Cleveland Browns: Austin Hooper weirdly slams Jason Witten for no reason

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns new tight end, Austin Hooper, sure has weird bulletin board material.

The Cleveland Browns signed TE Austin Hooper to a contract this offseason, bringing in the former Pro Bowler to help give Baker Mayfield more targets. Hooper became one of the best tight ends in the league during his time in Atlanta and came into Cleveland on a positive first step.

That included, but was not limited to, training with Baker Mayfield in the offseason down in Texas, something that was largely not advised. By anyone. At any point. To his credit, Hooper treated this offseason as he would any other and busted his butt. Maybe that’s not the best of approaches this year, but hopefully, his strategy pays off. That way he and Mayfield are able to get off to a hot start when the season begins.

Yet, Hooper’s making weird bulletin board material, only to double down on the “LOLZ IZ JOKE BRO” defense. While talking to the media, Mary Kay Cabot reported his beyond peculiar jab at former Dallas Cowboy legend and current backup Oakland Raider TE Jason Witten.

"My style, I’ve never really been a rah-rah guy at all. I just kind of like to lead by example, and if people have questions, I will answer them. I am an open book. I don’t try to hoard information. I don’t like doing the whole (Raiders TE) Jason Witten deal where it is me versus everyone else in the tight end room. I think it is more like we are all in this together. (TEs) David (Njoku), Harrison (Bryant), Stephen (Carlson), Pharaoh (Brown), Nate (Wieting), we are all in this together.I look at it as just like a big family in our room. We all have one common goal, and that is to win our reps. However someone does it a certain way, that resonates with someone else’s learning process better. I think just like any other workplace, it’s better when it is collaborative and not combative. That’s what I try to bring to the room and let everybody know that yeah, I’m one of the older guys in this room, but don’t feel like I’m not approachable. I’m and open book. I want to see people do well."

If you’re as unsure why Hooper is taking unsolicited digs at a man who’s universally respected by just about everyone, save a few, then join the club.

His comments about Witten are essentially just nonsense. Firstly, he’s never played with Witten, what would Hooper know about him that’s first-hand knowledge? Secondly, why is he saying anything stupid like this in the first place, knowing that the Browns are often finding themselves in ‘foot-in-mouth’ situations? Heck, half the reason the sports media hates Baker Mayfield is that he talked too much.

Did he not learn anything from watching Odell Beckham put his foot in his mouth? Arent the Browns trying to get out of being the most talked-about team in football for all the wrong reasons?

Hooper has since stated he was being sarcastic, but that doesn’t matter. As a professional your words matter. If you want to throw someone under the bus for the sake of sarcasm, you’re going to have to own it. No amount of “whoa is me” or screaming “clickbait” is going to help you out. Especially when you don’t know what clickbait is. He’s no rookie and has spent time with Mayfield, arguably the most polarizing figure in Cleveland, if not all of football.

He’s been around too long to not understand how this works. He’s got to do better not saying headline-making nonsense. Also not exactly the best of ideas for a millionaire to try and trash someone’s reputation for accurately reporting what you said.

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