The Cleveland Browns are imploding. Once heralded as “America’s Team,” the Browns stumbled out of the gate in 2019, lost five of their first seven games, and are staring at another failed season as the calendar flips to November. The offseason acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. turned Cleveland into potential Super Bowl contenders. As of October 30, the bumbling franchise was given the 18th-best odds to win it all.
One of the biggest issues this season (and there are a lot) is the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield. The former No. 1 overall pick is tied with Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston for the league lead in interceptions (12), ranks 29th with only six touchdown passes, and is completing an NFL-worst 57.6 percent of his passes. Once thought of as a potential MVP candidate, Mayfield’s now drawing fewer Brett Favre compliments and more Johnny Manziel comparisons.
The frustration is palpable. Everyone in Cleveland, Ohio feels the pressure mounting, perhaps none more than head coach Freddie Kitchens. There doesn’t seem to be a simple solution to Cleveland’s woes, and the issues are starting to even rattle Mayfield off the field.
During his weekly press conference, Mayfield’s frustrations boiled over. After a heated exchange, the QB decided he’d heard enough, made a stank face, and abruptly ended his time with reporters by saying, “That’s the dumbest question you could ask. What?”
Here is the complete exchange from Cleveland.com:
Baker Mayfield Storms Out of Press Conference
Longtime Browns reporter Tony Grossi asked Mayfield if there was a “lack of urgency” during the Browns’ final drive of the first half against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The reporter was suggesting Cleveland should’ve hurried up and attempted to score during its two-minute drill — the Browns trailed 17-7 at the time — despite being “behind the chains,” as Mayfield says.
On first down of that drive, Baker was sacked for a 10-yard loss. Following Cleveland’s final timeout of the half, the Browns were called for a false start, making it 2nd-and-25 from their own 24-yard line. With 28 seconds left, Cleveland settled for short passes and headed for the locker room.
Mayfield wasn’t happy with the reporter questioning his offense’s decision, but it was one question that really boiled his bottom.
This reporter actually asked, “Were you happy with that drive?”
Insert Baker Mayfield’s stank face here.
Mayfield later defended himself on Twitter, saying that his “sense of urgency is at an all time high.”
I’ve asked some bad questions in my day, but this one takes the cake. “Were you happy?” The man just lost to the best team in football by two touchdowns. No shit he’s not happy.
Baker’s going to take a lot of flak for his reaction, but it’s completely warranted. If you’re going to hunt for a good quote from Baker, don’t ask something like this. He’s the most outspoken NFL quarterback there is today. He’s going to give it to you straight, and this was just another example of that fire.