Across The Board Analyst - Chandler Adams
Baker Mayfield, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff and Andy Dalton all have one thing in common. That thing? They are viewed by the general public as under performing. Part of that is rooted in their minds by the big media productions. We here, at ATB, are attempting to dig deeper. Look under the surface.
"I or We"
Baker Mayfield, is he the most polarizing figure in the NFL right now? One thing I find very odd is the allegations that Baker is an I not a We guy. I've watched almost every Mayfield press conference since his Junior year at OU and he's never attributed a bad loss to the team, or a great performance to himself. He's actually alluded as one of the best teammates many of these guys ever have.
I'm going to present you two clips. The first is the INT, the second is the press conference following the game.
1. Baker Mayfield to Antonio Callaway - A TD would have made it a 4 point game
2. Baker Mayfield answering a question about the INT above
A play like this is inexcusable by a professional receiver. There are quarterbacks in the game, insert GOAT Rodgers, that would make belittling remarks about his coach or receiver on a play like this. Has Rodgers earned the right to do that? Yeah, he has, but my point is Baker is an absolutely beloved teammate and player to coach. So, let's just end that BS spin right now.
What about his play?
Numbers Don't Lie - People Do
In this up and down Cleveland Browns season two things have remained steady. The Browns receivers are having drop issues, and Baker's timing is off. The Browns have 14 recorded dropped passes through 6 games, but if you've watched their games they've definitely had more than that. Regardless, Mayfield's 11 INT's can be very misleading. The following is a video of all of Mayfield's INT's this season.
1. On Baker, his accuracy is his strength, needs to find himself again.
2. Again, on Baker, can't under-throw an out route.
3. This is not on Baker. A WR + QB need to find the soft spot against a zone. Baker was aware Jarvis was going to get 8+ yards in the soft spot, Jarvis didn't recognize.
4. This throw was high. NFL apologized for missing a PI call on that play.
6. Odd, just odd. Jarvis, one of the most physical receivers in the game just gives up. Baker throws a DIME into tight coverage.
7. Baker under-throws Callaway here. However, a WR at the top of his route uses his hips/feet to help his QB know where to go with it. Being it Callaway's first game back, he has a miscue. He plants hard and dips, telling Baker he's going to cross in front of Sherman. Callaway goes behind him though.
9. Still don't understand how this isn't PI, Illegal contact, etc. I know you can bump, but he completely knocks him off course.
10. Baker definitely needs to lead a few more inches.
Again, not making excuses for Mayfield. If you watch this with an unbiased mind, you can see that his 11 INT are very skewed in a negative light. How do we know this is true? His PFF grade is a 73.7. How does that stack up against the rest of the 2018 QB Draft Class?
You might be wondering, "how in the sam hell is Mayfield right behind Lamar for PFF grade". PFF grades every single play of every single game. A turnover worthy play is different than a turnover. What do I mean by that? Baker Mayfield's INT that bounced off of Callaway's hand is not a turnover worthy throw. Therefore, Mayfield most likely got a perfect or near perfect grade on that throw. It was the right read, right timing, perfect location. PFF takes everything into consideration, not just the box score.
Mayfield needs to improve his pocket presence. As Dan Orvlosky said, Baker in all of his tape used to look like a boxer in the pocket. His feet never stopped moving and that helped him to set his feet quickly and deliver and accurate strike. When it comes down to it, Mayfield is very close to putting it together. Chemistry, timing, play calling and an abundance of expectations have seem to engulf him so far this year.
Will he bounce back? Yes, we've seen great QB's have down starts, or even season. The Browns have all of Mayfield's weapons under contract for the next few seasons. This Browns team is going to be able to find a solid groove with the ease of the second half of their schedule. Denver, Cincinnati x2, Pittsburgh x2, Arizona, Miami.
In sports there is a long known understanding of finding your groove. The best time to find it, is when you're dancing right into the playoffs. Browns fans, relax, this team has a ways to go, but they still have a long time to get there.
Chandler Adams, Across The Board