The Cleveland Browns have been the target of some classic bulletin board material these last few weeks, but quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t taking the bait on the latest bit of shade to come his team’s way.
Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins was asked about the Browns and if they would be competition, responding, “I wouldn’t go that far.”
Mayfield has never been shy to call out those who doubt him or his team, but showed maturity when asked about his reaction to Watkins.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) January 13, 2021
“I have no problem with it to be honest with you because if you do not have confidence, then you are not going to have success,” Mayfield told reporters. “Those guys have been doing it together for a few years now. They have a ton of confidence in each other. People get mad when you put it out there as your quote-unquote ‘bulletin board material,’ but I do not have a problem with it. It comes with the nature of this game that you have to be confident and you have to know and believe in yourself.”
Cleveland Rallied Around ‘Browns is the Browns’ Statement
Mayfield said all the right things, but there’s no doubt that Watkins’ statement is being talked about in the locker room to some extent. Before facing the Steelers, it was JuJu Smith-Schuster who gave the Browns something to rally behind.
“I think they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year,” Smith-Schuster told reporters leading up to the game. “I think they’re nameless gray faces. They have a couple good players on their team, but at the end of the day, I don’t know. The Browns is the Browns.”
After the win, Cleveland players posted messages on social media, yelled “the Browns is the Browns” after the game and even tagged Smith-Schuster directly.
“We believe in the people in this room no matter what’s going on,” Mayfield told reporters after the game. “As soon as the COVID news came out that we were missing some key guys, obviously starting with our head coach, we knew that everybody was counting us out. We knew what mentality we were going to have, and it is just to cut it loose, go out there and give it everything we have. There was no added pressure or no extra anything. It was just for us to go out and do our job because no one believed in us, besides us.”
Browns Get Reinforcements After Tough Week
After a tremendously tough due to positive COVID-19 tests, the Browns will welcome back some key players this week as they prepare for the Chiefs.
The Browns activated defensive backs Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
“I feel that we are players who can step in and make plays to help this team out,” Ward told reporters on Wednesday. “Regardless of if we were in there or not – obviously, we have seen it – this team could get the job done and step up to the challenge. Regardless of who is in there, guys are going to step up, play well and execute their job.”
Head coach Kevin Stefanski and Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio are expected to make their returns as well this week.