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Baker Mayfield Doubles Down on the Hue Jackson Criticism and I Respect the Hell Out of Him For It

SourceBrowns QB Baker Mayfield doesn’t regret ripping Hue Jackson, or even calling him fake, despite the national criticism he’s receiving.

“No, everyone likes to make things a bigger deal than they really are, that’s just how it is,’’ he said. “People took it as me personally attacking Hue, but that’s not it. It’s the fact that I get to have my own opinion on how it transpired and he gets to do what he wants. That’s how it is.

“Although I’m an athlete, I’m not a cookie-cutter quarterback, never have been, never will be. I speak my mind. That’s just how I am, so I didn’t like the move and people don’t have to care. I’m not looking for anybody’s approval. I don’t regret any of it. It’s about this team and what we have and we have to stick together and play together.”

But calling Jackson fake on Instagram in response to ESPN First Take’s Damien Woody telling Mayfield to grow up? … “I get it, but I don’t have to get into details. That’s how it works.” …

He also had no problem with his brother, Matt Mayfield, chiming in after him on the First Take “grow up’’ video, saying that Baker wasn’t going to fake friendship or respect for a coach that “a) didn’t have your back and b) was both uniquely and statistically bad at their job.’’

“He’s protective,’’ said Mayfield. “That’s what you want family for. I expect some of these guys in this locker room to go to war with me, too. That’s just how it is.”

You know that part in the first Thor movie when we get introduced to Hawkeye, who gets a bead on Thor while watching him kick a ton of S.H.I.E.L.D. henchmen ass and says “You better call it, Colson. I’m starting to root for this guy”?

I’m starting to have that moment with Baker Mayfield. (Although, let’s face it, I’m much better than Hawkeye. If anything, I’m Captain America because I’ve been around forever but I’m still at my peak, look amazing, and love my country.)

Think about Mayfield, working his ass off his whole life to turn himself in an elite DI quarterback, being successful enough at Oklahoma to go No. 1 in a big draft class for quarterbacks, only through no fault of his own, to wind up playing for objectively the worst coach of the Super Bowl era? What can you do?  If you refuse to play for the guy, you get publicly vilified, like you’re some petulant little child star who thinks the world owes you something. Believe me, I’m old enough to remember what they said about John Elway when he refused to go to the Colts and play for Frank Kush. To a lesser extent, Eli Manning took the same kind of shit for not going to San Diego.

Not that I would’ve blamed Mayfield. I think one of the most underrated part of being a successful quarterback is who your head coach is. If Drew Brees had ended up with, say, Art Shell in 2006 instead of Sean Payton, I don’t think he ever becomes Drew Brees. By the same token, if you’d given Payton Matt Leinart out of that draft, I think he could’ve done something with him. So just through sheer cosmic bad luck, Mayfield gets his dream job and it turns out his boss is the football equivalent of the time Creed ran Dunder-Mifflin Scranton.

So he did the right thing. He waited Jackson out. And fortunately for him, it didn’t take more than a few weeks. And all he’s done since Jackson cleared out his desk is put up passer ratings of 95.0, 151.2 and 143.9, go 2-1 and win the Offensive Rookie of the Month for November.

Maybe more importantly, he sounds like a guy who’s taken a leadership role on his team. He’s feeling it. Speaking his mind with no regards for what the outside world thinks and having no regrets. And I actually respect his brother chiming in. As a general rule family should stay out of team business. But if one of my brothers almost had his career derailed by an incompetent boss, I like to think I’d have his six the way Matt Mayfield has his brother’s.

So by talking like this, Baker Mayfield has pretty much unzipped his fly and going to be interesting as hell to see if he can back it up going forward. I hope he does because like I said, I’m starting to root for this guy.