Cleveland Browns: Richard Sherman controversy fuels Baker Mayfield

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns have faced adversity this season. But every team playing their best against the Browns should be the ultimate motivator for Baker Mayfield.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to always be at the heart of controversy. Whether he creates it himself with his “woke up feeling dangerous” statement or if it is artificially created by players like Richard Sherman to drum up motivation, he seems to always be in the middle of it.

This is actually a good thing. Baker’s brash attitude and “throw caution into the wind” style play is exactly what makes him resonate with the city of Cleveland and Browns fans everywhere. He is the perfect fit for this franchise.

But others in the league do not like his attitude. This has made him a marked man. Per Tom Withers of the Associated Press, teams are targeting Baker Mayfield. He quotes left guard Joel Bitonio:

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"It’s one of those things that people, I think they see Baker’s name. I think they see him in the media. I think they see some of his quotes and things of that nature, and they want a piece of him. And it’s one of those things that we’re going to expect and we’re ready for. – Joel Bitonio via The Associated Press"

The targeting is real. Richard Sherman, with the help of NFL.com writer Michael Silver, falsely created a story that Mayfield refused to shake his hand. Then when video surfaced, he changed his story to he felt disrespected.

Nathan Zegura of the popular Cleveland Browns radio show Cleveland Browns Daily, makes the point that other players are jealous of the attention Baker is receiving. He argues that other NFL players feel that Baker has not deserved the media attention and endorsements he is receiving.

Scott Petrak, writer for Brownszone with Scott Petrak, points out that Baker is struggling in many areas. He invites the reader, via a very well argued enthymeme, to conclude that teams targeting the Browns and Baker Mayfield in particular has resulted in the team crumbling under pressure.

But Petrak’s enthymeme’s (which is an argument that invites the reader to draw a conclusion without actually making that conclusion explicit in the argument) misses the point. It doesn’t even seem to understand the personality of the Browns, head coach Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfield.

Far from crumbling under pressure. This team thrives under pressure. This team has created this situation because it is the scrutiny, jealous and being targeted that fuels this team.

Mayfield plays better when people discount him in public. His personality is such that he thrives in the middle of controversy. Freddie Kitchens has never cared about controversy. He simply doesn’t care about it.

There is a difference between being targeted in silence without the team knowing about it. But there is a significant difference when that target is known. When the target is known, it becomes fuel for the chip on one’s shoulder.

Baker will use this target as fuel. He will use it to thrive. He will do this because it is who he is. To suggest that Baker will crumble is to misunderstand who he is. Keep talking Richard Sherman. Keep writing about how Baker is over his head.

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Baker is dangerous. Please keep poking the bear. You are only doing the Browns, Mayfield and the Dawg Pound a huge favor.