Connect with us

Baker Mayfield knows Browns turning things around starts with him

The Cleveland Browns looked like a possible playoff team ahead of the 2019 season.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield was coming off a tremendous rookie season and would be the starter from Week 1. The Browns also acquired star wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., from the New York Giants.

Of course, a preseason playoff team means absolutely nothing once things conclude after Week 17, and the Browns did not play good football last year.

Mayfield was especially poor in comparison to his rookie campaign. He completed less than 60 percent of his passes and threw 21 interceptions, while his adjusted yards gained per pass attempt was a full yard lower (6.2) than the result (7.2).

The former No. 1 overall pick did not get any help from a shoddy offensive line, which conceded 40 sacks last year. But with the Browns revamping the line and adding a Pro Bowl tight end in Austin Hooper, Mayfield knows he has to perform, via Jake Trotter of ESPN.

Mayfield admitted that his upcoming third season, after which he’ll be eligible for an extension, is big, especially after having struggled at times in 2019. But, he said, he won’t invite or put any added pressure on himself.

“There’s no need for that, because if I win, good things will happen,” Mayfield said. “Good things will happen for our team and the guys around me, and that’s the most important part. If I play better, our team is going to do better.”

There might still be growing pains. First-round draft pick Jedrick Wills will have to make adjustments after moving from right to left tackle, and Mayfield and Co. are under new leadership with Kevin Stefanski in town.

But at the end of the day, Cleveland’s ability to win and go forward depends on its polarizing quarterback.