ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky is not here for your Baker Mayfield criticisms.
Orlovsky shot down more negative takes about the Browns quarterback and former Sooners star Wednesday on “Get Up.”
“First of all, Baker Mayfield resurrected the worst franchise in sports in America,” Orlovsky said. “This franchise was terrible before Baker Mayfield got there. They were 0-16 the year before he got there. His first year, they got 7-8-1. He was 6-7 as a starter — as a rookie — while breaking the rookie passing (touchdowns) record held by Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning.”
Mayfield threw 27 TDs in 2018, breaking the mark set by Wilson and Manning. San Diego’s Justin Herbert broke Mayfield’s record last season with 31.
Orlovsky felt compelled to rebutt comments made on the show the day before by ESPN NFL insider Mike Tannenbaum, who said Mayfield was a “replaceable part” on a promising roster.
“Baker Mayfield is very much a replaceable part,” Tannenbaum said. “He’s had one productive season out of three. That is not greatness at the quarterback position. So, at best, he is the fifth-best quarterback in the AFC.”
In Mayfield’s third NFL season last year, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was his fourth head coach, and Alex Van Pelt was his fourth offensive coordinator. He’s played for Hue Jackson, Gregg Williams, Freddie Kitchens and Stefanski, and his offensive coordinators have changed just as frequently, from Todd Haley to Kitchens to Todd Monken to Van Pelt.
Mayfield also had a change at general manager from John Dorsey to Andrew Berry as one of the most forlorn franchises in American professional sports has continued along its historic path of systemic disfunction.
None of that has been lost on Orlovsky.
“Year 2, I’m gonna give it to you: he stunk in Year 2,” Orlovsky said. “But we all know why. Freddie Kitchens was a disaster.
“Then last year, everyone continued to doubt Baker Mayfield, and what did he do? He goes and completes 63 percent of his passes, 26 touchdowns, eight picks and a 95 passer rating.”
Mayfield in 2020 also led the Browns to their first playoff appearance in 18 years, their first postseason win in 26 years, and their first road playoff win in 31 years when they won 48-37 at Pittsburgh — a game in which Mayfield threw for 263 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“I’m gonna finish it with this,” Orlovsky said. “There’s two guys in the history of the NFL who in their first three seasons have thrown for 25 touchdowns … 11,000-plus yards and they’ve had a passer rating of 89 or more. Dan Marino and Baker Mayfield.
“Stop disrespecting Baker Mayfield.”