Ex-Browns QB identifies the biggest problem in Cleveland
A former Browns quarterback identified what he believes is a big problem in Cleveland that hinders the team.
This week, longtime Cleveland Browns reporter Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com wrote an article asserting that Baker Mayfield has issues with the team’s head coach, Kevin Stefanski. She even said Mayfield would consider asking for a trade if things don’t change to his liking.
Mayfield heard about the article and absolutely blasted Cabot over Twitter.
Clickbait. You and many other Cleveland local media continue to be drama stirring reporters with no sources or facts. Don’t put words in my mouth so you can put food on your table. I’m not your puppet. https://t.co/MfHnqWk65s
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) January 6, 2022
Apparently Mayfield isn’t alone in thinking the reporters who cover the Browns are a problem.
Former Browns QB Brandon Weeden, who played for the team in 2012 and 2013, said it was the same stuff with Cabot, whom he said can’t help herself.
Same stuff different year with her. She can’t help herself… https://t.co/sUJvgVx3kN
— Brandon Weeden (@bweeden3) January 6, 2022
DeShone Kizer, another former Browns quarterback, agreed with Weeden.
— DK (@deshonekizer) January 6, 2022
But it was Derek Anderson who said it all.
Anderson played in the NFL from 2006-2018. He quarterbacked Cleveland for four seasons from 2006-2009. He went 10-5 as a starter in 2007, making the Pro Bowl that year.
Anderson believes that the media creates and constantly reinforces the “bumbling Browns” narrative, which he believes has a heavy influence on the fan base.
Problem is it’s been the same people writing the same story forever. Need to start over with new fresh faces in the media. Need to build a mindset that u can lose a few games and still grind out a season. Media influence on public there is large.Oh we suck again comes from them.
— DA (@DAnderson314) January 7, 2022
In other words, all these Browns quarterbacks seem to agree that the media in Cleveland has made it very hard to win/turn around the team due to their constant reinforcement of the negative narrative. A reporter writing about a supposed rift between the team’s quarterback and head coach would definitely create the feeling of negativity around the team.
There could be a lot to that line of thinking. The problem is the media does not work for the team, so it’s not like the team can just fire these reporters and replace them with new ones. As far as Cabot and her bosses go, they’re probably pleased the story about Mayfield received so much attention.
Were the issues between Mayfield and Stefanski that Cabot reported about overstated by her? Maybe we will only learn the answer to that question in time.
Here’s the bottom line: under Stefanski and Mayfield, the team had its best season since 1994, going 11-5 and winning a playoff game. The two can obviously produce a winning combination. Sure, this season went poorly, but it’s quite possible that Mayfield’s injuries were the biggest reason why.
Cleveland needs to hit the reset button for 2022 and hope that Mayfield comes back fresh and healthy next season and that they’re able to get closer to the 2020 version of their team rather than the 2021 version. We’re guessing that having Baker healthy will be the big difference-maker for the team.
Photo: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports