A brief interaction with the local media before the Super Bowl suggests Baker Mayfield may not be as humbled as we thought after watching him on “Get Up!”
Baker Mayfield drew rave reviews for his appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up.” After a season in which he was one of the worst quarterback’s in the league statistically, fans of the Cleveland Browns were hoping their one-time franchise savior was turning a new leaf.
In front of a national audience, Mayfield said all the right things and appeared humbled by the trials and tribulations of the 2019 season.
Perhaps, we’re just seeing another Johnny Manziel when it comes to spinning a story in front of cameras, though.
TheLandonDemand’s Tony Grossi told a story that was broadcast on ESPN Cleveland Friday, in which Mayfield was portrayed as a goon.
Grossi, and Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, were the only local media members on hand to cover the Super Bowl and the Browns’ QB1 wouldn’t give them the time of day. The interaction suggests Mayfield still has room for growth.
"“Away from the cameras, he snubbed the local reporters here, myself, Mary Kay Cabot, as he did his ground tour of media row. he wouldn’t stop to give us the time of day. So there’s still some growth that needs to be done, Grossi said.”"
Grossi and Mayfield have a history, with the quarterback ribbing the longtime Browns’ writer in press conferences.
The “feud,” if that’s what you want to call it, was reaffirmed before the Super Bowl when Mayfield let Grossi know when his next interview will come.
"Mayfield said, “You’ll have to wait ’til April to talk to me,” according to Grossi (5:04) subscription required)."
I think fans are going to side with players over the media nine times out of 10, but if you’re a Cleveander, you should be offended if this is the way it went down. Whether or not you have a favorable opinion of Grossi or Cabot doesn’t matter.
Chances, are you’re reading their work and leading up to the Super Bowl, they were an extension of all of us as northeast Ohio’s representatives in Miami. Mayfield didn’t just dis the scribes, he basically dodged all of us.
That’s why it’s hard to argue with Grossi’s opinion that Mayfield needs to show “Growth.” Mayfield’s supposed to be the face of the franchise because of the position he plays. He can’t give three minutes to the local press?
Can you imagine Patrick Mahomes telling the Kansas City Star they’ll have to wait until April to talk to him?
It’s disappointing and it harkens back to the name I dropped earlier: Manziel. No one was better at winning over the media than Johnny Football. We now know Manziel was blowing smoke at all of us, as it was revealed after he left town that he didn’t even know the playbook. The way he made it seem, he was living, breathing, eating and sleeping football.
Now, here’s the supposedly humbled Mayfield, not being so humble when no one’s watching.
It’s frustrating because we all want Mayfield to succeed. That second half of 2018 was the best the Browns have looked in 20 years and Baker was the reason why. Being a franchise quarterback means more than getting the job done on the field, though. You’ve got to be able to do the other stuff, too. That includes talking to the local press, even when you’re not required to do so.
The 2020 season will mark year three for Mayfield, and all indications are that “growth” must not only come on the field, but off it, as well.