This morning on Get Up, ESPN’s early morning talk show, former National Football League head coach Rex Ryan made waves when he offered his analysis of the Cleveland Browns. He said, “I don’t get it. I’d love to be an offensive coordinator here. If I have Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb and this Baker Mayfield — yeah, I know he’s overrated as hell — but what’s stopping this team, though, is you have no tackles,” Ryan said. “And so are we gonna make an adjustment or are you just gonna let them get beaten 1-on-1 all day long?”
Mayfield has been the subject of high-scrutiny for Cleveland as the team has under-performed by starting the season with a 1-2 record. Last night, Cleveland looked sluggish in their 20-13 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams. Before the season, the Browns were subject to a lot of hype and were expected to compete for a spot in the playoffs. The second year signal-caller has looked uneasy at times, and seems to be very uncomfortable passing from the pocket. On the season, he has completed only 56.9% of his passes for 805 yards, and has a mere three touchdown passes overshadowed by five interceptions.
Ryan further elaborated saying, “I bought into the dang hype. But not to the point where everybody’s saying he’s gonna be the league MVP”. Also adding, “What’s he doing right? Because I’m gonna look at this: Here’s a guy right now who’s a one-read guy and then he’s gonna improvise. He’s gotta realize, you are one of the slowest guys on that field when you take off with it. The other thing, the ball’s not coming out in rhythm. You’re staring down guys, and you’re not that accurate down the field … Why isn’t the ball coming out quick? When they had to hold the ball, I never saw it, so you’ve gotta understand you don’t have tackles.”
The take on Mayfield is dead on. Yes, the QB is lacking effective protection along the offensive line. However, what is the major difference between last year to this year? Cleveland was worse as a whole. Baker is not going through his progressions, and doesn’t seem to have the same passion that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him.
The former number one overall pick is certainly a victim of circumstance due to the media over-hyping him dating back to the NFL Draft in 2018. How can we place such lofty expectations on a 24 year old entering his second season as a starter in the National Football League? I’m guilty of it myself. Baker has been a winner everywhere he has been, and certainly is expected to produce the same results in Cleveland. Maybe, he is too over-hyped and isn’t prepared to handle the weekly bright-lights of a career as an NFL quarterback savior. The jury is still out and I firmly believe Mayfield will ascend to NFL stardom, but until that day I’m co-signing on Rex Ryan’s take as being dead-on.
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