Browns coach responds to troubling Baker Mayfield comments
Baker Mayfield has struggled to find consistency in his fourth NFL season, and injuries have been a big factor in his uninspiring performance. His health is apparently far from the only issue, however.
Mayfield hinted at some “internal” problems with the Browns in an interview with NFL Network’s Kurt Warner that aired on Sunday morning.
"It's night and day compared to where I was heading into last week" @bakermayfield sat down with @kurt13warner to talk about how he and the @Browns will finish up the season 👇 pic.twitter.com/YBPgVDjVPM
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) December 12, 2021
“It comes down to trying to find an even balance of listening to those opinions around you that truly matter — friends, family, teammates,” Mayfield said. “That’s been the tricky part about this year. There’s been a lot of internal things. It hasn’t been just outside noise.”
Those comments surprised some people. Though Mayfield didn’t explain exactly what he meant, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported on Sunday that there has been “a disconnect all season between Mayfield and (head coach) Kevin Stefanski in terms of playcalling.” Sources also told Cabot that other players have not been pleased with the playcalling.
Stefanski was asked on Monday about Mayfield’s interview. He insisted the communication between him and Mayfield has been good all season.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski on Baker Mayfield alluding to “a lot of internal things” within the team that have been tricky for him this season pic.twitter.com/cuaP83Ee8p
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 13, 2021
Cabot also reported that there has been a “major disconnect” between Mayfield and the Browns regarding the way the quarterback’s injuries have been discussed. The Browns have downplayed them and said they are not negatively impacting Mayfield’s play. Baker, on the other hand, recently said this is the “most beat up (I’ve) ever been.”
The Browns had a huge win on Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens to improve to 7-6 and remain squarely in the playoff hunt. Mayfield completed 22 of 32 passes for just 190 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but the end result was positive for Cleveland.
There was obviously some major dysfunction between the Browns and Odell Beckham Jr. before OBJ was traded. Beckham’s father unloaded on Mayfield via social media, and Kareem Hunt’s father was later also critical of the quarterback. It’s quite possible that is some of the “internal” drama to which Mayfield was referring.
Photo: Nov 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) walks off the field after the Browns beat the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports