Author Archives: daviddietrichbgsu

About daviddietrichbgsu

I am second-year student at Bowling Green State University. I am a Sport Management major, with a minor in Journalism. I hope to one day work in the communications department for a Division I college or university.

National Media Plays Dangerous Game with Motivated Mayfield

By David Dietrich

November 29, 2018

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns won a road game for the first time since 2015. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was spectacular, finishing with 258 passing yards on 19 completions, four of which led to touchdowns. While the 35-20 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals and former coach Hue Jackson was noteworthy, Mayfield is receiving backlash from the national media for his postgame actions and comments directed towards former Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

After the Browns’ convincing win over Cincinnati, Hue Jackson sought out his former quarterback for a hug. Mayfield gave Jackson a straight-faced handshake, denying a hug and walking away. When reporters asked Mayfield what happened during the exchange, he mentioned that he “didn’t feel like talking” to him (Cabot, 2018, para. 3). Mayfield defended this by telling reporters that “somebody that was in our locker room asking for us to play for him, goes to a different team we play twice a year” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). The young quarterback felt betrayed by his former head coach, and perhaps rightfully so.

Since then, national media members, some with NFL experience, have been ripping into the Browns rookie, calling him ‘immature’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 9) and ‘classless’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 18).  One former NFL player who chided Mayfield was ESPN First Take guest Damien Woody. Woody called Mayfield “hypocritical” (Curtis, 2018, para. 2) and told him to “grow up” (Curtis, 2018, para. 1), prompting this response from Mayfield (“Baker rips Hue,” 2018, para. 2):

Mayfield comment

The now-deleted Instagram comment sparked an even bigger response from the national media. The Undefeated’s William Rhoden (2018) wrote that Mayfield “hopefully will wise up or, at the very least, learn some respect” (para. 28). David Hookstead (2018) of The Daily Caller advises Mayfield to “chill out, stop behaving like a petty teenage girl and focus on playing football” (para. 6).  Former NFL safety Ryan Clark appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and told Mayfield “Stop being petty, stop being soft” (Pastrick, 2018, para. 15).

While the Instagram comment may have been unnecessary, it was not completely surprising. Mayfield has been very active on social media in the past, often responding to posts that criticize his actions. He even keeps a list of media members that have “crossed the line,” and uses those names as motivation. His postgame comment about Hue Jackson was his personal take, as he told reporters “Everyone can have their spin on it, but that’s how I feel” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). With these words, Mayfield acknowledged that different people would have different opinions, but he felt comfortable with his. The NFL is a business, but it is also a highly competitive league. Baker Mayfield is a passionate player, and his competitive comments should not be held against him.

Baker Mayfield

Unlike most NFL quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield is outspoken, fiery, and unabashed. These rare qualities can often be valuable. Whether he is on or off the field, Mayfield does not hold back. His intensity, accuracy, passion, and ability to create have helped him win the Heisman, and Browns general manager John Dorsey believed those qualities could translate to the NFL. In just 8 starts, Mayfield has helped the Browns join the playoff conversation. More importantly, he has restored hope in Cleveland, a city desperate for a winning football team. Baker Mayfield has always been motivated by criticism, and the backlash from the media will only fuel his fire. This week’s media backlash will inevitably lead to more names being added to Baker Mayfield’s personal list. With a motivated Mayfield under center, Browns fans have a list of reasons to believe in their beloved team.

 

References

Baker rips Hue Jackson (again). (2018, November 25). Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/post/nfl/72e09cd2-6c95-4dac-95d6-8123b382f9bc

Cabot, M. (2018, November 26). Baker Mayfield ‘didn’t feel like talking’ to Hue Jackson postgame after he defected to the Bengals. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2018/11/baker-mayfield-didnt-feel-like-talking-to-hue-jackson-post-game-after-he-defected-to-the-bengals.html

Curtis, C. (2018, November 27). ESPN’s Damien Woody’s beef with Baker Mayfield and his ‘fanboys’ intensifies. USAToday.com. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/11/cleveland-browns-baker-mayfield-damien-woody-beef-twitter-video

Gamble, J. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s classless shots At Hue Jackson. TheShadowLeague.com. Retrieved from https://theshadowleague.com/baker-mayfields-classless-shots-at-hue-jackson/

Hookstead, D. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s actions are getting out of control. His latest stunt is downright embarrassing. TheDailyCaller.com. Retrieved from https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/27/baker-mayfield-hue-jackson-first-take-comment-instagram/

Pastrick, C. (2018, November 27). Ex-Steeler Ryan Clark goes off on Browns QB Baker Mayfield for ‘being soft.’ TribLive.com. Retrieved from https://triblive.com/sports/nfl/14342239-74/ex-steeler-ryan-clark-goes-off-on-baker-mayfield-for-being-soft

Rhoden, W. (2018, November 27). Who does Baker Mayfield think he is? TheUndefeated.com. Retrieved from https://theundefeated.com/features/who-does-baker-mayfield-think-he-is/

CLEan House: Browns Fire Hue Jackson, Media Members Speak Their Minds

David Dietrich is a second-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. The Tiffin, Ohio native is a Sport Management major, with a minor in journalism. His primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, at both collegiate and professional levels.

On Monday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns’ front office announced they would be relieving head coach Hue Jackson of his duties. This marks the sixth time since 2010 the Browns have fired their head coach after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is justified by Sunday’s game, which was one of the ugliest games in recent memory. Jackson is notorious for leading his teams to competitive games, only to lose in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. This time, the Browns faced a three-touchdown deficit with under a minute to play. A last-minute touchdown drive against a cruising Steelers’ defense brought the score to a more respectable number, but the damage was already done. The day of reckoning had passed, and Jackson failed yet again.

Both local and national media publications are aggressively criticizing Jackson for his unsuccessful stint in Cleveland. The combination of his numbers (three wins and one tie in 40 games, good for a winning percentage of .088) and his constant mishandling of adversity made Jackson an easy target for frustrated writers and analysts. Terry Pluto (2018) of Cleveland.com  wrote that this action “won’t make things any worse” (para. 13), while SB Nation’s Ryan Van Bibber (2018) asserted that “Hue survived by creating chaos and then positioning himself as a victim and the one person who can clean it all up” (para. 36).  In perhaps the most opinionated piece, Pluto’s colleague Doug Lesmerises (2018) took several digs at Jackson, including “anyone could have done better” (para. 10), “every single problem Jackson faced for 2 1/2 seasons, he took and made it worse” (para. 19), and “the future of the Browns is brighter today because Jackson isn’t part of it” (para. 33).

Local media members will continue to take their shots at Jackson this week, then turn their attention towards interim head coach Gregg Williams as he prepares the team for a match-up against the AFC-best Kansas City Chiefs. Williams has not been a head coach since 2003. For now, Cleveland fans will do what they always do: tune in on Sunday afternoon and hope their beloved Brownies can somehow pull out a rare victory. This is potentially the most discouraged fan base across all major sports, and the loyal fans simply deserve better. As NFL teams progress through the back half of the season, there will be one question looming in the back of the minds of fans, players, and media members. For many people, it will be a rallying cry; for Browns fans, it will be a cry of desperation. As they try to salvage another disappointing season, Browns fans will be among many asking the all-important question: who’s next?

References

Lesmerises, D. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson fired by the Browns, and no coach ever deserved it more. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2018/10/hue_jackson_fired_by_the_brown.html

Pluto, T. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson’s firing should set up John Dorsey to pick new Browns coach. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/sports/columns/2018/10/hue-jacksons-firing-should-set-up-john-dorsey-to-pick-new-browns-coach-terry-pluto.html

Van Bibber, R. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson finally ran out of excuses for the Browns being terrible. SBNation. Retrieved from https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2018/10/29/18035166/cleveland-browns-hue-jackson-todd-haley-hot-seat-rumors-excuses-losses-steelers

 

Hue Jackson Under Fire Once Again

David Dietrich is a second-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. The Tiffin, Ohio native is a Sport Management major, with a minor in journalism. His primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, at both collegiate and professional levels.

Following yet another close loss on Sunday, fans and media alike are wondering how much time Hue Jackson has left as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Many consider this Sunday’s match-up against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers the day of reckoning for Jackson. This is primarily because the last five Browns coaches have been relieved of their duties after a game against Pittsburgh. This year, Jackson is in a very different situation than his predecessors. As ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi (2018) points out, this game is only the Browns’ eighth of the year. The past five coaches were relieved of their duties after the last game of the year, coincidentally against Pittsburgh each time.

With a record of 3-35-1 over the past 3 seasons in Cleveland, it comes as no surprise that Jackson has not been portrayed as a savior by the local media. What is surprising is the recent increase in criticism for the man who has won twice as many games this season as in the previous two combined. Granted, that number is only two, but it is still an improvement for a young team playing in the very competitive AFC North. Phrases such as “the worst coach in all major sports” and “end of the road” are being posted on both local and national media sites (Gurzi, 2018, para. 11), and Jackson was criticized for saying he would “get this thing to where I think it needs to be” (Orr, 2018, para. 4).

After this postgame statement, rumors flew about Jackson taking over the play-calling duties. NFL.com (Teope, 2018) and CBSSports.com (Wilson, 2018), among others, reported that Jackson would contemplate this decision, leading Jackson to clear up his statements in Monday’s press conference. He asserted that he would not be taking over as the play-caller, telling reporters “I will infuse myself to help and assist our offensive coaching staff.” The lack of clarity in his original statements led to an influx of criticism for possibly the most criticized coach in the NFL.

Cleveland has lost three games by one field goal, and most of the blame is placed on the man in charge. Local media members like Tony Grossi and Terry Pluto have voiced frustration with the Browns, who have long struggled with inconsistent play. Grossi believes the 2018 Browns practice the same habits as last year’s team, despite having more talent. He writes about the Browns’ inability to manage critical situations, their lack of discipline and their fragile mentality, and Pluto (2018) bases Jackson’s future on the Browns’ upcoming offensive performance.

When multiple games are decided by one field goal, writers such as Grossi and Pluto are quick to blame the person in charge. Whether or not this is the case is up to the fans, but head coaches consistently take the blame. Hue Jackson is no different, but the Browns are seemingly the same. After the interpretation and report of his postgame remarks, Hue Jackson’s seat may finally be hot enough to melt the already thinning ice beneath him. This could ultimately, and in some eyes mercifully, end his tumultuous tenure in the “Hardland of America.”

 

References

Grossi, T. (2018, October 21). Just what Hue Jackson needs — a pre-Halloween date in Pittsburgh. ESPNCleveland. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/blog/cleveland/post/_/id/5677/just-what-hue-jackson-needs-a-pre-halloween-date-in-pittsburgh

Gurzi, R. (2018, October 19). Cleveland Browns: Is Hue Jackson the worst coach in all major sports? Dawg Pound Daily. Retrieved from https://dawgpounddaily.com/2018/10/19/cleveland-browns-hue-jackson-worst-coach-major-sports/

Orr, C. (2018, October 22). Are we nearing the end of the road for Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns? Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/10/22/hue-jackson-cleveland-browns-john-dorsey

Pluto, T. (2018, October 21). Cleveland Browns: Can Hue Jackson rescue the offense? Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2018/10/cleveland_browns_can_hue_jacks_1.html

Teope, H. (2018, October 22.) Browns’ Hue Jackson mulls play-calling responsibilities. NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000977339/article/browns-hue-jackson-mulls-playcalling-responsibilities

Wilson, R. (2018, October 22). Hue Jackson’s plan to save the Browns: Possibly taking over play-calling duties from Todd Haley. CBSSports.com. Retrieved from https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/hue-jacksons-plan-to-save-the-browns-possibly-taking-over-play-calling-duties-from-todd-haley/