Baker Mayfield defends Hue Jackson staredown: 'I don’t have to make any friends outside this locker room'

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made headlines, and drew harsh criticism from many, following the team’s 26-18 win against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

Mayfield — who threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the win — hilariously stared down Hue Jackson, his former coach, on the sideline for what seemed like forever after throwing a 66-yard pass late in the game to seal the win.

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While many, including Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd, didn’t appreciate the gesture, Mayfield says he isn’t worried about the noise. He has repeatedly said he’s not like other quarterbacks in the league, and that’s not going to change now.


“I’ve said it, I’m not a cookie cutter quarterback, but everybody’s different,” Mayfield said, via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “Everybody leads a different way. Everybody’s competitive in a different way. I’m not trying to be anybody else. I’ve been who I am and that’s gotten me here. I’m going to continue to do that, because I try to improve every week and I have that mindset, and so that’s why I said a few weeks ago, I’m not trying to get anybody’s approval.

Baker Mayfield defended his epic staredown of former coach Hue Jackson on Sunday, and had strong words for those who didn’t appreciate the gesture. (AP)
Baker Mayfield defended his epic staredown of former coach Hue Jackson on Sunday, and had strong words for those who didn’t appreciate the gesture. (AP)

“I’m trying to win football games and do this for as long as I can. That’s the goal. And the guys inside this locker room know that. They know I’ll fight for them. They know I’ll take a bullet for them and to me that’s what matters. I don’t have to make any friends outside this locker room. I’m not trying to do that. Once they’re in there, they know exactly what they’re going to get and that’s what really matters.”

Mayfield initially denied even knowing about the gesture after the game on Sunday, and responded to a question about it with, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He obviously, though, knows what he did and did it on purpose. And after a rocky start to his relationship with Jackson this season — and how he’s led the Browns to a 5-2 record, putting them on the brink of their first winning season since 2007 since Jackson was fired earlier this year — he’s definitely earned it.

He doesn’t care what you think about it, either.

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“I don’t get why people have a problem with football being a competitive sport,’’ Mayfield told Cabot. “You’re supposed to play with emotion. You’re supposed to play with passion. Quite honestly, if you don’t like it, whatever. Football is not meant to be a soft game. I could care less.”

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