Baker Mayfield, OBJ Improvement: Motivation
Motivation can be a very powerful thing. Beckham’s rehab from his injury has been nothing short of a miracle.
You add in all the doubters from a season ago, that conveniently don’t remember what Beckham did in the early stages of the season, where he provided that spark in games that helped them win games.
Example A would be the early win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals where he extended the field and caught a beautiful touchdown pass from Mayfield. Example B would be the extraordinary run he made late, dancing down the Dallas Cowboys sideline to a touchdown to preserve a Browns victory.
All these motivating factors can spark Beckham this season. And that’s pretty scary to consider the outcome.
Then you have Mayfield, who continues to improve and get better in all parts of his game. I always feel like the goalposts continue to be moved further and further down the field when some evaluate Mayfield’s production and importance to this Browns team. It really is fascinating, from my perspective, how the expectations always change from those that regularly question Mayfield’s abilities and talents.
First, he was too short to play quarterback, then it was that he couldn’t be consistent and made too many mistakes and now it’s that he really isn’t a top 10 or elite quarterback.
If I’m Mayfield, it wouldn’t take much to be motivated by all the doubters. The Browns went 11-5 a year ago, with Mayfield showing consistency we haven’t seen from a Browns quarterback in decades. The last season the Browns went 11-5 was in 1994.
I suspect that Mayfield will have a career year and set new highs in touchdowns thrown and yards thrown. That chip on Mayfield’s shoulder is always there and that’s fine by me. He makes this team better and that’s all you can ask for as a fan.
Can he deliver a Super Bowl victory to the city of Cleveland? If you don’t think that that motivating factor isn’t of the highest importance to him then I don’t know what you are watching or expecting.
If Mayfield and Beckham can’t deliver on that goal of a Super Bowl then those doubters will continue their unforgiving taunting of these two stars, but if they do deliver then those doubters might just attempt to change their tune.
My guess is that they’ll keep moving those goalposts. But Beckham and Mayfield are used to it and it won’t stop them from striving for greatness.