The city of Cleveland has embraced Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield with open arms, which is another sign he is a perfect fit for the city.
Why is it that from the moment Browns’ general manager John Dorsey buddy boy’d Mayfield into being the first overall pick in last year’s draft, fans of the struggling Cleveland franchise have fallen in love with No. 6?
Is it Baker’s bravado, bordering on cockiness?
Is it that accurate missile launcher he uses to fire those footballs?
Is it Mayfield’s high football IQ and work ethic or his tendency to win or his uncanny and impressive ability (especially to those with ‘normal’ teeth, throats and livers) to bite a can of suds and shotgun it down?
Is it his willingness to say what needs to be said and to do what needs to get done?
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Exactly why have Cleveland Browns fans taken to this cocky kid from Oklahoma? Head coach Freddie Kitchens recently took a pretty good guess why.
From the media podium in Westfield, Indiana, where the Browns have spent a couple of days practicing and scrimmaging with the Indianapolis Colts, Kitchens was asked how Mayfield is the perfect fit with Browns fans and the city of Cleveland.
The likable rookie head coach started off his answer by explaining why he loves his second-year quarterback:
"“I think Baker, he has always been told no, and when people are always told no, they have a sense of ‘I am going to show you, yes.’ I think that has been his calling card, and I love that about him.” – Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens"
Great insight, coach.
Proving that he could have easily been a psychologist or a philosopher in a different life, Dr. Freddie continued by explaining why the forever chip on Mayfield’s shoulder is something totally relatable to Browns fans:
"“I love that about the Cleveland fans. They have always been told no. I want everyone to rally together, and we are going to build something here where people are not going to be able to tell us no. We control that.” – Freddie Kitchens"
Kitchens is absolutely right.
For the last two decades (maybe more?), Browns fans have not only been told “No!” – they’ve been told that their team is irrelevant in the AFC North and the NFL. (Sadly) the team has made that true by losing way more often than winning. Not just on the field but with the draft and in free agency, too.
Then along comes Baker Mayfield, the double walk-on Heisman Trophy winner who took all the no’s the world shoved at him and turned them into yes’s and W’s every single time.
And he did it with hard work backed up by talent fueled by physical and mental determination with a satisfied smirk on his face the entire time.
Sound familiar, Cleveland?
Citizens of the so-called ‘Mistake on the Lake’ understand exactly what it feels like to be told “No!” by the world and yet here we are in 2019, all shiny and proud as a city with new stadiums, museums and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Oh, and also with Freddie Kitchens’ and Baker Mayfield’s Cleveland Browns, by Dorsey.
Now it’s up to the entire team to turn the last two decades of postseason no’s into a string of playoff yes’s no matter what the football world still thinks of them.
Kitchens knows this, and tells the media:
"“Nobody is an outside influence. No outside expectations can control it. We control what we do; it is not the expectations. As long as we do that, we will be fine.”"
Dr. Freddie’s prescription seems spot on.
There are plenty of reasons to love Baker Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens and their Cleveland Browns right now.
Imagine when even more yes’s start appearing.