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One of the reasons I like PFF is they use numbers to drive conclusions.

Most of the focus for really all of us has been on the changes that have been made to the Browns heading into this season. Surprisingly there truly has been very little talk about Baker....

That said how do we see Baker progressing?

Will Baker be the QB we saw to close the year last season or the one who started the season?

Where will he regress or hopefully grow the most?

Who will Baker lean on heavily in the passing game?

This is what they said about Baker and where Baker ranks heading into the 2021 Season.

*********************************

10. BAKER MAYFIELD, CLEVELAND BROWNS

Give Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski a ton of credit for how he helped set up his quarterback for success. The Browns protected Mayfield early in the season, but when Stefanski opened up the playbook, Baker excelled. He was the second-highest-graded quarterback in the league from Week 7 through the playoffs. He also ranked in the top five from a clean pocket, on standard dropbacks and on early downs for the entire season — all of which are important and stable metrics.

Considering the offensive weapons Mayfield has around him and his offensive line's league-leading 84.4 pass-blocking grade last year, expect him to pick up where he left off for the 2021 season.

**************************************

They have Baker at #10 to start the year will he go up the ranking chart?

Would the Browns be wise to get him under contract NOW?

How will the changes that have been made to our offense (very little) play into Bakers performance?

How will the changes made on the Defensive side of the ball impact Bakers play?


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The following is strictly my opinion.

PFF is analytic driven. I am going soley by what I have seen since Baker arrived in Cleveland.

Baker has shown steady progress.
He will him continue where he left off last season.

We all know what Baker went through in head coaches and offensive coordinators.

Continuity allows to build upon rather than have to restart a new learning process.

Baker is now comfortable in this system. This allows AVP and KS to expand the playbook.

Baker has grown under the guidance of AVP in honing his mechanics. And with KS plus AVP in the understanding of how the offense should work.

Growth comes with knowledge and experience if the person commits to the process. Baker has done that and will only get better.

Baker leans on Jarvis the most. However, that will no longer be the case. Because now it is about execution of the offense. He will do what the play dictates. Find the right option. Deliver on target and on time.

There are so many subtle parts that go into the development of a quarterback. When to give up on a play. How to put touch on screen passes. How to throw a guy open.
When to drill it. How to move and still control your body and throws. How to move guys with your eyes. Or, not stare down your target. How to really execute play action.

All these keys can happen when you grow with the same people. Timing and chemistry is practice, practice, practice.

PFF's grade already acknowledges where Baker is now. He will rise up those rankings.

The contract will happen. Berry will make it happen as he sees fit. That is good enough for me.

The changes in the offense will now happen naturally as a by product of the players being together with the same coaches.

The "new" defense should feed the offense with more opportunties. The result of more three and outs and turnovers. The more offensive plays run; the more scoring chances.

If all goes in the direction that is has begun and is to date.

Baker Mayfield will have a long career in Cleveland and become the Browns greatest quarterback.

Otto is the gold standard. Reaching that status will be some kinda goal to top.

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My uneducated opinion is that you don't make the kind of improvement he did throughout last season and then have all progress grind to a halt. I think you'll see him continue to improve and then switch over to working on specific holes in his game.


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I think an offseason with Stefanski will only do wonders for him. He can’t possibly be worse than he was to start last season, so we have that going for us.

He may not get better per se, but he should become more efficient and intelligent with the experience and continuity


"First down inside the 10. A score here likely puts us in the Super Bowl. Landry is far to the left as Hooper settles into the slot. OBJ is flanked out wide to the right. Chubb and Hunt are split in the backfield as Baker takes the snap ... Here we go."
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Originally Posted By: oobernoober
My uneducated opinion is that you don't make the kind of improvement he did throughout last season and then have all progress grind to a halt. I think you'll see him continue to improve and then switch over to working on specific holes in his game.


I agree. I think Baker's development is far from complete. He talks about "being in the same offense" and understanding the play calls better and without having to think through things as opposed to knowing when and what to do. He KNOWS he has more in him.

The coaches talk about Baker's development and how that development leads to opening up the offense. They KNOW there is more in him.

Baker has always had the toughness, grit, attitude, arm talent and leadership abilities...things you can't really teach...things you either have or you don't.

I wouldn't take any other QB in the league over Baker. What he has accomplished and with the hands he was dealt is remarkable...this new hand is something neither he nor diehard Browns fans could predict was coming.

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Everywhere Mayfield has played, he's been underestimated.. Not sure what it is about him that makes people devalue him the way they do. He's got a rocket launcher for an arm. He's accurate, he's a team first kinda guy, he's well thought of by teammates and coaches... Yet, if you talk to the Media, he's almost never "THE GUY"!

Say whatever you want about the numbers,, but Mayfield knows how to play the game and he's committed to the Browns and his Craft.. Look no further than the effort he's undertaken to get his body in better shape as proof of that.

This is the Best QB we've had since Kosar..


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We all have spent so much time focused on the Defense heading into the season it's sorta weird but we forget about Baker.

I think you captured Baker and where he stands at this juncture real well.

The key is progress as it is for the entire team, but Baker really needs to continue to elevate and improve his game.

I want to see him slow things down for himself in big games and concentrate on execution and the nuances of the game, like moving safeties with his eyes. I saw glimpses of that from him last year.

The homer in me based on his performance over the close of the season feels very comfortable with saying Baker this season shows everyone why he was drafted #1. Few of the talking heads actually give him credit for continuing to believe in himself and or for the hard work he has done to elevate his game, and with the weapons he has we could be looking at a monster year from Baker. When he came to Cleveland we were a dumpster fire and his first few seasons were rough because of it. For him to come thru all of that and to stand where he does now speaks loudly to who he is inside.

The thing he has to do better at is keeping himself calm in big games. I think the Browns have a level of confidence when it came to Pittsburg and he took them apart. That same level of calm execution needs to take him through a full season. If he can continue his ascent he will dismantle the Ravens this year I think the Browns know they can beat all of the teams in the division at this point so I really expect him to calmly take the North apart.

He is about to get a big test against KC, last year KC blitzed him a lot and he did Okay in those situation I want to see those numbers improve when he is facing teams who blitz. I also want to see him make more adjustments at the line.

But he is at this time in a great place, I think all the indicators point to him having a great season, and I also think he is sorta going unnoticed which I find sorta weird?


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Agree with so many of these posts.

And ... Yes he will continue to grow.


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I agree with many of these posts also. I think Baker will continue to grow because he has a chip on his shoulder to win and is willing to work. Also, he has a coach that will continue to put the right pieces around him to help him. that is important too.

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Quote:
Everywhere Mayfield has played, he's been underestimated.. Not sure what it is about him that makes people devalue him the way they do.


I'm not sure either, but the feeling is rampant throughout the sports media complex. I think he can win a few Super Bowls and will still only be looked at as a "game manager" with average qb skills.


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The whole trashing/downplaying his potential is just a media thing that gets eyeballs. Nothing nefarious or sophisticated.

Yes, I expect to see growth, as he has shown growth each year. Everyone talks about how badly he played in 2019. Go back and watch, he had a lot of moments where he played well and corrected flaws from 2018. I think 2019 was more about different players/units breaking down all the time...a true collective bust of a season.

The one area that he has grown the least is in passing under pressure. He is still not good in this area, and it matters in the playoffs, when you face very good defenses (isn't there a thread about this? and a recent SB example?). I know a lot of people will come at me with that the reasons that he will be better under pressure in 2021, but bottom line, he needs to be.


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I'll stick to the same theme with Baker as I do with so many new players on our defense. Fluidity, execution and confidence only develop with playing time and repetition. Baker never had that with the Browns until Stefanski came along. This is the first time Baker was actually being coached in a manner where the coaching staff allowed him to get familiar with the system before "depending on his arm" to win games.

What we saw in the last half of last season was a QB becoming familiar with a system. I don't even think what we saw last season was all of Stefnski's playbook. I think it was only the part he felt sure Baker was familiar with, comfortable with and felt Baker could execute with the limited time he had been groomed within that system.

For a QB to become great takes certain ingredients. He has to have confidence he is a winner. And while we all know Baker is a confident individual, his first two years in the NFL must have had him very frustrated by the time the 2020 season rolled around. He has to believe in the coach and the system he is playing in. He has to see that turn into wins on the field of play. I expect us to see things from Stefanski's playbook which we have never seen before. And not just a little bit either.

All of those ingredients are in place now. The offense is in tact from last season. The things Baker had to learn last year are becoming natural and second nature to him now.

All of that gives the fertile soil it takes to produce a winning crop. Every sign I can see leans towards Baker living up to what we call him here at home when watching games. "Baker, Baker touchdown maker!"

There's no guarantee that everything will turn out that way. Life can throw you curves when you least expect it. But the table is set. Every tool that a QB can ask for is at his disposal. The huge leap he took last season is the best indicator one could possibly ask for. There's no logical train of thought that would allow me to conclude that he will not progress even further.

So with all of that said, yes, Baker will continue to grow.


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To somewhat dovetail with what you and dnadawg said, I expect Baker to grow, not only because of structure and familiarity, but also with expectation and consistency.

One of the biggest gripes of the 2019 season was all the complaints about how Kitchens was in over his head. They would game plan one way, and then he would call games another way. I remember reading that Monken would complain to other coaches about that. Doing that on a consistent basis breeds lack of confidence.

Looking back to 2018, there was so much infighting and bus-throwing up front, that I don't think he knew what to expect. Williams, for all his faults, did thereafter present a stabilizing element that season to Baker and Kitchens just focused on calling simplified plays suited to our strengths. I think that expectation gave Baker the confidence and growth that he needed (which obviously went away in 2019 for the aforementioned reasons).

Fast forward to 2020 and this year, when you look at Stefanski on Building the Browns, in his press conferences, and how he addresses the team, it is readily apparent the guy is very organized. He created power point presentations which had a theme up front and then delivered concrete points on how he was going to deliver the theme. I think he sets clear expectations and never allows himself to get caught up in the hype or emotions that can easily come to others. He's steady.

Baker showed some struggles early on last season, but Stefanski didn't panic. He stayed the course and was consistent in his messaging to Baker. Halfway through the season, it clicked. Baker improved and Stefanski remained consistent, which helped Baker improve even further. He knew what to expect (barring the COVID disaster of the Jets game).

I expect Baker and the team to continue improving due to both the talent, but also due to the level of consistency in Stefanski. He doesn't air any dirty laundry and protects his players. He sets clear expectations and obviously has a process in place. He's organized, professional, and steady.

In line with your point, I imagine that he has already told Baker about how he wants the offense to grow and evolve this year and set out both long and short term goals so Baker knows what to expect.

So yeah, I expect growth, too.

Last edited by dawglover05; 09/07/21 02:16 PM.

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I don't think coaches should ever confuse game prep with game planning in regards to their players. Sure you have an initial plan. But no coach should allow themselves to say "We have a single plan and we're sticking to it".

What plays you call and what your "plan is" should be a variable based on the conditions of the game. Let's say your plan is to run on your opponent because you think your defense will hold them in check. Then you find yourself down by 17 starting the forth quarter?

Or let's say the plan you had going into the game is being sniffed out by your opponent and you're getting nowhere?

Your "game plan" should always revolve around the conditions in the game at the time. Being stubborn by sticking to a plan that is proving futile is not what a good coach does. I'll draw an analogy here. If your doctor gives you an medication for your illness and your condition keeps getting worse, would you feel him telling you that you should continue taking it without him trying to change medications is the right way to help you? (BTW- I didn't think it was you who might need to see that analogy)

Your team should be aware of the fact that what you are preparing for is your initial plan and that could change at any moment depending on what's going on during the game.

Let's put it this way. If you win the game by 20 points nobody on the team is going to complain about you calling plays you didn't practice during the week. wink


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Nope... at his age he won't get any taller willynilly


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Originally Posted By: GMdawg
Nope... at his age he won't get any taller willynilly


rofl rofl


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Originally Posted By: PitDAWG

Let's put it this way. If you win the game by 20 points nobody on the team is going to complain about you calling plays you didn't practice during the week. wink


Yeah... that's if you're winning. We're talking about Freddie's season as HC, so what about if you don't win and look extremely disorganized? Calling plays that you hadn't practiced during the week would probably be viewed as a problem.


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Originally Posted By: oobernoober
Originally Posted By: PitDAWG

Let's put it this way. If you win the game by 20 points nobody on the team is going to complain about you calling plays you didn't practice during the week. wink


Yeah... that's if you're winning. We're talking about Freddie's season as HC, so what about if you don't win and look extremely disorganized? Calling plays that you hadn't practiced during the week would probably be viewed as a problem.


Exactly. The outcome of the game is the key as to whether people view it as a problem or not.

We have all seen it many times. If an unexpected play call is made, if it works it is often times seen as a brilliant call that surprised the opponent because they weren't expecting it. If that same play fails the fans will say, "What the hell was that!? Nobody should be making that call"!


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I can see what your saying in the general sense, but this thread is about Baker, his progression, and lack thereof in 2019. I think pointing out how 'good call' vs 'bad call' is essentially a coin flip (whether it works out or not) is doing a disservice to how disorganized and in over his head Freddie was.

It wasn't that the playcalls didn't work out and therefore we're going to say they're bad. It was that practices and game management were a mess, and there was evidence of this pretty much everywhere you looked (including calling plays that weren't practiced).


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Quote:
but this thread is about Baker, his progression, and lack thereof in 2019.


And here, even by the title of the thread itself, It plainly states it is about him making progress from here forward and has nothing to do with 2019.

But some folks just can't stop themselves from taking it there. wink


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Bakers' Running game, scrambling, yards on the ground.


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I have seen some attention grabbing headlines asking if Baker can take some monumental leap forward this year.. the dude was pretty darn good last year, especially the 2nd half.

If he plays this season the way he played the second half of last season, it will be great. He doesn't throw for a ton of yards because he doesn't have to, simple as that.

The only thing really missing from his resume are a couple marquee last minute game winning drives. He had some really good late 4th quarter drives last year but the story always ended up being about our defense trying to hold on, not holding on, giving up points, and us needing to recover an onside kick... If he scored with 30 seconds on the clock last year, that was giving them too much time.


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I agree ... But I also think it's a little bit of a disservice to Baker. I'm a big fan of PFF... I read an Athletic article this week that highlighted after Week 7 last year Baker was the tip 5th or 7th QB in the NFL based on their analysis. I think even as fans we underestimate the coaching changes and conservative start last year ... And the hellish bad weather. I expect Baker to continue in that top 8 to top 5 QB play. Hoping anyway.


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Originally Posted By: GratefulDawg




My point at the very beginning of this thread is that Baker wasn't given his due.

By any measure and against some pretty tall odds Mayfield has done exactly what he said he would do before we drafted him.

Don't let anyone tell you that Baker is a problem, or is less then all he said he would be. Sign him we have our guy ! nanner


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??

His progress at the QB position was stunted for a brief time. Otherwise, he's been fairly consistently improving. It's somewhat relevant. In that the general modus operandi was lack of discipline and prep.


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J/C

I am not putting anybody down, and understand it is a topic of discussion, but I for one am tired of all the "is Baker this or is Baker that" talk.

He is a good QB. That's good enough for me.

Sometimes it sounds like we are still marching Brady Quinn out there.


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Originally Posted By: Ballpeen
J/C

I am not putting anybody down, and understand it is a topic of discussion, but I for one am tired of all the "is Baker this or is Baker that" talk.

He is a good QB. That's good enough for me.

Sometimes it sounds like we are still marching Brady Quinn out there.


I truly believe that Baker has been sold way short by really all of us.

He came to a team that was 1-31 by any measure a dumpster fire.

In 3 seasons he has the entire NFL world saying the Browns have a real shot at the SB, not only that even here in Cleveland many still believe we should wait an see with Baker.

They say LJ and JA are better that if the draft was today both of those players would be taken ahead of Baker. The part they leave out is both of those players were drafted into way better situations then Baker. Not making excuses here just presenting some facts. I think what they should be saying and there are rumblings along those lines that neither one of those QB's would have done better.

I am trilled with Baker and I think it's time we got his John Handcock on a new deal.


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By the looks of his instagram post this morning, his quads have continued to grow as well haha


"First down inside the 10. A score here likely puts us in the Super Bowl. Landry is far to the left as Hooper settles into the slot. OBJ is flanked out wide to the right. Chubb and Hunt are split in the backfield as Baker takes the snap ... Here we go."
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Originally Posted By: Dawgs4Life
By the looks of his instagram post this morning, his quads have continued to grow as well haha


I heard he added 3 inches as well and his wife is always smiling?


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"First down inside the 10. A score here likely puts us in the Super Bowl. Landry is far to the left as Hooper settles into the slot. OBJ is flanked out wide to the right. Chubb and Hunt are split in the backfield as Baker takes the snap ... Here we go."
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Originally Posted By: oobernoober
??

His progress at the QB position was stunted for a brief time. Otherwise, he's been fairly consistently improving. It's somewhat relevant. In that the general modus operandi was lack of discipline and prep.


If you say so. But I would suggest you read the initial post of this thread to gain some context on "what this thread is about". The thread started by asking and the title itself asks if "If Baker Will Continue To grow". The questions in the initial post neither say nor mention how what anything in the past has to do with that.

It was all, and I mean all in regards from will he continue to progress from what we saw "last season".

Look, people still talk about Duke Johnson on here so I get it. I guess it's hard to celebrate how improved we were last season, see what the expectations of fans are with their thoughts of building on that moving into the future and leave the misery behind. But it sure would be nice if it were left out of threads that would be much more productive without it.

JMHO


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Wow Pitt.

You sound like me just pray we do better that is about all of us can do our reality really is that no matter what we say it's just a bunch of hot air.

So why NOT just enjoy the ride?

It's fun as hell to kick it no question at the end of the day we are just wasting our time, having fun...............


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I mean if you get right down to it we could go back to Hue and Gregg Williams in terms of Baker being coached poorly early in his career. 2018 was no less terrible than 2019. We can go back to trading back in the drafrt and drafting lesser talent and letting our FA's walk to weaken the talent pool. We could just sit here and rehash the hell out of all the ingredients that presented a poor product on the field in years past. Then we'll hear a list of reasons why we had to do that to get to where we are now. It's a vicious cycle.

God knows it's been done over and over and over on here to the point it's like beating a dead horse.

But once he was well coached and given the proper supporting cast to succeed, he seized on the opportunity. We had what I saw as a great season last year and spent this off season by keeping our O in tact and making heavy investments in the D. For me that's cause for excitement.

Most sportscasters and commentators are taking Baker's entire NFL body of work into account in what they're saying and predicting. Even those who are not, most of them aren't taking into account that last year, once again, was the third time he started the season learning a new system.

They don't seem to have a grasp on the fact he was trying to get to a comfort level to start out the season. As I've said before, learning the plays is only half the battle. Getting to the point that things become second nature to you is an entirely different matter.

All one has to do is look at his performance in the second half of the season compared to the first half of the season to understand what I'm saying here. But I don't even think that's the story of what we have yet to see. I do not believe for a second that Stefnaski's entire playbook was opened up last year.

Stefnaski is a smart coach. I mean how refreshing is that, right? And IMO he wasn't going to try and overwhelm Baker in his first season as HC. He wanted Baker to get to that comfort level where he was able to perform to his talent. I think this season we will see more wrinkles and variety in the play calling. I think there's a lot more in Stefnski's bag of tricks for this season.


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Yes.

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Originally Posted By: PitDAWG

Look, people still talk about Duke Johnson on here so I get it. I guess it's hard to celebrate how improved we were last season, see what the expectations of fans are with their thoughts of building on that moving into the future and leave the misery behind. But it sure would be nice if it were left out of threads that would be much more productive without it.

JMHO
I am honestly baffled how I can agree that the only point Baker did NOT improve/grow was when our HC had zero control or organization in place to foster said growth... and you end up tying that to the Duke Johnson funeral march group.

dawglover mentioned how Freddie's handling of many different things presented a poor environment for a young QB to grow, and cited specific examples. You latched onto one example and went on a tangent about being flexible in-game. I mentioned the original thread topic, and you responded with "some folks just can't stop from taking it there"... as if looking at the year before last is some sort of taboo action.


There is no level of sucking we haven't seen; in fact, I'm pretty sure we hold the patents on a few levels of sucking NOBODY had seen until the past few years.

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I also said, "If you say so".

We have a difference of opinion. You said the "thread" had something to do with 2019. The thread doesn't. It wasn't about that at all. It was about Baker's progress moving forward. Yes there was a "comment" about Hue.

I was trying to keep the thread on track. So how far back should we go to "re track"? Hue and Gregg Williams? Because they were Baker's coaches in 2018. Should we speak about the terrible WR's other than Landry in 2018?

I mean if we're going to go down the rabbit hole, why stop at Freddie? wink


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Your ability to make a compelling argument to a conversation nobody but yourself is having is nothing short of art. I am in awe.


There is no level of sucking we haven't seen; in fact, I'm pretty sure we hold the patents on a few levels of sucking NOBODY had seen until the past few years.

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Well what about 2018? That season doesn't count? I mean that was only his rookie year when the foundation of a young NFL QB is supposed to be instilled in him. No? No comment about those coaches? Why would 2019 count more than 2018?


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What about it, Pit? You're the only person that has mentioned Hue in this thread. If you wanna rehash that, go ahead.

Baker exceeded expectations in his rookie year, and took a step back in 2019. It's my (and others) estimation that that lack of growth is more due to the environment he was operating in as well as Baker's reported lax off-season preparation.

Do you disagree with the argument that the only time Baker hasn't improved/progressed was when the coaching staff in place was a dumpster fire, and in part because of that we can expect him to continue to improve? Because that's really the only point of all my posts in this thread.


There is no level of sucking we haven't seen; in fact, I'm pretty sure we hold the patents on a few levels of sucking NOBODY had seen until the past few years.

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