Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield has his share of critics for many reasons.
And many question whether he is a true franchise quarterback that can lead a team on a championship run.
That remains to be seen, but Baker does have two qualities that he shouldn’t change.
Those qualities can perhaps lift him to elite franchise quarterback status.
1. Work Ethic
Behind the scenes, Baker Mayfield is a hard worker trying to improve at his craft.
He has approached it differently in each of the seasons.
Even Freddie Kitchens commented on Baker’s work ethic in June 2019.
“Baker works his tail off in everything he does and it’s no different this year than it was last year. I think he’s getting more decisive with his decisions that he’s making, which is a good thing for a quarterback. You want quarterbacks to play as fast as possible and I think he’s getting to that point.”
Whereas, Baker strived to learn the X’s and O’s in his first two years, third-year Baker extended that work ethic to reshaping his body and reframing how he presents himself to the media.
The brash Baker that always grabbed media attention for his personality or antics has been replaced by a quieter, humbler Mayfield.
Along the way, he has said that his play will do the talking for him.
I would argue that his preparation and attitude have also shined through in this 5-2 run.
Back when preseason football meetings were Zoom only, Baker was at other offensive positions’ meetings.
He was trying to learn more.
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt commented on Mayfield’s work ethic in June.
“He’s done everything I’d expect from him as a starting quarterback. His work ethic is great. He jumps into other meetings that aren’t required, and he’ll sit in the receiver meetings when they have them and will sit in running back meetings from time to time, as well.”
Baker hosted the WRs in Austin, Texas in the spring for a workout.
His physical and mental approach to the game are evidenced by his work ethic.
Mayfield has always been a leader.
A leader never gives up in any situation.
Baker Mayfield never acts as though he or his team is out of a game; he maintains composure and has a presence about him.
Former wide receiver Antonio Callaway talked about Baker’s leadership:
“That juice. That fire. He is always fired up. He gave us a spark.”
His leadership is felt most by the offense, but the defense can feel it too.
Baker Mayfield gets the defense fired up and they proceed to force a fumble for a TD
Leadership skills ➕➕➕pic.twitter.com/SldnLgjDQd
— 2020 NFL Draft (@DraftRT) January 2, 2018
Mayfield has made his share of mistakes, but he never blames others.
He is quite honest and straightforward on his performance when it is not good.
Baker showed extraordinary leadership after the November 2019 game against the Steelers speaking about the Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph incident.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 15, 2019
His team won, his teammate acted unprofessionally and dangerously, and an opponent could have been injured.
Yet Mayfield found the right tone and words to summarize all of it as well as the play of his offense.
Whether you agree or not, Mayfield’s leadership is a factor in the Browns 2020 success so far.
He had to lead this team into a third consecutive season with a new coaching staff and offense.
The team had to buy in to the changes this year, and he has been an integral part of that.