He got the football world buzzing after guiding the Rams back to the win column — with his former college football head coach, to a pair of multiple Pro Bowl defenders and a past teammate reacting to his gutsy evening. And it’s that current NFL player and former teammate of Mayfield’s who spoke with Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo before Mayfield was thrown into the Rams fire early in the Thursday Night Football contest.
Ex-Teammate Never Wavered on Belief in Mayfield: ‘I Told You’
Despite how Mayfield’s time in Cleveland and Carolina came to an abrupt and highly publicized end, Lombardo revealed that this past teammate of Mayfield’s had confidence in him going into the Raiders contest.
“I think he’s going to do great there, and be super confident going in,” the current NFL player and former teammate of Mayfield’s told Lombardo, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Mayfield went in on the Rams’ second series — with not even a full practice week session in with the Rams as his release from the Panthers took place Monday, December 5 then was claimed off waivers the following day. Mayfield was only given at least two 10-play periods at the Rams’ Thousand Oaks facility on Wednesday leading to the TNF contest per head coach Sean McVay after the victory, plus spent his plane ride over to L.A. learning the playbook in short timing.
But the former No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, now on NFL team No. 3, delivered an epic 98-yard drive that ended with the 23-yard connection to Van Jefferson:
Mayfield stunned the NFL world and even the broadcast crew of Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on how quickly he impacted the Rams…but not this former teammate.
“I told you,” the player texted Lombardo Friday. “There aren’t many quarterbacks that will go in with confidence like he will, to have success and have the grit and toughness to gather a group around him so quickly. He’ll be high-fiving and head-butting guys, fitting in right away. That’s just who he is, and you saw that.”
Other Notable Reactions Feature 2 Pro Bowl DLs, Including Division Rival
Even two defenders known for chasing quarterbacks couldn’t help but be impressed with Mayfield. Including one who is now NFC West rivals with the four-year QB.
Five-Time Pro Bowler and Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt posted this reaction on Twitter after the game.
“Joining the team on Tuesday and winning a game on Thursday at the quarterback position is absolutely incredible. There are some positions that you can plug into a new team/system somewhat easily. QB has to be by far the hardest. Damn impressive Baker,” Watt shared.
Watt wasn’t the only defender raving about Mayfield. Six-time Pro Bowl selection Calais Campbell was another who was in awe of what he just witnessed.
“Wow!!! I don’t think people can really comprehend how hard it is to learn a playbook…let alone find timing with WRs! Have a day Baker Mayfield,” the Baltimore Ravens defender posted.
Even two blasts from Mayfield’s past chimed in during and after the game…from the place where Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy during his college years.
The OU football account then repeated a four-word quote Mayfield once said during his time in Cleveland.
Lastly, his former Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley chimed in…with the USC head coach also asking his past pupil a question.