The Cleveland Browns were lacking last Sunday. And quarterback Baker Mayfield thinks he’s identified a part of the problem: the “little details.”
Mayfield told ESPN the Browns aren’t executing at the same level as, say, the Oklahoma Sooners did when he was their signal-caller. Here’s what Mayfield said, via ESPN’s Pat McMananon.
“The reason we were able to go fast is because everybody knew exactly what they’re supposed to do,” he said Wednesday. “When you do that, when you get a team on the same page, it gets dangerous. On top of that, when you fine-tune the details, everybody realizes what we’re trying to get accomplished, where the ball needs to go.
“A receiver, even if he might not be getting the ball, might run his route in a way to get somebody else open. It’s stuff like that we need to get accomplished.”
Mayfield’s appreciation for the finer points of football are, in part, what allowed him to finish his college football career with a 68.5 completion percentage while amassing 14,607 career yards and 152 total touchdowns, winning a Heisman Trophy and making a trip to the college football semifinal in 2017. He and coaches Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley went 36-4 together in Mayfield’s three years as a starter, because of the little details, apparently.
The Browns are 1-1 when Mayfield has played, including a 45-42 collapse to the Oakland Raiders in overtime last week. Mayfield and coach Hue Jackson are 1-2-1 on the season.
Maybe Riley should be preparing the Browns for Sundays instead of preparing the Sooners for Saturdays? Maybe Riley should replace Jackson. That isn’t what Mayfield is suggesting (but I am). Mayfield’s simply pointing out that the Browns aren’t as prepared as they should be. But of course, Jackson is in charge of highlighting those little details.
Here’s more from Mayfield.
“We have to be fundamentally sound,” he said. “We have all the talent. We just have to make sure we’re doing our job.”
“We got to have everybody on the same page,” Mayfield said. “I keep saying that. We have to have the right routes. I have to have my eyes in the right spot.”
At no point does Mayfield point fingers at Jackson. In fact, he takes some of the blame himself. But the message is clear — he felt more ready for game day in Oklahoma. He saw better-prepared teammates when he played for the Sooners.
Why is there a higher level of coaching in college even though it’s supposed to be a lower level of competition? Is Mayfield’s lack of preparedness a product of Jackson’s ineptitude?