CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Everybody’s had a take on this one: is Baker a more comfortable, confident, consistent quarterback without OBJ?
Everybody, that is, except Baker, who wasn’t biting today.
″Well, one, I think it’s completely insensitive to a guy who just tore his ACL," Mayfield said on Wednesday. “I’m not even gonna comment on it. You never want to lose guys, and that’s where I’m gonna leave that one.”
And that’s no surprise. Baker isn’t about to downplay a guy who’s a great teammate, not to mention his top talent.
But ... at the very least, OBJ’s absence forces the Browns ... specifically Stefanski and Mayfield, to trust in others in big moments, and those others came up huge on Sunday.
I’m talking about Rashard Higgins, who has always had chemistry with his quarterback, and whose incredible 30-yard grab in the final minute put the Browns in position to win.
″That one’s a definite ‘top of the list’," Mayfield said. “The freeze-frame of him catching it, high-pointing the ball, that’s a special play.”
And, I’m talking about Donovan Peoples-Jones, the rookie receiver who hadn’t caught a pass all season, until Sunday, when he pulled in three, including the game winner with :11 left.
Neither player is OBJ, but both rose to the occasion. Literally. And they weren’t alone.
″We know there’s gonna be a lot more ups and downs in games," Mayfield said. “But that’s what we’ve dealt with, so we expect to be able to adjust. I wouldn’t necessarily say it builds more confidence. That’s our expectation.”
But as for that theory, the one that says Baker may be better off without Beckham? The head coach flat out rejects it.
″I do reject that, yes," Kevin Stefanski said.