Baker Mayfield and Rex Ryan have made peace in Miami.
Four months after Ryan called Mayfield “overrated as hell,” and Mayfield responded by taking a shot at Ryan being out of a job in the NFL, they shook hands, laughed and settled their differences on live TV.
“Baker, we might as well get it over with, just beat the hell out of each other,” Ryan joked as their segment on ESPN’s “Get Up!” began Friday morning.
Ryan was overly nice with the Browns quarterback sitting next to him and Mayfield was just as amenable to letting bygones be bygones.
“At the time, I’m a mouse turd, you’re a hunting elephant,” Ryan told Mayfield. “So to me, that was why I was surprised that you were not just going back at me, but going back at other people. That doesn’t help you win games.”
“No, it doesn’t,” Mayfield replied. “And that’s what the focus needs to be about — what can I do to help this team win? What can I do to make our franchise better and head in the right direction? Do the things of why I was picked in that spot [No. 1 overall] and make it happen.”
Looking back on the season, Mayfield said it was a “humbling experience.”
“Let’s just be honest, I put my foot in my mouth a lot this past year,” Mayfield said. “I’m going to internalize that and I think that’s the way I need to handle it. Rest in Peace, Kobe [Bryant], but that’s the way he did it. He motivated himself, he didn’t talk a lot. He talked to his teammates, drove them to be better people, better men. So thats the way I need to handle it.”
Ryan said his original comments were based on having high expectations for the Browns, who ended up at 6-10 with Mayfield taking a step back after a promising rookie year.
“It comes down to me doing my job. I’ve never turned the ball over so many times — that might have been the most combined over my whole career,” said Mayfield, who threw 21 interceptions and fumbled six times. “You can’t win like that. That falls back on me, I’ll take all the blame for that. So it comes back on communication, being on the same page, doing my job the best I can and not worrying about the outside stuff — not replying to you [Ryan], not telling you that orange and brown don’t matter, but just doing my job and doing what really matters, being a quarterback.”
Back in September, Mayfield’s response to Ryan’s criticisms had a much different tone and message.
“Whatever. In the wise words of Freddie Kitchens, ‘If you don’t wear orange and brown, you don’t matter,’” Mayfield said in September. “Rex Ryan doesn’t have any colors right now for a reason, so it’s OK.”
For more on Super Bowl 2020, listen to the latest episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast: