Baker Mayfield keeps pounding the underdog drum when he really shouldn’t

Baker Mayfield, Panthers. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Baker Mayfield, Panthers. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Baker Mayfield might not be on the Cleveland Browns anymore but it sure sounds like he’s using the same underdog mentality in his new home

For four years, Cleveland Browns fans watched the same press conferences that Carolina Panthers fans just took in this past week. After their team fell to 1-3, quarterback Baker Mayfield took the podium and spoke on what’s gone wrong with Carolina.

While he did say the blame falls on him, he also had a bit of an edge when asked about how many times his passes are being batted at the line of scrimmage. This was an issue for him during his tenure with the Browns, but it’s been much worse with the Panthers — and there were roughly 10 swatted down this past weekend.

Mayfield’s response to the question was for the reporters to let him know if they had any drills to suggest. He then said the coaches tell him to find windows to throw and it’s the “same thing they keep saying.”

Baker Mayfield quickly turned to his ‘underdog’ roots

Easily one of the most frustrating things about Mayfield’s tenure with the Browns was having to hear about his days as a walk-on in college. This was usually brought up when he would have a particularly bad game and was always followed with how well he responds when his back is against the wall.

That’s again the route he took this week, claiming he’s been here before.

"“I’m pretty comfortable in this position.” Mayfield said according to David Newton of ESPN. “So I have experience at being able to bounce back, being able to handle things the right way and to lead. For me, we’ll be just fine.”"

As impressive as it was for Mayfield to walk on to two different schools to become a Heisman Trophy, it’s time to quit pounding that drum. It’s true he was an underdog back then. But as soon as he was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, he was expected to produce.

He didn’t do that consistently enough for the Browns and that’s why he’s playing elsewhere before his rookie deal is up. That means he’s not in a situation where he has his back up against the wall, but instead, he’s in a situation where he needs to prove he can keep a starting job.

Bad signs in Carolina for Baker Mayfield

This recent press conference isn’t the only thing that echoes the dysfunctional end to Mayfield’s time in Cleveland. He also was recently part of a discussion from wideout D.J. Moore, who is off to the slowest start of his career.

Moore was asked about the notion that receivers aren’t getting open and while he tried not to bash anyone, he hinted that open might not mean the same to his quarterback as it does to him.

For Mayfield, the beginning of the end came when Odell Beckham, Jr. grew tired of not getting the ball when he was open, which led to his release. Teammates in Cleveland weren’t shy about their frustration with OBJ’s departure, and watching him play well with the Rams and win a title only solidified it in their minds that he was never the problem.

Off the field, Mayfield has always been a stand-up guy and has never been shy about giving back. Unfortunately, he has way too many issues on the field and he could be quickly running out of chances.