Colin Cowherd: DPD has Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield’s back
Baker Mayfield has had the audacity to call Cowherd a Donkey. Frankly, Mayfield’s assessment is a bit uncouth, but in this case, he’s on target.
In responding to unjustified criticism from Colin Cowherd, the world’s most erudite and intelligent sports commentator in history — and if you don’t believe it, just ask him — Baker Mayfield has had the audacity to call Cowherd a Donkey. Frankly, Mayfield’s assessment is a bit uncouth, but in this case, he is on target.
Mayfield is being unfairly criticized. Any normal football fan will realize that Mayfield showed himself to be a superior talent in the second half of the season after the Cleveland Browns installed Gregg Williams as head coach and Freddie Kitchens as offensive coordinator. Knowledgeable analysts agree now that Mayfield has an unusually quick mind and can make decisions and launch the pigskin as fast as anyone this side of Drew Brees. In the last eight games, Mayfield’s passer rating was unofficially 108.4, which would rank him between Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan. The kid is very very good. Almost nobody believes that Mayfield is untalented. Even Cowherd is willing to admit that “it works” with Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens.
Cowherd is not willing to admit that he simply whiffed on his assessment of Mayfield. To be sure the off the field issues of any player are concerning, and they have to be carefully assessed. There is never a zero-risk player in the draft, Mayfield included. However, at the end of the day, Cowherd simply whiffed in his assessment.
Moreover, Mayfield was having a bad year under the coaching administration of Hue Jackson. His rating of 78.4 through Week 8 was actually a few ticks under Johnny Manziel’s 2015 rating of 79.4. This is mentioned just to make clear how dramatic the improvement was. Mayfield and Browns were much, much more formidable in the second half of the 2018 season.
Mayfield, of course, was a rookie and the rest of the team is young and inexperienced, and many analysts take the view that that young teams get better when they mature. Plus they have added several star players in the off-season, not just OBJ. It’s not rocket science to see that the team is improving rapidly.
Cowherd is not totally obstinate, conceding that the Browns might win as many as nine games and be a threat for the playoffs, but still ridiculing analysts who believe the Browns are capable of much more.
As for Cowherd’s protestation that he liked Sam Darnold better, well, Sam was third overall in the draft. That’s a very high pick, and there is every reason to think that Sam Darnold is going to be good one of these years, and maybe even in 2019. So let us not fall into the trap of ripping Darnold who as far as we know is going to be an outstanding player. The point is, however, that there is no sensible reason to hold to the idea that Darnold is provably better than Mayfield. All the numbers say otherwise. Mr. Cowherd, your boy was rated 77.6 which is downright Weedenesque. Well, you can say Darnold is taller and weighs more. But that’s it.
Who can take you seriously? Are you saying that if we could redraft the 2018 draft right now, the smart teams would want to take Sam Darnold over Baker? And we’re supposed to believe that secret NFL sources are backing you up? As Cris Carter might say, “Come on, man!”
You whiffed in your assessment. Get over it.
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You have to admit it is rather funny. Cowherd famously called Baker Mayfield “undraftable” because of an off the field issue that got him arrested in college. That set off a (mostly) good-natured squabble in which Mayfield appeared on Cowherd’s show, and set off a rating surge. So guess what? Cowherd is going back to the same well again.
This is just one analyst’s opinion, but I do not believe Cowherd actually believes what he is saying. It makes more sense that these are things he says in the interest of rating points and nothing more. So, go ahead, Colin. Rip Mayfield, rip Kitchens, rip Odell Beckham, whatever you think you need to do to prop up your show. But if you’re going to rip the Cleveland sports scene just for that purpose, we’re going to launch a few retaliatory verbal grenades.
The media is granted awesome power in the United States because of the Constitution. We can say terrible things about anyone up to and including the President of the United States. We can inflict great damage to the reputations of people and there is precious little that can be done to us.
Mayfield has made his feelings known, though truthfully he shouldn’t have to. Those of us in the media should have a vested interest in fair play and repudiating unfair criticism. Not to say that Mayfield should never be criticized, but in this instance, it is transparently obvious that he is getting negative national media attention that he does not deserve.
In Mayfield’s tweet to Cowherd, he says “Just because you say you have a source doesn’t mean you’re not full of BS.”
Yep. You are right, kid.