There are reasons Cleveland Browns should be concerned about Baker Mayfield
Too often last season, I found myself always wanting to put the blame on the Cleveland Browns young quarterback Baker Mayfield for just about everything. This year, a promise was made to not do that. Before diving too much into the title, relax.
Mayfield is not the reason for losing Sunday, let alone getting blown out. Nobody was the sole reason for losing that game. Just like any game, football is a team sport. That said, if you are sitting back and aren’t at least a little bit concerned over what you saw in Week 1, you may want to re-watch the game.
Let’s start with a general consensus on Mayfield. We all can agree that we were hoping to see at least a little improvement from him after an offseason of saying all the right things, keeping quiet, and just working. Days before the game, Mayfield released a new commercial, and his tweet says it all.
The commercials don’t matter. What player wouldn’t want to make money off of commercials and advertising? Maybe it’s just me, but the “Y’all said I needed to spend less time filming commercials…” attitude is just getting old when we see no improvement. Let’s move to his play.
What are some things we wanted to see him improve on for this season? Eliminate the turnovers, calm down the happy feet, and run through his progressions and not be a one-read guy. In Week 1, we did not see a single improvement in any category, which is why it is okay to worry.
When a defender bats down the ball at the line of scrimmage, 9 times out of 10 it is because he can see the eyes of the quarterback. On his opening drive interception yesterday, Calais Campbell saw him staring down his only target and made a play on the ball. One turnover is not the end of the world, but a turnover is a turnover.
The happy feet. The offensive line played above average on Sunday, especially against such a strong Ravens front four. When it seemed like the pocket was collapsing yesterday, more often than not it was because Mayfield held onto the ball too long and was dancing around in the pocket.
Mayfield is not Lamar Jackson. He shouldn’t be scrambling as much as he did as a result of him holding onto the ball too long. He is a pocket quarterback and needs to play like it. While the Ravens did have a few coverage sacks as well, Mayfield was missing or just blatantly not seeing the open receiver too many times yesterday.
Mayfield has had four coaches in three years and that does not help one bit. That said, the Browns also signed Case Keenum to a three-year deal and spent near $20 million on him for a reason. The Browns should not even be considering making a change just yet. Do I think Mayfield will be fine? I really do.
That said, worrying about him right now is not wrong. Seeing no signs of improvement after a full offseason of work is concerning. He has everything around him to succeed, it is just time he starts showing us improvement.