Browns' Baker Mayfield says he'll stop replying to critics

Article Date(s): Saturday 01 February, 2020
As Baker Mayfield buried the hatchet with ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Rex Ryan on Friday, the Cleveland Browns quarterback said he's done responding to critics.

"It comes back on ... doing my job the best I can, not worrying about the outside stuff, not replying to you," Mayfield said to Ryan while appearing on ESPN's Get Up on Friday morning. "Just doing my job and doing what really matters being a quarterback."

Mayfield referred to this season as a "humbling experience" for him. Not only did the Browns finish 6-10 to miss the playoffs for a 17th consecutive year, but Mayfield ranked last in the NFL in touchdown-to-interception ratio (22 touchdowns to 21 interceptions) and next to last in passer rating (78.8).

After a Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Ryan called Mayfield "overrated as hell" on GetUp. Two days later, Mayfield fired back.

"If you don't wear orange and brown, you don't matter, and Rex Ryan doesn't have any colors right now for a reason," Mayfield said then, referring to Ryan no longer being a head coach.

"I don't need to respond to the things that don't matter," Mayfield said Friday. "The things that don't help us win."

Throughout his career, Mayfield's candid comments have drawn plenty of headlines -- well beyond his exchange with Ryan.

Before this season even started, he called out then-teammate Duke Johnson for asking for a trade-in minicamp. And in a GQ magazine preseason story, he was quoted as saying it "blows my mind" that the New York Giants would draft quarterback Daniel Jones with such a paltry college record at Duke.

"Let's just be honest, I put my foot in my mouth a lot this past year," Mayfield said. "I'm going to internalize that."

Mayfield agreed with Ryan's point that responding to outside criticism so frequently and emphatically, including to Ryan's own comments, wasn't going to help the Browns win games.

"No, it doesn't," Mayfield said. "That's what the focus needs to be about, what can I do to help this team win. ... What can I do to make our franchise better, head in the right direction, do the things of why I was picked in that spot [No. 1 overall] and make it happen."

Mayfield reiterated he wasn't going to change who he is and that he was going to play with the same edge that has defined his career. But he did concede that he needs to evolve, especially in the way he handles criticism.

"I just have to be me, I have to continue to do that," said Mayfield, who ended the segment shaking hands with Ryan. "But I don't need to reply to the stuff on the outside."
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