BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. recently compared quarterback Baker Mayfield to Hall of Fame signal-caller Brett Favre, and he is not backing away from those claims.
Speaking to the media for the second time since arriving in Cleveland through a trade with the New York Giants in March after Wednesday’s minicamp practice in Berea, Beckham Jr. doubled down on the comparison between Mayfield and Favre.
“It’s crazy,” Beckham Jr. said. “When I say stuff like that, I watch football. I really, really watch football, and that is a good comparison in my eyes. I loved Brett Favre growing up. Baker has a lot of similarities to him.
“They put the highlights together, it looks the same, but obviously, he’s going to have to go out and put the work in for however many years he plays, and hopefully, I can help him put up numbers, whatever he needs to do, win championships. But in my eyes, he has the talent to do whatever he wants to do. Whatever he wants to do with it, that’s what will happen.”
After taking over the first-team offense in the second quarter of a Week 3 win over the New York Jets last season, Mayfield completed 310 of his 486 attempts (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Under the direction of new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, the interim offensive coordinator for the second half of the 2018 season, Mayfield completed 180 of his 263 attempts (68.4 percent) for 2,254 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Although Mayfield did not get credit for the win over the Jets because he came on in relief of injured starter Tyrod Taylor, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft led the Browns to seven victories and the greatest single-year turnaround in franchise history (plus-7.5).
“I watched Baker since Oklahoma,” Beckham Jr. said. “I think it’s the confidence he carries himself with. You can’t coach that on anybody. That’s something that comes within you, and he really has that. It’s on display always.
“You have to love that about him. Also, I’m going to have to get adjusted to the speed because he has an arm. He’s throwing that ball hard. Just catching him from the first day, it was like, ‘Wow! This is completely different.’ It just takes time. Like I said, we play in September, so it’s a good thing.”
Beckham Jr. appreciates Mayfield’s confidence and will do everything in his power to support the Browns’ second-year quarterback. And that includes standing by Mayfield when he shares his feelings on teammates and opponents.
“It’s definitely different,” Beckham Jr. said. “I feel like I’m always, not feel, I know that I’m always going to back him. Right, wrong, indifferent, the whole T.O. joke, ‘that’s my quarterback.’ That’s my guy. Baker was a friend, a brother to me before I got on this team, and now, for him to be my quarterback, I’m always going to back him.
“For him to speak his mind, it’s always good for the leader of your team to kinda have that and everybody follow that lead. If he steers off, that’s what this team’s here to guide him on the right path, but I don’t see him really doing anything too wrong. He speaks his mind. Freedom of speech, you have a right to your own opinion. That’s what he does, and I personally love it.”