CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield has gone from No. 1 pick to No. 1 in picks.
A report-placing rookie quarterback who pulled the Browns back again from their darkest despair though re-energizing a lover foundation final year, Mayfield has been mistake-prone, inaccurate and inconsistent for a workforce that has underwhelmed and underachieved through six game titles.
He’s not often been “dangerous.”
Much more harmful to himself.
Mayfield achieved the Browns’ bye 7 days main the NFL with 11 interceptions — the most by a Cleveland QB in 6 video games due to the fact 1984 — and he’s damage after getting a helmet to the still left hip even though building a scramble all through Cleveland’s 32-28 reduction on Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks.
He’s predicted to be prepared to play the New England Patriots on Oct. 27, when the Browns (2-4) will resume a period that coach Freddie Kitchens feels has arrived at a crossroads.
Mayfield will identify which way it goes.
There are a amount of variables that explain the drop in Mayfield’s match this season — dropped passes, a new offensive coordinator, line difficulties, injuries, inexperience, defenses created to acquire absent his strengths. But accuracy falls squarely on the quarterback and the 24-12 months-outdated ranks 33rd with a completion proportion of 56.6, down from 63.8% final period.
He’s been hesitant. His mechanics are flawed. He’s locked on to receivers. He’s misread coverages.
A deeper dive into Mayfield’s statistics reveals other troubling traits. He’s just 9 of 29 (31 with a few touchdowns and 3 interceptions in the crimson zone. Final 12 months, he done 65% of his passes with 20 TDs and zero interceptions within the opponents’ 20-lawn line.
Mayfield has been off concentrate on also often. He’s experienced some poor luck with many passes tipped and picked, but Mayfield has not been approximately as specific as he was at Oklahoma or in the 2nd 50 percent of very last year, when he led the Browns to five wins above a six-7 days span and broke Peyton Manning’s rookie report with 27 TD passes.
“He’s an precise dude,” claimed quarterbacks mentor Ryan Lindley. “Sometimes it is with his ft, he speeds himself up. At instances he thinks it’s possible much too rapidly, his toes comply with up and you are striving to catch up. It is a assortment of various items. Regardless of whether it’s his feet, no matter if it is his intellect at occasions, we all require to iron it down and get on the exact same webpage.”
The Browns considered Mayfield would take a significant action ahead in his second season. It hasn’t took place however.
Nevertheless, normal manager John Dorsey, who gambled by having Mayfield 1st total in 2018, feels his youthful quarterback is producing strides, albeit small ones.
“To learn the quarterback place is quite hard,” Dorsey said. “You just can not go and show up and do it. He’s in his 2nd 12 months and proper now defensive coordinators are likely throwing diverse seems that he hasn’t noticed, but Baker is 1 of those men that he’s clever ample, he’s not likely to make the same blunder 2 times, so he’s discovering from that.
“I like where by he is and I like his competitiveness. I adore all the things about him, that hasn’t modified for me one bit in conditions of his competitiveness, his potential to throw the soccer and move this point. And what I truly like is that his teammates like him.”
There is no denying the Browns have Mayfield’s again.
His leadership is obvious in the course of games, techniques and in the locker place. Mayfield sets the tone, his teammates stick to.
Unable to get part in drills this 7 days since of the hip injuries, Mayfield served as an further coach. When restricted close Demetrius Harris dejectedly walked toward him immediately after dropping a pass, Mayfield fired him yet another ball and then gave him an encouraging slap on the shoulder pads. When gamers couldn’t hear inside the industry home mainly because the music was blaring too loudly, Mayfield requested it lowered.
It’s quick to level at Mayfield and blame him for Cleveland’s bad start off. Which is existence for any pro quarterback.
But it is also straightforward.
The Browns have committed a league-high 57 penalties, various of them push-killing infractions. Their protection has been gashed for 445 yards rushing the past two weeks. In his 1st head coaching gig, Kitchens has struggled to discover the correct operate-to-move balance. The offensive line could undertake a major overhaul coming out of the bye.
“It’s not just Baker,” said protection Damarious Randall. “Everybody’s obtained to stage up a tiny little bit. As terrible as we performed towards Seattle, we had a chance to get a cease on defense and we could’ve finished the video game. We could be sitting listed here 3-3 and a whole lot of thoughts that y’all acquired suitable now, we wouldn’t even be conversing about, so I wouldn’t say it’s on Baker to step up for us to change the way of our year.”
Mayfield, although, has to participate in improved for the Browns to make a playoff drive about the ultimate 10 online games.
Whilst other people might be wanting to know if he’s a franchise quarterback, Lindley’s self confidence in Mayfield has not been shaken.
“On a working day-to-day foundation, you nevertheless see the points he does on the area and the way he carries himself,” he reported. “The greatest component is he’s nevertheless young and he’s nonetheless expanding. You see what that kid’s heading to turn into and what he is — and that is anything particular.”