By ridiculing a reporter’s dilemma Wednesday and abruptly leaving a media session, Baker Mayfield could have essentially endeared himself further more to several admirers of the Cleveland Browns. But his behavior did tiny to dispel perceptions that he and his disappointing team lack aim.
Big points had been predicted this time from the Browns, who observed Mayfield perform nicely as a rookie final calendar year and then additional star extensive receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason. Having said that, Cleveland is 2-5 immediately after a 27-13 reduction Sunday to the host New England Patriots.
Mayfield’s testy instant arrived when he was talking about the Browns’ unsuccessful travel at the conclude of the very first 50 %, in which the team got the ball down 10 details with 2:19 still left, but went just 14 yards in seven performs before time ran out.
Asked by a longtime Browns reporter, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, about an apparent “lack of urgency” in that situation, the second-12 months quarterback described that a wrong-start off penalty on Cleveland hampered the drive.
“Well, when the penalty transpired, we ended up driving the chains …,” Mayfield started to say, to which Grossi interjected with, “But the clock’s not running.”
“Stop saying ‘but.’ I just advised you the clock was jogging and we had a penalty,” Mayfield replied. “You want to give them the ball back again? No. You do not perform, you don’t know it. Which is just plain and easy.”
Grossi then questioned irrespective of whether Mayfield was “happy with that travel.”
“Was I delighted with the travel? No — we did not rating details,” Mayfield answered, supplying Grossi an incredulous glimpse. “That’s the dumbest concern you could request. What?”
Mayfield extra, “Jesus, Tony,” as he walked away from Grossi and other reporters who ended up assembled close to the quarterback at the Browns’ schooling facility in Berea, Ohio.
Mayfield addressed the incident shortly thereafter, indicating on Twitter, “Everybody wants to listen to the real truth right up until they really get it. … I am who I am and always have been. Never get in touch with it psychological when it’s easy and then passion when it suits. I treatment about winning, so yeah I’m pissed off.”
“If I was to act like it’s all right to eliminate,” he continued, “then y’all would say that I have gotten complacent. My feeling of urgency is at an all time superior.
“And if I offend any person alongside the way … that is much too negative.”
It was not the first time that Mayfield has expressed displeasure with Grossi.
In January, right after Grossi likened Kyler Murray, who adopted Mayfield as a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma, to ex-Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel — a comparison the reporter beforehand made with Mayfield himself — Mayfield tagged Grossi in tweeting, “He also stated he would retire if the Browns drafted me. So does just about anything he say have truth to it? Couldn’t be a lot more any extra incorrect. There is no comparison to even be made about Kyler. He’s a winner and if you do not see that, some thing is mistaken with you.”
Around the end of the 2018 season, with the Browns quickly to seek the services of a new head mentor, Grossi asked at a news convention if Mayfield’s complimentary words and phrases about the Cleveland’s offensive staff members indicated a drive to see it introduced back. “Stop striving to get me to say a thing, Tony,” Mayfield explained.
On Wednesday, Grossi also provided remark on what took area previously that working day, expressing on ESPN Cleveland radio (by means of Professional Soccer Talk), “I did not want to be in a confrontation with the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, but he experienced been disrespectful so numerous instances in the final couple months in reaction to simple questions by me.”
The confrontation gained Mayfield some criticism nationally — such as, predictably, from FS1’s Colin Cowherd — but it went above superior among the the sizable portion of the Browns admirer base that has extensive disliked Grossi. At least, that was the unique impact delivered on-line, where by an informal poll done by a well known Cleveland sports activities-oriented Twitter account confirmed that additional than 9,000 respondents backed Mayfield more than Grossi by an 88-12 margin.
Nonetheless, some admirers acknowledged the context for Mayfield’s instant of discomfort but also asserted that it was incumbent upon the quarterback to display much better composure.
“Baker threw a small tantrum, that is your present narrative of the Cleveland Browns,” tweeted yet another preferred account devoted to Cleveland sports. “I want much better figures just before we begin spouting off.”
Mayfield threw an interception in the decline to the Patriots, bringing his total on the year to an NFL-primary 12, towards just six touchdown passes and a subpar completion percentage of 57.6. En route to NFL all-rookie team honors previous 12 months, he done 63.8 p.c of his passes for 27 touchdowns and 14 picks.
Add in the weak report of his staff, which appeared to finally be heading in a favourable direction by finishing 7-8-1 final period, and Mayfield has motive to really feel “frustrated,” as he place it Wednesday. At the same time, his venting of some pent-up feelings could have many others experience disappointed with him for showing up to emphasis a lot more on petty feuds with neighborhood reporters than on improving upon his craft.
A perceived deficiency of emphasis and discipline on the section of the Browns general this year has been a dependable theme for critics of the team’s effectiveness, which has involved a league-primary 70 penalties for 591 yards.
Even the Browns’ head coach, Freddie Kitchens, sounded that topic soon after the reduction at New England, which featured 13 penalties by his squad and a extend of a few turnovers in as quite a few plays by Cleveland’s offense.
On what required to improve for the Browns to start off limiting their blunders, Kitchens mentioned Sunday, “Focus and focus on doing what you are meant to be do, and removing all other interruptions and only stressing about what we have to do on that participate in.”
“I explained to our men how (the Patriots) get — ‘They really do not defeat themselves’ — and we came in and defeat ourselves,” he added. “It’s not stunning. Which is how persons normally acquire. … We shed the recreation simply because we turned the ball in excess of and penalties, so we need to have to cease committing penalties.”
In that mild, Mayfield’s exchange with Grossi was noteworthy for extra than his response to the “dumbest issue,” in which he reported he was sad about the push for the reason that Cleveland did not rating details, then proceeded to score details with a variety of Browns enthusiasts.