Mayfield: Revenge not in gameplan vs. Browns

CHARLOTTE, NC — Baker Mayfield has a reputation for coming up big in so-called “revenge” games, but the Carolina Panthers quarterback insists he doesn’t see Sunday’s opener against Cleveland that way, even with the Browns. His time “suddenly and” ended. unexpectedly.”

“It’s a great story,” Mayfield said on Wednesday. “Obviously, history is moving forward until this week. [But] There are other sports in the NFL that people play (against) their former team. It is only the excitement of looking ahead to Week 1 that is adding to that anticipation. It’s familiar.”

Mayfield spent his first four NFL seasons with the Browns, which saw him top the 2018 draft. He was traded to Carolina in July, about three months after Cleveland acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

“Whenever you’re playing with people you know, it just makes it more interesting, more fun,” Mayfield said. You know how to poke and prod and get the best out of them.

“I’m waiting for the opportunity.”

If she has any animosity towards Brown, Mayfield isn’t showing it.

“I am grateful for the time I spent in Cleveland,” he said. “I started my career there. Fans there, it’s a football city. As I’ve mentioned many times it ended suddenly and unexpectedly, but now here we are.

“Everything happens for a reason. I’m rolling with the punches. I’m happy to be a panther.”

Mayfield won’t even take credit for its public relations team “Off the Leash” T-shirts put on sale last week In anticipation of Sunday’s game.

One shirt features a headshot of Mayfield, who is wearing a cowboy hat with a pointed dog collar and broken chain at the bottom, with the Oklahoma Sooners from his college days. On top of his head are the words “off the leash”. The other has a picture of Mayfield in Panthers uniform running around with a cowboy hat that has clearly blown off his head. There’s a photo of a broken doghouse (Cleveland) and Stagecoach (Oklahoma) on each side of his last name below him.

“Oh man, I wish I could say I came with a T-shirt, but I have a team behind me,” Mayfield said. “They put some hidden messages, just my history, some subliminal stuff over there.

“I feel like there are people back home who have been following me for a long time. It’s just a funny thing.”

Mayfield is doing his best to make Sunday’s game fun and off to a good start for the Panthers, who also tried to trade for Watson. Carolina guard Austin Corbett, who spent his first year and a half with the QB at Cleveland, likes that strategy.

“That’s what the media wants to see,” he said. “We’re not here to make it a show about us. There are 16 other sports that come after that house.”

Wide receiver Rushard Higgins, who spent the past four years at Cleveland with Mayfield, agreed, but suggested several times over the past month that the QB would eventually show the personality that has defined his career.

“There is no hatred towards Cleveland,” Higgins said. “We were both happy there. It all came down to what it came down to. Now we’re in this position to help the Panthers win, and that’s the only goal going forward.”

But Higgins expects to see Mayfield excel as in other big games. He vividly remembers a 2020 game for Cleveland in which Mayfield started 0-for-5 with an interception against rival Cincinnati Bengals, then made 22 of 23 passes and 37-34 for 297 yards Completed five touchdowns in the win.

“He plays well when he’s picked up,” Higgins said, noting that game’s offense to the movie seen early Wednesday. “Let him eat, man, let him eat. You remember that slogan, we all have to eat? Man, let him do his job. That’s where he got his confidence. . . . It’s going to be fun. I have something to say There is nothing else.

Mayfield hasn’t said anything derogatory about his former team since arriving in Carolina. But he has dug into his memory bank of past games against former teams, such as in 2015 in Oklahoma when they defeated Texas Tech, the team that let him transfer two years earlier. Oklahoma won that game 63–27, with Mayfield completing 15 of 22 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

“Any time you can relate to your past experiences, good or bad, you can always learn from it,” Mayfield said. “Good or bad, you can always benefit from that. So I guess it will help.”

While Mayfield admits she is “everything about winning,” her immediate desire for Sunday is simple.

“A big hug from Nicholas Chubb would be a really, really nice gift,” he said, running after Brown. “Just a word for him to hear it would be nice.”

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