Cleveland Browns head coach, Hue Jackson, is looking to replace his quarterback for the upcoming season. He’s reportedly interested in bringing in former Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins signal caller Mike Glennon to take over at QB. However, according to ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter Pat McManamon, the team has an opening because of a change with their coaching staff — meaning that they might bring back Kevin Stefanski as quarterbacks coach instead.
The Cleveland Browns are in the process of rebuilding their team after a historically bad season. However, their new head coach, Kevin Stefanski, may be doing more damage than good. Read more in detail here: baker mayfield height.
Baker Mayfield isn’t yet on the hot seat as a quarterback, but his future with the Cleveland Browns is a lot bleaker than it was a year ago.
In 2020, Mayfield and Cleveland were on their way. In his third season with the Browns, the occasionally polarizing quarterback led his club to an 11-5 record and a berth in the AFC Wildcard round. Even though the Browns fell in the divisional round to the Kansas City Chiefs, the season was a rollicking success by Cleveland’s standards.
The Browns reached the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
New general manager Andrew Berry and rookie head coach Kevin Stefanski were keeping an eye on the Browns. Stefanski was recognized as an offensive genius when he was hired following a stint as offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, and he showed Cleveland’s hiring was correct. Cleveland’s offense as a whole was explosive, but Stefanski stood out for orchestrating a ground game that ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards and sixth in rushing touchdowns.
In 2021, the new-look Browns’ bloom has faded a little, but it has less to do with Stefanski and more to do with Mayfield.
With the quarterback battling with an ailing shoulder that likely need surgery in the spring (if not sooner), now seems to be a decent moment to assess if he’s the best long-term option for Cleveland.
Baker Mayfield has displayed grit and tenacity, but the Cleveland Browns haven’t been able to capitalize on his efforts.
Baker Mayfield’s interception and subsequent injuries are seen here.
Anthony Schwartz seems to have given up on his route, thus it finishes up being an overthrown INT.
Justin Reid drove hard right through Mayfield’s left shoulder as Baker closes in on the tackle. pic.twitter.com/20MA6sTH2b
September 19, 2021 — Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen)
Mayfield has been suffering with a shoulder issue for the whole of the season, and he deserves respect for sticking it out and attempting to keep his team in the game.
However, whether or not it was the best decision for Cleveland may be debated. It’s one thing to rally around an injured quarterback who performs well, but Mayfield hasn’t done so in 2021. Mayfield’s six starts with the Browns resulted in a 3-3 record and a 6-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Without a question, Mayfield is a leader, but throughout the course of his four seasons in Cleveland, he has been an abysmal quarterback. He has a 62.4 percent career throwing percentage and an 81-46 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
While ordinary may do for some quarterbacks, Mayfield was selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by Cleveland. That’s a dilemma for the Browns because you don’t choose a quarterback first overall and expect him to be mediocre. Being tough, persevering through injuries, and displaying enthusiasm and zeal are all admirable qualities. Cleveland, on the other hand, might have gotten it from a third-round quarterback.
The expectation for the first overall choice, particularly at quarterback, must be to draft an excellent talent.
Mayfield has been everything but, according to the facts.
Mayfield’s injury has shown how valuable Kevin Stefanski is to the Browns.
The NFL is a “next man up” league, where one player’s misfortune may turn into a chance for another. Every time a vacancy arises, a new opportunity arises.
While the Browns would prefer to start Mayfield over eternal backup Case Keenum in a playoff game, the injury has given Cleveland’s management a chance to stare into the crystal ball and see what a future without Mayfield would look like.
Stefanski will be a part of that future, regardless of who the quarterback is. For Cleveland, this is crucial. He’s much more crucial to the Browns’ long-term success than Mayfield.
The Browns faced the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football to start off Week 7, and despite the fact that it wasn’t nice, they won 17-14. Mayfield was out with a calf injury, and the Browns were also without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Aside from his spectacular run with the Vikings, Keenum’s career has been more of a spot-starter than an every-day quarterback. He’s not the quarterback you want to invest your franchise’s hopes in, but in a pinch, he can win you a few games.
Cleveland’s potent run game was passed over to third-stringer D’Ernest Johnson, who was making his first start as a relative unknown in the NFL, with Chubb and Hunt on the sidelines. Johnson was undrafted out of college and spent more time fishing or playing in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football than in an NFL backfield.
Stefanski was missing three key offensive players, including his starting quarterback and a Pro Bowl-caliber running back.
Despite this, he led an offense that racked up 376 total yards and dominated the time-of-possession battle, 36:51 to 23:09. Keenum led the offense to victory, completing 21 of 33 passes for 199 yards and a score.
Johnson rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown on only six carries, averaging 6.6 yards per carry against a stingy Denver defense.
Stefanski created something out of nothing, a feat accomplished by only the best NFL coaches.
Stefanski’s success, however, may make it easier for the Browns to walk away from Mayfield if they chose to do so.
During the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers, Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns discusses with head coach Kevin Stefanski | John McCoy/Getty Images
For the most of the season, Mayfield has been dealing with a shoulder issue. He’ll try all he can to play this season before undergoing surgery in the summer, but one has to question how successful he’ll be if he’s not fully recovered. The risk of further discomfort and perhaps re-injury is also quite significant.
In any case, he’ll be entering the last year of his contract after a severe injury and surgery, and there are already cries for Cleveland to move on from him.
Let’s pretend we’re positive for a moment. Mayfield may be able to recover and return to the level of performance anticipated of the No. 1 overall choice. An extension would make sense at that time, and the Browns could look forward to a bright future with Mayfield playing at a high level under Stefanski’s coaching.
Let us now return to reality. We haven’t seen Mayfield play at a consistently high level during his career, so expecting he ultimately lives up to expectations and is worth a large second deal seems to be a fool’s errand.
He is what he is as a quarterback at this stage in his career, and he is an ordinary quarterback with the mentality and ambitions of a superstar, which is sad for him. He’ll want to be paid like a superstar as well, but Cleveland can’t be sure whether he’d genuinely earn such a deal at this time.
What the Browns can be confident of is that Stefanski is the sort of offensive coach who can improve on what he has.
In this league, there are certain offensive concepts that are so outstanding that great offensive skill isn’t required to execute them at a high level.
One example of this is Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The San Francisco 49ers can put almost anybody in the backfield and get a few hundred yards on the ground. In Los Angeles, Sean McVay has a similar system. The Rams are better now that they have an exceptional quarterback in Matthew Stafford, but McVay guided the club to the Super Bowl with a quarterback in Jared Goff who has shown to be a complete disaster.
Stefanski made a third-string running back seem like an All-Pro in Cleveland. He assisted Keenum, a career backup quarterback, in defeating a formidable defense. Cleveland doesn’t need Mayfield, and the evidence was so evident that former NFL player turned ESPN commentator Rob Ninkovich dubbed the victory a “nightmare” for Mayfield.
“He’s seeing the backup quarterback play and win football games,” he said. “If you’re the Cleveland Browns, why would you pay Baker Mayfield $40 million a year when you can replace him with a plug-and-play quarterback who would run the ball and throw play-action passes?”
Ninkovich is correct in claiming that Cleveland’s offensive strategy is capable of plugging in any good quarterback. Looking forward to the last year of Mayfield’s deal, if he costs too much or becomes too hurt to play good football, the Browns can locate a comparable, cheaper quarterback and still achieve most, if not all, of their objectives.
Any success Mayfield has is a win for Stefanski, but Stefanski’s success might signal Mayfield’s demise.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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