Cleveland Browns veterans ready to hold Baker Mayfield accountable as leader.
There is no doubt 2019 was a disappointing season for the Cleveland Browns and quarterback Baker Mayfield. Not only did the team fail to live up to expectations, but Mayfield struggled as the leader of the locker room.
Although he was only in his second season in the NFL, Mayfield quickly became the vocal leader of the Browns. He has the confidence the veterans can get behind and he has the personality to never back down with whatever he is faced with.
However, Mayfield’s youth as a leader showed in 2019, as he struggled to help the Browns battle adversity and the team would crumble. It was a learning experience for Mayfield, and it is something he believes he will turnaround in 2020.
While speaking to the media on Sunday, Browns longest-tenured player, Joel Bitonio, explained Mayfield has already taken key steps in 2020 to be a better leader and Bitonio said the veterans are ready to hold him to the standard of being the leader of the organization.
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Mayfield has drawn criticism from around the NFL world because many have considered him “immature.” Although Mayfield has proven in the past he can lead the team despite his young age, he has showed glimpses of immaturity as the Browns quarterback.
This offseason, Mayfield has wanted to put in the work without all of the media attention. Some believe his struggles in 2019 were tied to having so much offseason attention and then buying into the hype, thus not putting in enough work to be ready for the season.
One of the biggest differences from 2019 to 2020 for Mayfield is it appears he is in better shape. Mayfield entered training camp much thicker than he was as a rookie, believing the extra weight will allow to take hits better. However, the extra weight decreased his mobility, causing him to struggle to escape the pocket and get away from defenders.
Bitonio credited Mayfield for being thinner this year, as he believes it shows Mayfield is putting in the work behind the scenes. This will help Mayfield establish himself as a leader because both the veterans and rookies can respect Mayfield if he says the team needs to perform better or train better. Since Mayfield has shown he has put in the work this offseason, the team can now follow his lead.
Mayfield had to show more signs of growth this offseason, especially if he wanted to establish himself as the leader of a NFL team. Based on Bitonio’s comments, the Browns veterans have bought into Mayfield as their leader and will ensure Mayfield keeps the standard of being the leader.