Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield once again drew cheers from fans and jeers from critics for how he handled facing Hue Jackson, but he doesn’t care
It’s hard to find a player that gets it when it comes to being a member of the Cleveland Browns like rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield does. For years, this franchise has been a punchline and he’s not standing for that anymore.
Mayfield and the Browns are on a three-game winning streak and they also just completed a sweep over the Cincinnati Bengals — a divisional rival that happens to employ Hue Jackson.
The same Hue Jackson that was 3-36-1 as a head coach for the Browns and who created a lot of problems in his short tenure. Jackson frequently bashed his players in public for their shortcomings ‚— something he did that led to him being fired in Oakland as well. He even held a media tour where he went on several talk shows and blamed others for his horrendous record.
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While that should be enough for anyone to despise Jackson, Mayfield had another reason as Clueless Hue refused to let Baker even compete for a starting quarterback job — despite him proving with his play how much better he was than Tyrod Taylor.
That’s why it’s no surprise Mayfield spurned Hue’s hug attempt in their first meeting — and later called Jackson fake. It was also no surprise that Mayfield again made waves in their last meeting as he stared into Jackson’s soul for what felt like an eternity after completing a 66-yard pass to David Njoku.
Even less of a shock is the fact that people weren’t happy with this. Some pundits like Damien Woody and Colin Cowherd think Mayfield is supposed to play nice and they don’t care what transpired to make Baker despise his first NFL coach.
Others agree, and the word ‘petty’ is starting to be thrown around in regards to the stare heard ’round the world. Mayfield has heard the criticism, and he simply doesn’t care.
“You’re supposed to play with emotion,” Mayfield said in a press conference according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “You’re supposed to play with passion. Quite honestly, if you don’t like it, whatever. Football’s not meant to be a soft game. I could care less.”
Mayfield and the Browns have decided they aren’t taking the criticism, or the jokes about their play anymore. For too long they were laughed at and now they have no problem doing the laughing. And fans of the Browns love it.
Those criticizing Mayfield obviously never sat through one of Jackson’s “gotta watch the tape” style press conferences. They didn’t have to listen to a coach who went 1-31 in two seasons claim he is a Hall of Fame coach for managing that one win with the lowly team he had.
The front office understood what Mayfield brought to the table, and this showmanship is a part of who he is. Rather than complain about it, we should all enjoy the ride. We know Baker is enjoying it.