Baker Mayfield on picked-up flag after helmet-to-helmet hit: ‘No words’
Baker Mayfield can scarcely believe referee Shawn Hochuli’s explanation why a flag was picked up following a helmet-to-helmet hit on him during last Sunday’s 26-23 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback indicated on Wednesday he did not hear Hochuli had to say after the play in question, as he was focused on running the offense and crowd noise made it difficult to hear.
Replays clearly showed that Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead delivered a shot to Mayfield’s helmet after the Browns QB slid following a long run during the fourth quarter.
The #NFL picked up this flag in the #Browns game after stating Baker had not yet begun his slide and therefore was “allowed to be hit in the head”… Yet here is clear helmet to helmet head hunting. What a sham of a league. pic.twitter.com/DX3TwhoN0J
— Paul Congiusta (@ShiftyJuice) October 21, 2018
“The quarterback was still a runner and therefore is allowed to be hit in the head,” Hochuli announced.
Mayfield’s thoughts upon learning of Hochuli’s explanation?
“No words,” Mayfield said Wednesday, via ESPN. “Honestly, no words.
“… I thought that’s why they put the rule in,” Mayfield added.
While the NFL has declined any official comment, an unidentified source indicated Whitehead should have been penalized on the play. Further, the source added the play is under NFL review and Whitehead could be disciplined.
Mayfield did add that the play did not play a role in the Browns’ fourth loss of the season in seven games.
“It’s easy to point and blame certain calls during a game, but if we’re scoring points, we can take the refs out of the game,” Mayfield said. “We can eliminate all those things to where we’re not counting on having a good call. We can do the things right to where none of that really matters.”
Mayfield did drop a solid one-liner about the play when asked on Wednesday what it would take for a penalty to be called on that kind of play.
“Probably not playing quarterback for the Browns,” Mayfield quipped.