Baker Mayfield admits to being caught ‘off-guard’ by Hue Jackson firing
The Cleveland Browns opted to put a merciful end to the Hue Jackson era by firing the beleaguered head coach following a disastrous tenure that saw the team sport a woeful 3-36-1 record.
While the move was hardly surprising from a logistical and practical perspective, the suddenness of it left some members of the team, including Baker Mayfield, surprised.
The Browns signal-caller weighed in on the dramatic development on Wednesday, admitting the Jackson firing, not to mention the ouster of first-year offensive coordinator Todd Haley, threw him for a loop.
.@bakermayfield reaction to Hue Jackson, Todd Haley firings #Browns pic.twitter.com/ibwosU2E7R
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 31, 2018
“For me, it was definitely something new. It caught me off-guard, but you got to roll with the punches,” Mayfield said, as transcribed by The Spun. “Whatever happens, happens. We have to stick together as a team, we have to use this as something to make us come together. Obviously, it could be a huge distraction, or it could be something that brings this locker room even closer.
“… I think for me, it being the first time I’ve experienced something like that mid-season, it’s surprising on all fronts…” Mayfield added. “That’s my ‘Welcome to the business moment.'”
The Browns inserted defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as interim head coach and opted to promote running backs coach Freddie Kitchens to offensive coordinator in the wake of the ousters of Jackson and Haley.
How that organizational pivot benefits or harms Mayfield’s development of course remains to be seen. Although odds are the Browns made the move with their No. 1 overall pick and potential franchise quarterback’s best interests in mind.
That said, the word out of Cleveland this week is that Mayfield is not all that upset about the Browns showing Jackson the door. How things progress from this point will without question be viewed with Mayfield as the primary focus.