Ryan Leaf, one of the NFL’s most notorious draft busts, compared his career to Baker Mayfield’s as the Cleveland Browns second-year quarterback has struggled during the 2019 season.
Leaf appeared in an interview Tuesday on “The Rich Eisen Show” and expressed concern about Mayfield’s career after the brash and budding star spent the offseason raising his profile and trash talking but his play on the field has yet to back up the noise he created.
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“When things start to go bad, you put yourself out there in this form,” Leaf said. “And people can easily attack it. I have a very small sample size: 2-0 to start my NFL career. Talking a lot of smack. And then I walk into Kansas City and put up the worst football game of my existence. And I’ve always been this brash, arrogant kind of guy.”
He continued: “That’s the way I came back at everybody instead of just walking up in front of the camera and going, ‘Oh my God. This was my fault. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’ And hearing Baker [Sunday] — even though small — blame the officials for some calls is problematic for me because as a quarterback, you want to be able to stand up in front of everybody and take personal accountability.”
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Mayfield shot himself into the national spotlight last season, setting the touchdown pass record with 27 and helping Cleveland to a 7-8-1 record – the closest the team has been to .500 since the 2014 season.
But so far this season, Mayfield has only thrown five touchdown passes and has thrown 11 interceptions. Cleveland is 2-4 this season with wins over the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.
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While it doesn’t appear he is going to go the way of Leaf, Mayfield will be relied on to do more to right the ship before the Browns sink out of the race for the AFC North title and an AFC wild card spot.