I’m not sure there are many things Pittsburgh Steelers fans appreciate more than beating up on the Cleveland Browns, but one such thing may well be hearing rants about how bad the Browns are—not just at the moment, or in a particular game, but conceptually.
And former Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who now works for ESPN, believes that is just the sort of trouble the Browns are in now, tied to Baker Mayfield as their quarterback, or at least for as long as they are tied to him. Below is his rant from the Get Up segment yesterday.
Last year, the Cleveland Browns tried to build their house on the foundation that was Baker Mayfield, and that house was built on sand, it wasn’t built on brick. It wasn’t built on stone. And so this year, they tried a new thing. They said, you know what, we’re gonna build a house around Baker Mayfield to protect him, and what he’s done already is lit the fire that is gonna burn this house down.
You can’t win with a quarterback who plays football this way. The games that they’ve won this season, Kevin Stefanski has found ways to protect Baker Mayfield. They run the football. They use the boot. They try to find ways to get him out of the pocket to get easy throws.
Well, Baker Mayfield foiled that plan himself with the easy interception and pick six to Minkah Fitzpatrick to start the game. In the one whole defense that should be easy to recognize, he misses it. And so now your team is behind. Now Keith Butler can call run blitzes on first and second downs that also double as boot blitzes that keep Baker Mayfield inside the pocket.
This team is in trouble. And not necessarily in trouble in that they won’t win games, or that they won’t find ways to fight for the wildcard spot, but when you draft a guy number one overall, that says I believe this guy is our franchise guy who can take us to the promised land. Baker Mayfield cannot. He is no Moses. They are not Israelites. They will be stuck, and enslaved to who he is for a long time if he remains the quarterback.
While Mayfield did enter Sunday’s game nursing some injuries, he did not play well against the Steelers, completing 10 of 18 passes for 119 yards with one touchdowns and two interceptions, taking four sacks, with just one five-yard run on the second play of the game.
For his career, Mayfield has completed 730 of 1190 pass attempts for 8647 yards with 49 touchdowns to 41 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 85.7. He has thrown for 10 touchdowns so far this season, but also six interceptions, after throwing 21 interceptions last season (remember when Steelers fans thought Ben Roethlisberger’s 16 interceptions in 2018 was a lot? Mayfield didn’t even lead the league).