It’s official: the Cleveland Browns are going to be on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ this season. And while GM John Dorsey isn’t particularly looking forward to it, No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield says it could work. It just needs to be handled well, of course. Speaking to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, Mayfield says:
“For me looking at it, and us as a team, I’d say it can be good if you handle it right. I’ll just say that. If you think about it as a way to get on camera and try to show off and do certain things and handle it the wrong way then that can be very negative, it can be a distraction. … But if you use it as a sense of, ‘OK, I got to block out everything else and just focus on playing ball,’ then that can be a great thing for us.”
In the meantime, the Browns are coming off their infamous 0-16 season. And while Tyrod Taylor is their starter, they’re hoping Mayfield is the future. Speaking of that season, though, the rookie signal-caller knows that’s why this is happening.
“Hard Knocks wouldn’t be there if we weren’t 0-16 last year,” he says to Cabot. “So we’re working towards never having to have that situation again. I’m looking forward to being a start of something new there in Cleveland.”
So do the Browns, Baker. So do the Browns.
In the meantime, Mayfield is coming off a great three-year stint with the Oklahoma Sooners. He would complete nearly 70 percent of his passes, totaling 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. On the ground, he would rush for 893 yards and 18 more scores, winning the Heisman trophy in his senior season. But now he makes his way to the Browns, who have had almost 30 starters under center since 1999.
They’re hoping Tyrod Taylor can bust the slump, but Mayfield is definitely being set up to be their future leader.