You can learn a lot from watching, especially when you watch the NFL’s highest-rated quarterbacks.
And in case Baker Mayfield wasn’t paying attention to Aaron Rodgers during the Cleveland Browns‘ last game, ESPN’s Tony Rizzo took notes and directed a solid observation to Mayfield via Instagram:
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During a video of some of the low-lights of the Browns Christmas Day, Rizzo speaks about Mayfield.
He advises the Cleveland quarterback to learn how to be “cool” like Aaron Rodgers is.
In fact, he says,
“Aaron Rodgers is the coolest dude in the room. Before the game, there was a ref. Rodgers just casually walked by and patted him on the butt and turned and gave him a little wink as he kept walking. He was working the room. And when he (Rodgers) is on the field, he’s breathing; he’s relaxed.”
There were times during the game when things were not going Rodgers’ way.
But his demeanor barely changed, and he acted like he was in control of things the whole time.
Does Rizzo Think Baker is Un-Cool?
Back when Tony Rizzo and I were much younger, being called un-cool was fighting words.
Today, it has a more nuanced significance, carrying an air of calmness and control in the midst of chaos and adversity.
Still can't get over this stat.
Baker Mayfield threw 4 INTs in 36 attempts yesterday.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown 4 INTs in his last 475 attempts. pic.twitter.com/f8E8TreJOd
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) December 26, 2021
But Rizzo pulled another old-time word out of his repertoire to describe Mayfield under duress.
“(Mayfield) has to go SPAZ! Every week, 4 years in, and he still hasn’t learned you need to be the coolest dude on the field.”
The long-time host of ESPN-Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show” listed several critiques of Mayfield to make his point.
Rizzo cited Mayfield’s imperfect (“crazy”) footwork and the look in his eyes under pressure.
This is a terrible throw by Baker Mayfield, who was terrible vs GB.
But…do we just not call illegal contact anymore?
That's an illegal chuck at like 15 yards and then 5 yards worth of defensive holding on his intended target pic.twitter.com/yszcTKbblG
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 27, 2021
He mentioned how Mayfield fires the ball when some touch is called for.
And he extolled the passer to throw some away instead of forcing throws he shouldn’t make.
Calling it a “Might Mouse mentality,” Rizzo opines that Mayfield can’t win that way in the NFL.
Good Advice Or Just More Baker-Bashing?
Rizzo did not open any new channels of criticism regarding the Browns’ battered quarterback.
After 2 years of working on footwork with Alex Van Pelt, Mayfield regressed noticeably this season.
There are multiple stats that show Mayfield is not good under pressure.
Baker Mayfield on tonight’s game: “It’s frustrating. I thought our defense played great, our skill players played well, same thing with the offensive line. Backs were running their tail off. That’s why it’s frustrating for me. I hurt this team. There’s no excuse.”
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 26, 2021
The Akron Beacon-Journal outlined his 5 failed chances to lead a fourth-quarter comeback this season.
And more than one receiver has been a split-second behind one or more of Mayfield’s “high, hard ones” this year.
Mayfield tried to throw a ball away earlier this season as he was getting tackled, and it resulted in an interception.
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said the quarterback position can get too much credit and too much blame, but that's just how it is and that Baker Mayfield will bounce back from Saturday's performance.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) December 27, 2021
But he needs to lose that memory, and toss the ball away sooner to avoid key sacks and high-risk passes.
This goes against his personal belief that he can win any game by himself.
And after almost four years in the NFL, he doesn’t seem ready to heed Rizzo’s advice.