Not all Panthers QB Baker Mayfield Browns teammates turned on him last season: Browns Insider

CHARLOTTE, NC — While it may seem like most of Baker Mayfield’s teammates jumped on him last season after the saga of Odell Beckham Jr. and Mayfield tapping into the season finale, that’s not the case. .

Many of his offensive teammates stayed in their corner, including Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, Kareem Hunt and Joel Bitonio. The relationship got a bit rocky between Mayfield and Jarvis Landry due to Landry’s fierce loyalty to Beckham, but many of the offending guys, who had developed a close relationship with Mayfield, and whose partners became close to Emily Mayfield, stayed on. their corner and were supportive.

That’s why you saw Mayfield tease Chubb during his Wednesday news conference, calling him a mime to say the least.

Before Sunday’s game, Mayfield exchanged hugs with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, running backs coach Stump Mitchell, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Myles Garrett, who has said he would be open to a postgame handshake with Mayfield if it comes up, told cleveland.com last week that his relationship with the quarterback was “slightly complicated” and that he had refused to respond. to Mayfield’s kind farewell message. to the.

Some of his former teammates, including safety John Johnson III, didn’t like that Mayfield pulled out of the final game of the season against the Bengals when he had played the entire season with a completely torn labrum in his left shoulder that he couldn’t throw. .

Part of the problem was that Mayfield announced after the loss at Pittsburgh, in which he was sacked nine times and turned down five passes, that he would consult with his agent and make a decision on whether or not to play. Meanwhile, Johnson, who had missed the previous two games with injuries, and others played in that meaningless game to finish it off with their teammates in a show of solidarity.

It was a mixed bag, to be sure, but Mayfield was not to everyone’s liking.

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It’s true that Mayfield got mad at Kevin Stefanski for missing an offensive meeting.

It’s true that Mayfield was upset with Stefanski, a league source said, for missing the offensive meeting the day after the Browns’ 45-7 loss to the Patriots.

Stefanski used that time to meet with Myles Garrett, who called defensive coordinator Joe Woods for his game plan in New England.

However, it is not true that Stefanski unduly singled out Mayfield for weaknesses in the film’s criticism thereafter, a source said. Stefanski treated Mayfield like he treated any other player at team meetings, highlighting the good and the bad.

Regarding the communication problems between Stefanski and Mayfield

Mayfield didn’t like having the Stefanski “strap” last season, as evidenced by the “No Strap” T-shirts he’s been selling this week. But as for the lack of communication with the coach, that is wrong, a source said.

Stefanski constantly solicited input from his offensive players, especially the quarterbacks, and took into account what they liked and didn’t like about the game plan. If Mayfield wanted things to be different, he needed to be more vocal about it.

Instead, Mayfield opted to publicly criticize Stefanski twice after games: once after a narrow win over the Ravens for becoming too conservative, and once after the Pittsburgh loss for not helping rookie right tackle James Hudson III. against the eventual NFL Defensive Player. the TJ Watt year.

Watt had four sacks that game en route to tying Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5.

By this time, Mayfield was well aware that publicly calling out a coach was against team policy.

Mayfield had a lot on his plate in 2021

Besides a completely torn left labrum and having to play in a crude harness for most of the season, Mayfield had a lot of other things on his plate. His shoulder seems to have worn him down both mentally and physically, and he was left wondering which of his teammates were with him and which were against him. He was also juggling some stressful issues with his family and his entourage, a source said.

All of that, plus believing that Stefanski wasn’t using him well, was a recipe for disaster.

When you talk about playing freer this season, there are a lot of layers to that.

Deshaun Watson’s plans

Watson has been training in Houston and Cleveland during the first part of his 11-game suspension, which began Aug. 30. For the next six weeks, he will be primarily in Cleveland training with quarterbacks coach Quincy Avery. -place.

Watson will be allowed back into the Browns facility for team meetings and weight training on Oct. 10, and will be able to start full practice with the team on Nov. 14. If he complies with the terms and conditions of his treatment program, he will be reinstated on Nov. 28 for the Dec. 4 game in Houston against his former team.

Greedy Williams injury

The defensive back injured his hamstring this week while participating in a special teams drill and, at first, he didn’t look too bad. But tests revealed that it was a 4-5 week injury, and he was placed on injured reserve, where he must remain for at least four games.

On the bright side, third-round pick Martin Emerson Jr. was going strong and making a compelling case for the third-round cornerback job.

Emerson will be on the outside against Denzel Ward today when the Browns are at secondary defenses, with Greg Newsome II in the role. But all of the Browns’ cornerbacks and some safeties will serve as backup nickels at times.

Christian McCaffrey is circled in red on offense

The No. 1 job for the Browns, even more so than Mayfield, is McCaffrey, the Panthers’ dual-threat running back. In fact, McCaffrey is almost as much a slots receiver as he is a runner.

He will put enormous pressure on the Browns’ defense, and players like linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will have to rise to the occasion. Safeties Grant Delpit and Johnson will also be important in containing McCaffrey, arguably the most dynamic player on the field today.

The Browns’ two-headed monster, Chubb and Hunt, together match McCaffrey from a skill set standpoint, but he’s unique and will be a burden today, especially with the Panthers wanting to take the pressure off Mayfield.

Big day for sophomore pro James Hudson III

Hudson, who will start at right tackle in place of Jack Conklin (knee), will be very busy today. The Panthers have one of the most offensive and aggressive defenses in the NFL, led by defensive end Brian Burns, and will try to go after the second-year pro. It’s best that Hudson has come a long way since that loss in Pittsburgh last year. The Browns will have to help Hudson a lot today.

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