CLEVELAND — Speaking to reporters on Monday, Baker Mayfield fired back at fans who booed him during the Cleveland Browns' 13-10 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
"Those are probably the same fans that won't be quiet when we're on offense trying to operate," Mayfield said. "So, don't really care."
Unsurprisingly, Mayfield's comments garnered plenty of attention, including from ESPN's daily morning show, "Get Up." Discussing the matter with former NFL center Jeff Saturday, former NFL defensive lineman-turned-analyst Marcus Spears made it clear where he stands on the quarterback's comments, which he said made him "very angry."
"This is what makes me very angry about this: Hey bro, this is adversity. This is the time for you to step up and lead and not talk about no damn fans and talking about how the reporters are asking you questions," Spears said. "This your opportunity as the first overall pick, who will be scrutinized more than most guys in the NFL -- that's the reality and the nature of this business -- for you to say, 'Hey, we're not playing well, I'm not playing well. We have to get this fixed, I need to get this fixed. I need to play better.' That's the message. And then you walk out of the damn interview.
"But this personal feelings that you have and this personal vendetta because people are challenging you on how your football team looks -- like we do every other damn quarterback. We were out here last week talking about Tom Brady -- 'they better get it right. I'm concerned about the Bucs.' We talked about Dak Prescott -- 'how bad does he look in this Kansas City Chiefs game?' Every quarterback, Baker, in the NFL, deals with this type of scrutiny. And you call out the fans? The people that won't be quiet when you're on the field? Bro. Seriously man? Seriously? This is on Baker."
While Saturday pointed out that quarterbacks like Brady don't get scrutinized to the same level as Mayfield -- at least as far as postgame press conferences are concerned -- the show's host, Mike Greenberg, chimed in with his own criticism of Cleveland's starting quarterback.
"Baker Mayfield needs to shut up," Greenberg said. "If he's too hurt to play, then don't play. In the meantime, don't criticize the fans who were there before you got there and will be there long after you're gone."
Mayfield's comments came one day after he completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 176 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Cleveland's Week 11 win over the winless Lions. Over the course of the season, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft has been dealing with multiple injuries, including a torn labrum and broken bone in his left shoulder and bone bruises in his left foot and right knee.
Laying claim to a 6-5 record, the Browns will return to action later this week when they face the first-place Baltimore Ravens (7-3) on Sunday Night Football.