Former GM Mike Tannenbaum: Baker Mayfield Will Be On Short Leash
On ESPN's Get Up, former general manager Mike Tannenbaum said that Baker Mayfield will be on a short leash under head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Citing how well he knows Stefanski, Tannenbaum made the case that Stefanski simply won't tolerate Mayfield turning over the football and suggested that benching Mayfield could send a message to the rest of the locker room. He noted how efficient Kirk Cousins was under Stefanski last year, only throwing six interceptions.
Oddly enough, the most compelling argument for benching Mayfield, being able to go to Case Keenum, who had a significant amount of success in this offense, was never mentioned.
What's quickly forgotten in all of this is the fact Mayfield was a big selling point to coaching candidates. Stefanski was willing to go through two Browns coaching searches, watching Freddie Kitchens get the job over him last year, before getting the job this year.
Did he really go through all of that just to bench Mayfield?
Part of the interviewing process was ownership feeling confident that whoever they hired was investing in Mayfield. Everything this offseason from coaches and players has been discussing how impressed they've been with Mayfield and how he's doing everything they could ask and then some.
This is all before considering how many opportunities to practice teams have already missed this offseason. Whenever they get to training camp, teams don't really have the luxury of messing around with a quarterback competition. They have to make a decision quickly, assuming it hasn't already been made and get the starter as many reps as possible.
For the Browns, all those reps are going to Mayfield, so if they were to go with a quick hook, they'd be doing it for Keenum with fewer reps than a traditional camp. Ultimately, Mayfield can't play terrible football or he won't be the answer to the Browns quarterback equation, but nothing about the head coaching hire or the process they are going through now in a unique offseason suggests that Mayfield is anything but the quarterback they intend to have lead them this season.