a Super Bowl ring - in free agency.


Gordon and Brown will be in the same offense in 2019, having led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

There were red flags against Gordon coming out of college after he failed a drugs test and was kicked off Baylor's team.

He has continued to be troubled by his demons and has served multiple suspensions in the NFL, including one last season, but is now back with New England and will surely be a hit if he plays enough games.

Adrian Peterson, who led the Washington Redskins in rushing last season, is among the team's list of inactive players for the Week 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The move came as a surprise despite head coach Jay Gruden already naming Derrius Guice as Washington's starting running back for the season opener.

The former LSU back - a second-round pick by the franchise in the 2018 draft - missed his entire rookie campaign after suffering a serious knee injury.

"We feel like (Guice) can be a first, second and even a third down back," Gruden told reporters ahead of the trip to Philadelphia. "I think the offense, carries wise, will probably go through him, pretty much."

Still, it was expected Peterson would still get some touches coming off the bench.

He was rewarded in March with a new contract, the seven-time Pro Bowler handed a two-year deal worth $8million.

However, Chris Thompson and Wendell Smallwood will back up Guice for the clash with the Eagles.

Antonio Brown may have signed for the New England Patriots, but he "had a lot of options" following his release from the Oakland Raiders, according to his agent.

Brown's turbulent offseason with the Raiders, which included fines for missing mandatory practice time and a walkthrough, as well as a reported altercation with general manager Mike Mayock, culminated in him being let go.

While the Patriots have not confirmed an agreement, the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver's agent Drew Rosenhaus said he overlooked interest from elsewhere to sign a one-year contract worth up to $15million.

"Antonio had a robust free-agent market and certainly had a lot of options," Rosenhaus told ESPN. "But it was hard to compete with New England and that amazing opportunity, that great franchise, and play with one of the all-time greats, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick."

Rosenhaus insisted Brown understands what is expected of him in New England and is ready to "fit in".

"I'll just tell you that the Patriots are obviously a very solid, strong organisation," Rosenhaus said. "They do things the Patriots way. They expect everyone to be accountable. They don't make any exceptions.

"I've discussed this with Antonio. And he wants to be a Patriot. He's prepared to go there, fit in, work hard, be like every other player on the team, do what's asked of him, do his job and make it work. He's honoured with the opportunity and he's looking forward to taking advantage of it."

While some are wondering how Brown's stint with the Raiders went so wrong, Rosenhaus blamed "bad luck and just bad circumstances".

He said: "You know there are trades that don't pan out. Relationships sometimes get off to a bad start and never recover. Unfortunately, this one just didn't work. I don't want the Raiders to get any flak for this because I just think it was a combination of bad luck and just bad circumstances.

"A lot of people focus on the last couple of months of dysfunction and things with Antonio. But what people should remember is that for eight years, he was one of the most rock-solid players in the league - on and off the field. I just don't want people to lose track of that."

Brown celebrated his Patriots deal by posting on Instagram a cartoon of himself in a Patriots uniform sitting on a huge pile of cash. In the image he is also holding a phone in one hand and a wad of bills in the other, while behind him in neon lights is a sign reading: "Business is boomin".

Finally, the wait is over. No more concerns about combine performances, training camp activities or injuries in meaningless pre-season fixtures.

On Thursday, the 2019 NFL season kicked off with the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers. The long-time rivalry failed to deliver a thriller on opening night – the Packers prevailed 10-3 – but it did signal the start of Week 1.

Sundays will never be the same again (well, until the Super Bowl next February at least).

As the rest of the league wait to get started, we look at some of the key Opta facts for seven games in Week 1 - including the New England Patriots, the reigning champions no less, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Los Angeles Rams @ Carolina Panthers

The Rams finished the last campaign as bridesmaids, beaten 13-3 by the Pats in Super Bowl LIII. So, can Sean McVay’s team go one better this season? Well, the schedule has thrown up a tricky start away to Carolina – the Rams have not triumphed in Charlotte since 2001.

However, while the head-to-head history favours the Panthers, the Rams have won 13 road games since the start of 2017 season, which is the most in the NFL in that span.


Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have dominated this divisional rivalry of late, winning the last four straight. Their most recent meeting was in Week 17 last year, with the Redskins shut out in a 24-0 loss.

Philadelphia went 5-3 at home last season and will be wary of a Washington team who have won their last three road openers. However, the Redskins still have a long way to go to match the franchise record in such games, having triumphed in seven on the spin between 1937 and 1943.


Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are on a three-game winning streak against the Falcons, while they have also not lost a home opener since 2014.

So no hope for Atlanta this week? Actually, the Falcons finished the last campaign with back-to-back road wins, plus their only other away success in 2018 came in Minnesota. They have done a good job keeping Adam Thielen quiet in previous meetings, too. The wide receiver has recorded just four catches in three games against them.


Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City have beaten Jacksonville in four straight games, including a 30-14 result last season. Still, the Jaguars managed 502 yards of offense (and had five turnovers) in a losing cause.

The Jags will be hoping to do better at home in 2019. They went 3-5 in front of their own fans last season, one of just eight teams to post a losing record at their own stadium. They conceded the fewest and scored the second-fewest points at home in 2018, so reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs may find it tough going this weekend.


Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Chargers

The Colts begin life without the now-retired Andrew Luck in LA. They closed out the previous season with successive road wins but have not won three in a row away from Indianapolis since a four-game run between October and December in 2016.

As for the Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers has just three touchdowns in five regular-season games against the Colts. He has thrown for fewer against just one NFL team (Atlanta - one in three games).


Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

The Steelers' 17-10 win last season was their first success in five over the Patriots. They have become accustomed to starting on the road, having done so for the past four seasons.

Tom Brady has certainly enjoyed coming up against Pittsburgh in the past, though. In his 11 regular season games against them, the quarterback has thrown for 26 touchdowns (his second most against a team outside of the AFC East) compared to just five interceptions.


Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints

These two teams have not faced each other since 2015, the Texans winning 24-6 the last time they met. The Saints have not scored six or fewer points in a game since, by the way.

New Orleans have home advantage but will be looking to end a miserable Week 1 record. They have lost their last five season openers, allowing an average of 36.0 points per game.

Baker Mayfield is going to be an NFL great and does not care about pundits' criticism, according to Cleveland Browns team-mate Jamie Gillan.

Quarterback Mayfield was selected with the first overall pick by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft and went 6-7 as a starter for Cleveland in his rookie season.

However, Mayfield is a man who splits opinion due to his outspoken nature, which included taking a dig at ex-team-mate Duke Johnson for requesting a trade.

Mayfield has also taken aim at Giants fans following the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, while he said "it blows my mind" when the New York franchise picked Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth pick in April's draft.

Two-time Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora, who played for the Giants and the Atlanta Falcons during his career and is now a prominent pundit, this week said when previewing the season with BBC Sport: "I cannot stand this young man.

"I tried to give him a chance because I liked him coming out of college but I mean this guy just keeps spouting off at the mouth man, you are a quarterback, you are an endangered species man because you're so protected. 

"You shouldn't be talking like that, if I was still playing this is the kind of guy we would sack, remove his helmet, take the football and shove it directly down his throat."

But Scotsman Gillan, picked up as a free agent by the Browns and retained on their roster for this season, defended Mayfield and said any athlete gives little credence to what is said about them.

"I don't know who that is or why he said that, a lot of people have opinions on people," Gillan said. 

"He's a fantastic guy and he's that good for a reason because he believes in himself and that he is number one. 

"Who cares what that guy says and what other people say? That's just his opinion. You can't listen to that sort of stuff and he won't, that's why he's going to be great. 

"We don't care what people say on the TV etc. We're going out to do our jobs and win games and if that's his opinion, whatever! Baker is an awesome guy who's going to do great this season."

Gillan moved to America at the age of 16 and the rugby-mad Scotsman took up American football as a punter in high school to hone his kicking skills.

Six years later and he was retained by the Browns at the expense of Super Bowl winner Britton Colquitt.

Now sharing a locker room with the likes of Mayfield, Beckham and Jarvis Landry, Gillan says his new team-mates have been great to work with.

"They've been fantastic. I get a bit of a rookie banter, people just having a little laugh you know but at the end of the day everybody has been supportive and fantastic," he added. 

"They know how cut-throat the business is and I feel like in this business you need to show that you're a team player. Everybody can see the people who are there for themselves or those who want to be a team player. 

"If you keep working really hard and tell them that you want to be on this team and want to be great, people will respond well. 

"That's just how I've always been. I'm always going be a team player. I'm always going to want to win with the team. I did not like losing at all when I was young. So that's how I am, and I've been getting along with everybody and I always will."

Watch Jamie Gillan in action as the Cleveland Browns host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday 8th September on Sky Sports Action at 17:00 and Sky Sports Main Event at 18:00. You can also catch-up on the action on Tuesday with the NFL This Week highlights show available on BBC Two and iPlayer.

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