Former NFL GM turned talking head Mike Tannenbaum has been among the chorus of analyst critical of Mayfield. He recently stated that Mayfield would be on a “short leash” heading into next season under new head coach Kevin Stefanski.
“As soon as those picks start, he will be on the sidelines,” Tannenbaum said on ESPN’s Get Up.
“He’s not going to be on a short leash because he’s a first-round pick. But there’s a guy by the name of Case Keenum,” Acho said, going on to break down the similarities between the two, from their height and weight to completion percentage. “The more I put on my glasses and got my Sherlock Holmes on, I realized Case Keenum, he’s really just Baker Mayfield without the drama.”
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) June 30, 2020
“Where I’m standing on is, in the event that Baker Mayfield does for some reason falter, you got Case Keenum back there, and Case Keenum isn’t just sorry — I don’t care what anyone has to say.”
Case Keenum Understands Role With Browns
The Browns signed Keenum this offseason to a three-year, $18 million deal — a move that immediately started the rumors of a QB competition brewing in Cleveland. However, Keenum has been adamant that he understands his role with the Browns behind Mayfield as a veteran presence with experience in Stefanski’s offense.
“Coming in, obviously my role, one is to be ready to play,’’ he said. “I know the situation with Baker, how he’s played, and the investment the team has in him. I’m excited to help bring that room together, help bring an offense together and be the best team player I can be.”
That’s not to say the savvy veteran won’t be confident to slide into action if need be.
“If Baker’s shoelace comes untied and he needs to maybe go get a drink of Gatorade at the water station, I’m going to be ready to go,’’ Keenum said on a conference call earlier this offseason, per cleveland.com. “If I need to take a few snaps, I’m going to handle myself well and I know that I can.”
The Browns will be Keenum’s fifth team in five seasons. He played most recently for the Washington Redskins, starting eight games before the reins were handed over to Dwayne Haskins. Keenum went 1-7 in his starts, passing for 1,707 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Keenum started 30 games over his previous two seasons before landing in Washington with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings. In 2017, he went 11-3 with Minnesota, helping lead the team to the NFC championship game.
Baker Mayfield Embracing Case Keenum Mentoring
Earlier this offseason when Mayfield hosted teammates in Texas for offseason workouts, Keenum was in attendance. The two QBs exchanged some thoughts and Mayfield was able to pick at Keenum’s brain.
“I think that is a huge part of why I was looking forward to being around Case was that he was in this system so I can hear his thoughts on how it is taught and how he reads it. He has been in a lot of systems, as well, and it has not been an excuse for him,” Mayfield said. “Just hearing how he visualizes certain things and certain reads has been great.”