Rex Ryan and Baker Mayfield have seemed to have an ongoing feud throughout this NFL season, with the former head coach and current ESPN analyst pretty much ripping the quarterback for playing like complete crap during the Cleveland Browns’ awful start to the season, even going as far as calling him “overrated.” Following an impressive victory over the Baltimore Ravens by the Browns in Week 4, Mayfield fired off some shots back at Ryan, saying there’d be no way in hell he was giving credit to the guy for adding motivation.
Fast-forward to today, and the Cleveland Browns are sitting at 5-6 after winning three-straight games, making them very much alive in the AFC Wild Card race. A big reason for that success? You guessed it, Baker Mayfield, who has scored a total of 9 touchdowns (8 passing, one rushing) in his past four games, while only throwing one interception during that same span. Rex Ryan has seemed to take notice, because on Monday morning’s Get Up, Sexy Rexy actually praised the 2018 No. 1 overall pick, reversing course by saying Mayfield’s actually underrated. Take a look at the video below.
Now, of course this is all tongue-in-cheek kind of stuff, with Rex Ryan sort of poking fun at himself for calling Baker Mayfield overrated earlier this season, but it’s pretty cool to see from the normally stubborn Rex. Plus, considering the fact the ESPN analyst continued his thought by saying that he thought the Browns would actually make the playoffs is a total reversal from where he was earlier this season while the team was struggling.
Baker Mayfield thrives off of critics, and uses any doubt or hate as motivation to try and play better. While it’s worked for him before, that wasn’t the case earlier this season. With Rex Ryan now throwing out praise, it’ll be interesting to see if the Browns quarterback responds at all, or if he’ll happily just take the compliments in stride and keep on trying to ball out in hopes of guiding his team to the postseason.
Regardless of what happens, it might be time to think that this Mayfield-Rex Ryan feud is officially buried — but given the personalities of both guys, don’t be surprised if it’s ramped up again the minute Mayfield throws a bad interception. Ah, such is the life of an NFL quarterback, where overreactions run rampant every week.