Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield alluded to “a lot of internal things” he’s dealt with all season, a supposed reference to friction in Cleveland.
When Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner sat down with Baker Mayfield, he may have nabbed a scoop alluding to drama beyond Odell Beckham Jr.
Warner asked Mayfield about how he handles the copious criticism he’s received this season, to which Mayfield responded:
“It comes down to trying to find an even balance of listening to those opinions around you that truly matter, friends, family, teammates, and that’s been the tricky part about this year, has been a lot of internal things,” Mayfield said. “It hasn’t just been the outside noise.
“I have to be myself and try and do my job 100 percent,” Mayfield continued. “The guys that truly know me understand that. We need to take care of business in the building, and I need to be myself for these guys.’’
Hidden within a rallying cry for the Browns is a reference to “a lot of internal things”, a nugget which Browns reporter Mary-Kay Cabot says is indicative of internal tension between Baker and the Browns organization.
Apparently, there’s a disconnect in play-calling philosophies between Mayfield and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.
“Whether or not they’ve discussed it behind closed doors, it exists,” Cabot said.
Mayfield reveals “internal” issues are at play in difficult Browns season
As Mayfield said, there seem to be a lot of internal factors at play behind closed doors in Cleveland.
According to Cabot’s sources, there’s a feeling that the Browns haven’t played to Mayfield’s strengths in terms of play-calling, but that’s also been a challenge due to his injury-ridden season. According to one source, “Mayfield isn’t the only offensive player who hasn’t been enamored with the play-calling.”
Another issue is the the Browns’ own in-house radio show, the Cleveland Browns Daily, has criticized Mayfield in the past, a move that “hasn’t always played well.”
Then in the Odell Beckham Jr. situation, Mayfield was made a villain for repeatedly failing to target an open Beckham Jr. The ordeal “took its toll” on Mayfield.
Then there’s the issue of how the Browns want to present Mayfield’s injury status to the media. While the Browns wanted to demonstrate that Mayfield is healthy enough to win and his injuries aren’t affecting his performance, Mayfield’s own words contradict these statements. Before playing the Lions, Mayfield described his status as “the most beat up he’s ever been.”
Like Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Mayfield described the bye week rest that facilitated his recovery from various injuries as being like “night and day” compared to what he was feeling last week. “If your lower body’s not able to move around, especially with me, my violent throwing motion, how I plant, how I torque, I need my feel good and I’m in a much better place right now.’’