Fans of the Browns don’t have a choice: Be barraged by Joe Burrow Super Bowl covered and wonder if Baker Mayfield can ever get Cleveland to the promised land.
We’re all envious of Cincinnati right now. They went from worst-to-first in a matter of two years. Even though Joe Burrow got hurt halfway through last season, it was always pretty clear that the Bengals had found their franchise quarterback.
Entering year No. 5, the Dawg Pound is still waiting to see if Mayfield can be that type of player for the Browns. Undoubtedly, Mayfield helped the Browns turn the corner from being the laughing stock of the league, but obviously, that’s not the bar.
So I think about Baker, at home, without the Progressive commercials, rehabbing his shoulder surgery. And I wonder what we’ll see from the former Heisman winner come 2023.
Just because he’s healthy, doesn’t mean he’s going to take the league by storm. He has to be better. Miles better than last season and a lot better than he was during the final half of 2020, when he opened our eyes and dropped franchise QB potential.
Alas, that version of Mayfield was only good enough to get to the divisional round and lose to the Chiefs.
Browns Baker Mayfield has never seen adversity like this
Mayfield’s the ultimate “chip-on-the-shoulder guy,” and I wonder how that will translate onto the field this upcoming season. There are a lot of fans and pundits counting him out. In the past, dating back to Texas Tech, Mayfield always proved everybody wrong.
That said, I imagine he’s never faced this type of adversity. He’s playing for a contract that will deliver life changing money. He was being booed at his own stadium. The locker room sure looks to have division over the divorce between he and OBJ.
Mayfield said following the break with Beckham that “There’s no manual for this.” He’s absolutely right, but he better do his darnedest to write something up because the clock is ticking on him in Cleveland.
TLOD’s Tony Grossi has Mitch Trubisky has the No. 2 possibility to be the next Browns starter. The Mentor native is a free agent and should be affordable. He has connections to Andrew Berry and Paul DePodesta, as the front office really liked Trubisky when he came out of UNC in 2017.
The more I think about, the more I think of the burden Trubisky would be forced to carry. After every Mayfield pick, fans would start chanting “M-I-T-C-H.” Then he’d be expected to save the day. A tall order for a quarterback trying to get his career back on track.
As for Burrow, I’ve enjoyed his ride though the playoffs and won’t mind seeing the LSU product keep fellow alum OBJ from hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
I wrote about the Cavs getting lucky with Evan Mobley falling into their laps, and the same is true of Cincinnati and their quarterback. The Bengals are well known for having a small front office, small scouting staff and I think, a very small analytics department that may just be one or two people.
Yet here they are. Yes, they invested wisely on defense, but obviously, Joe Burrow fell into their laps with the No. 1 pick in 2020. There wasn’t a second choice. Burrow was the consensus selection.
That wasn’t the case in 2018, when Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and even Josh Rosen had their names tossed about as potential No. 1 picks.
The Browns became the worst team in NFL history by going 1-31 and it’s not even yet clear if the plan worked, while two bad, albeit, not historically bad campaigns, landed them Burrow.
There’s no analytics recipe for luck.