CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While it might seem like most of Baker Mayfield’s teammates jumped on him last season after the Odell Beckham Jr. saga and Mayfield pulled out of the season finale, that’s not is not the case.
Several of his offensive teammates stayed in his corner, including Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, Kareem Hunt and Joel Bitonio. The relationship became a little complicated between Mayfield and Jarvis Landry due to Landry’s fierce loyalty to Beckham, but many attacking guys, who had developed close relationships with Mayfield, and whose relatives became close to Emily Mayfield, stayed in his corner and were supportive.
That’s why you saw Mayfield playfully troll Chubb at his Wednesday press conference, calling him a mime to never say much.
In pregame Sunday, Mayfield exchanged hugs with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, running backs coach Stump Mitchell, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and quarterback Jacoby Brissett. .
Myles Garrett, who said he would be open to a post-game handshake with Mayfield if it came up, told cleveland.com last week that his relationship with the QB was “slightly complicated” and that he had refused to respond to Mayfield’s kind farewell text to him.
Some of his former teammates, including safety John Johnson III, didn’t like that Mayfield pulled out of the season finale against the Bengals despite playing all season with the fully torn labrum in his left shoulder. non pitcher.
Part of the problem was that Mayfield announced after the loss in Pittsburgh, in which he was sacked nine times and received five assists, that he would consult with his agent and make a decision on whether to play. Meanwhile, Johnson, who had missed the previous two games with injuries, and others played in that meaningless game to end it with their teammates in a show of solidarity.
It was a mixed bag, sure, but Mayfield wasn’t universally hated.
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It’s true that Mayfield got mad at Kevin Stefanski for skipping an offensive game
True, Mayfield was upset with Stefanski, a league source said, for missing the offensive game the day after the Browns lost 45-7 to the Patriots.
Stefanski used that time to meet with Myles Garrett, who had called defensive coordinator Joe Woods over his New England game plan.
It’s not true, however, that Stefanski unduly singled out Mayfield for his failings in reviewing the film afterwards, a source said. Stefanski treated Mayfield like he did every other player in team meetings, highlighting the good and the bad.
As for the communication problems between Stefanski and Mayfield
Mayfield didn’t like having Stefanski’s “leash” on him last season, as evidenced by the “Off the Leash” t-shirts he peddled this week. But as far as the lack of communication with the coach is concerned, that’s wrong, a source says.
Stefanski constantly solicited feedback from his offensive players — especially quarterbacks — and factored their likes and dislikes into the game plan. If Mayfield wanted things to be different, he needed to be more vocal about it.
Instead, Mayfield chose to publicly criticize Stefanski twice after games: once after a narrow win over the Ravens for becoming too conservative, and once after the loss in Pittsburgh for not providing rookie right tackle James. Hudson III a great help against a potential NFL defensive player. the year TJ Watt.
Watt had four sacks that game en route to tying Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5.
By then, Mayfield was already well aware that publicly calling out a coach was against team policy.
Mayfield had a lot to do in 2021
Besides the completely torn left labrum and having to play in an awkward harness for most of the season, Mayfield had a lot of other things on his plate. The shoulder seems to have worn him down mentally as well as physically, and he was left wondering which of his teammates were with him and which were against him. He was also juggling stressful issues with his family and those around him, a source said.
All of this, along with believing that Stefanski wasn’t using it properly, was a recipe for disaster.
When he talks about playing more freely this season, there are a lot of layers to that.
Deshaun Watson’s projects
Watson trained in Houston and Cleveland at the start of his 11-game suspension, which began Aug. 30. For the next six weeks or so, he’ll be mostly in Cleveland with quarterbacks coach Quincy Avery. -to place.
Watson will be cleared to return to the Browns facility for team meetings and weight training on October 10 and can begin full training with the team on November 14. If he meets the terms and conditions of his treatment program, he will be reinstated Nov. 28 for the Dec. 4 game in Houston against his former team.
Greedy Williams’ injury
The defensive back suffered a hamstring injury this week while participating in a special teams drill, and at first it didn’t look so bad. But tests revealed that it was an injury of about 4-5 weeks, and he was placed on injured reserve, where he must remain for at least four games.
The silver lining is that third-round pick Martin Emerson Jr. was strong and presented a compelling case to win the third-cornerback job.
Emerson will be on the outside facing Denzel Ward today when the Browns are on under defense, with Greg Newsome II in the slot. But all of the Browns’ corners and certain safeties will serve as nickelbacks at times.
Christian McCaffrey is circled in red in attack
The No. 1 job for the Browns, even more so than Mayfield, is McCaffrey, the Panthers’ dual threat guard. In fact, McCaffrey is almost as much a slot receiver as he is a running back.
He will put enormous pressure on the Browns defense, and players like linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will need to be on point. Safeties Grant Delpit and Johnson will also figure prominently in controlling McCaffrey, arguably the most dynamic player on the court today.
The Browns’ two-headed monster Chubb and Hunt equals McCaffrey in skill, but he’s one of a kind and will be a burden today, especially with the Panthers looking to relieve Mayfield.
Big day for second-year pro James Hudson IIII
Hudson, who will start at right tackle in place of Jack Conklin (knee) will have his hands full today. The Panthers have one of the most offensive and aggressive defenses in the NFL — led by defensive end Brian Burns — and will be looking to chase the sophomore pro. Hudson should have come a long way since that loss in Pittsburgh last year. The Browns will have to give Hudson a lot of help today.
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