During his postgame press conference last Sunday, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield called out Hue Jackson for taking a job with the Bengals so soon after he was fired as Cleveland's coach. Mayfield's remarks came after the Browns beat Cincinnati, 35–20, in the team's first meeting since Jackson joined Marvin Lewis's coaching staff as a special assistant.
The rookie QB came under fire for his remarks but Mayfield told reporters Wednesday that he stands by what he said.
"People took it as me personally attacking Hue. That's not it," Mayfield said. "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 how I am," he added. "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."
ESPN analyst Damien Woody criticized Mayfield for his remarks on Monday on First Take and suggested that the 23-year-old's comments were childish.
"Baker Mayfield needs to grow up," Woody said. "This is pro football. You’re dealing with grown men. Things happen in pro football. People get fired, go to other teams, players get cut, they go to rivals. It happens all the time. Coach gets fired, he decides to pick up a job, an available job that Marvin Lewis obviously reached out to him about."
Woody went on to call Mayfield out for criticizing Jackson for moving to another AFC North team after Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma in college, both Big 12 teams.
Mayfield responded to Woody's take in the comments section of a video on show's official page by calling Jackson "fake."
"Not even comparable...," Mayfield wrote, referring to his decision to transfer. "I didn't lose 30+ games be fake and then do that... I wasn't gonna have a scholarship. Good try though buddy. (sic)"
When asked about their quarterback's take on Jackson's character, the Browns said Wednesday, "There's things that happened in the building. No reason to go into detail about it. We've moved on," per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.